Perhaps the biggest opportunity I see brands, clients, and my peers making is community engagement.
It is a rare occurrence when the words of a personal or company brand inspire random people reach out via blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
If you want to build a brand, it all begins and ends with community engagement.
What is an online community for a brand? Our definition is anytime your brand posts content to the web, through your website or social media, people to regularly engage with it, and in larger communities, the members also engage with each other. We’re defining engagement as comments, likes, favorites, shares, and conversations between the public community and the brand team members.
Imagine that you actually have a piece of content that gets popular. Maybe it’s a blog post or video that people ask questions on, maybe it’s a Facebook or LinkedIn post that people are sharing and commenting on. Where I see many businesses faltering is they don’t respond back.
There is so much content published every day, by businesses very similar to yours. Taking time to respond to legitimate questions and comments is a way to instantly stand out and build the beginnings of a community, and solidify your brand.
YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter use engagement metrics, specifically comments and likes, as an indication that your content is resonating with people. When you get comments on a piece of content, respond! That helps push you higher in social media algorithms. Social media platforms want to reward content that keeps people on the platform longer.
What turns people off from a brand? One big thing is when they feel that they aren’t being heard, and no one is listening. No person on the planet wants to feel ignored. So, when you ignore comments on your blog, YouTube channel, or social media, eventually people stop trying to interact with you. They move on to another brand that shows they are listening. People don’t want to waste their time having a one-way conversation with a business or brand that never responds.
When you respond to your community, it shows you care about your customers and followers. In turn, they develop trust and good will towards your brand, and they are more likely to share your content with others, and continue interacting with your brand.
This is how you build an online brand. By publishing interesting and useful content, and by showing up to interact with the people you are trying to attract in the first place.