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3 Steps to Building And Engaging A Community Of Brand Evangelists

With over 850 million people on Facebook, 140 million people Tweeting 140 characters at a time, 8 years of video content uploaded on YouTube every day and 90 million people on Google+, the social media landscape is bigger than ever before. Each of these networks provides any brand unique opportunities to engage with individuals and build a community of brand evangelists. As I’ve experienced, building a community on any social network doesn’t happen overnight and takes effort to build meaningful relationships with those who choose to follow your brand. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Social MediaBefore you start to build or engage your new social community, you will want to first identify your Community Manager(s), who will manage your social properties on an on-going basis. These people, whether internal communications staff or an outside agency, should be familiar with your brand’s goals and objectives, understand all aspects of social media, including measurement tools, and they should be good writers.

Building Your Audience

So you’ve got a product or service and you’re ready to hit the social scene, but how do get started? First, you need to build your audience. Luckily there are many social networks (the largest and most popular are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, respectively) that offer a great platform to start building your social community. Knowing which social networks are relevant for your brand is important. If your target audience uses Twitter rather than Facebook, it makes most sense to allocate your time to building and engaging the Twitter community, rather than splitting resources between both. For instance, if your business is mainly B2C, you’ll likely choose a network such as Facebook because it provides a great avenue to communicate with consumers. However, if your business model is primarily B2B, Twitter and Google+ might be a better option given that these networks allow you to share a wealth of information in a very real-time atmosphere. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose the social networks that are right for your brand by doing research to see where your likely consumers are actively engaging. When building your audience, not only do you have to figure out where your prospective community lives online but also what their interests are. If you are a bookseller, then you’ll want to research what people who purchase books are talking about online. Using “listening tools” such as Google Alerts, Twitlert, hashtags and Twitter searches are a great way to see what your target audience is talking about. When it comes to Facebook, a contest supported by a strategic Facebook advertising campaign will allow you to target your consumer down to age, sex, geographic location, interest and more. Keeping a close eye on your competition’s social activity and monitoring their content is also a useful strategy to ensure that you are maximizing the reach of your content.
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