11 Mar Building the Perfect Social Media Community with Jason Baumann
Building the Perfect Social Media Community
About Jason Baumann
Jason is the Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at Boxless Media (and the host of the Chicago Social Podcast). Boxless Media is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps small and medium sized business grow using the same digital tactics that the biggest brands are using – web marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and digital advertising.
Jason is also the creator of ReviCards and an expert on online reviews. ReviCards allow businesses that depend on reviews to leverage their power on their behalf. Basically, it brings strategy to reviews.
Finally, Jason developed Chicago Social – a multi-platform initiative to build the social media community in one of the world’s greatest cities – Chicago. Chicago Social is this podcast as well as a conference that is bringing together some of the best minds in social media for an unforgettable day – June 30, 2016!
Building the Perfect Social Media Community
Before we can start building the perfect social media community, there is something we have to understand. Social media is about connecting people. It’s about building relationships. You can now engage with people like never before. We can engage directly with authors, artists, reporters, brands and so many more people in a way that was not possible before social media.
Step One: Identify Where Your Audience Is
You cannot build a community online unless you know where you audience is. You have to find out where they hangout online. What platforms are using? Are they on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or SnapChat. Talk to your audience and find out which platforms they use.
Step Two: Understand What Your Audience is Looking For
You have to understand what your audience is looking for. If you don’t know what your audience wants, then you will never be of any value to them. Don’t get into social media thinking that you are just going to promote your product. Social media is not about you. It’s about whom you are communicating with. Step back and listen.
Step Three: Deliver What Your Audience Wants
So now you know where your audience is. You also know what they are looking for. Now it’s time to deliver the goods. What type of content are they going to respond to? Do they prefer visuals, videos or audio? Would they rather read an article or listen to a podcast? If you delivering content they are looking for in a format they cannot use, you are valueless to them. You have to give them what they want in a way they can digest it easily. If you want to produce a podcast but your audience doesn’t know what a podcast is, you are in trouble. If you are hooked on SnapChat but your audience doesn’t get it, you cannot build a community. You have to discover what type of content they are looking for, determine if you can create it and then deliver it to them. Discover… Determine… Deliver.
Amy Guth’s Rule of Thirds
In our second episode (available here), Amy discussed her rule of thirds. It’s simple…
- One-third of your content should be valuable content curated for industry leaders/influencers
- One-third of your content should be content you created that appeals to your audience
- One-third of your content should be engaging with your audience (being human)
Rich Brook’s DMAP
Rich Brooks, of Flyte New Media in Portland, Maine, has a digital strategy called DMAP. It’s basically four critical ingredients for the perfect digital strategy. We spent Episode 4 talking all about it (available here). His view is centered around your website. I would like to take these principles and apply them to the world of social media.
Principle #1: Attraction
You have to create a strategy to attract people to your social media presence. The first way is to tell them about it. You can use traditional methods like telling people about them. A more digitally-focused method would be to go out to different established communities, engage with members and then invite them to your presence.
One of the most powerful ways to attract people to your social presence is by advertising. Facebook (and Instagram) have one of the most powerful advertising platforms ever built. You can target people by every demographic or interest you can imagine. Deliver great content to the right audience and then invite those who have engaged with your content to become members of your social media presence. Too often businesses run ads hoping that their audiences will grow but never ask those who have liked, shared or commented on their ads to like their pages to continue to receive great content.
Principle #2: Community Building
Once you have attracted people to your presence, you have to make sure they become part of your community. They do this with a simple like or follow. One of the best things you can do, is get someone to not only like your content but ask for your content in their timeline. They can do this on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Remember you will convert visitors into customers after you build a relationship with them (over time). It’s kind of like dating… you don’t marry someone after the first date. Commitment comes after many, many dates. Relationships take time to develop.
Principle #3: Social Conversion
Conversion is getting a visitor to perform a certain action. In social media, that can mean referring someone to your website, getting a visitor to leave their email address/subscribe to an email, call/email you, or make a purchase. This process is critically important. Many of the platforms have built conversion opportunities directly into their sites. Facebook has Call-To-Action buttons on ads and pages. Twitter and Instagram does too.
Principle #4: Measurement
Most of the platforms have analytics built into their sites. Facebook has probably the most detailed analytics. Twitter has great analytics too. You can get Instagram analytics through Iconosquare. LinkedIn has the least amount of analytics but some – especially when it comes to published posts.
One of the greatest attributes of digital marketing today is that you can revise marketing efforts on the fly. Unlike the days of billboards and other semi-permanent traditional marketing techniques, you can test what works best and revise your strategy to capitalize on only the best-performing tactics.
Social media is a continuous process. You should always being attract, building community, converting and measuring. It’s not a step 1, 2, 3, 4 methods. It’s a continuous, fluid process.
In our podcast, we have presented three unique case studies. But you have to listen to get all the details. From a client who wanted us disable all inbound communication to a restaurant with where 10-20% of their fans would engage on posts, there are some really interesting cases to hear about. Imagine growing your audience 10x in 3 months for $25/month. If you want to see how that worked, listen to the podcast!