When I started using social media for my business, the word 'community' wasn't on my radar. I was using social media to share my work. Period. It was my platform to create a portfolio where people could see my work.
As I began doing that, the next phase of my understanding was to gain a 'following'. To have people interested in what I was doing and to gain more authority by gaining for followers. That hard data was what people expressed to be important.
2 years later, I'm in a completely different space. What I focus on is serving and interacting with my community.
Community" "A group of people having particular characteristics in common"
Those particular characteristics are your brand values. To build something more than a sterile platform of your products or listed services, your brand values need to be apparent to attract a community that connects with you.
Why community matters
For women who prioritize their soul and heart, who are in search for authenticity and expressing their values, using social media in a 'traditional' is 100% unappealing. To come on to sell feels unnatural and goes against who they are (I know because I am this person). But, that doesn't mean you can't use social media in your own way.
And for the woman listed above, what that looks like is using social media to:
connect by authentically interacting
create conversation around your brand values
build a space that invites a sharing of ideas
allows a feeling of honesty when sharing your products or services
generate a mutual relationship, not a one-sided 'take'
How to build an authentic community
Set your intention when using this space
"I am here to serve, inspire and connect". Be honest, authentic and intentional before posting or getting on to engage
Engage with others
To invite conversation and sharing, you need to reciprocate. If someone comments or sends you a message, talk back! And not just a with your favorite gratitude emoji, please. Give of your time and conversation to nurture a community, not just grow a following.
Seek out new accounts that share your brand values
To build a new community, don't just wait for people to find you. Seek out new accounts, comment, encourage and follow. Spark small talk and conversation to begin sharing and nurturing a reciprocal relationship .
Be consistent in your community building
I break down social media time in 4 ways:
Create. Nurture. Network. Free time.
Create: Once a week (it's what works best for me) I sit down and create my content for the week. ( Need help? Grab my free 5 Post Plan or get my Captivating Content Masterclass) I set it to autopost using Later.
Nurture: I set aside 15-20 minutes about 5x/week to nurture my current community. I go onto their posts, comment, encourage and engage.
Network: I set aside about 10-15 minutes 5x/week to network and find new accounts that share similar values with me or are doing things that I really enjoy seeing and supporting. I comment and follow along with their journey.
Free time: This is time to go on and do whatever you want and explore. I don't do this every day, just if I have some downtime.
My most significant suggestion is before you go on, decide what you're doing and check the time. Don't get sucked down the rabbit hole and loose focus! You end up getting discouraged and won't be consistent.