To be successful with your online community, you need to make sure your audience knows who you are and what you stand for. The brand identity is excellent, but disengage brand identity is vital in most markets today. Gray areas make it difficult for members to know where a brand stands and create doubt, so make sure yours is distinct and original for optimal community development.
In addition to the successes fostered by your brand identity, you want to make sure your members have theirs as well. If they feel part of a community, then their success is your success and rubs off on you. As the saying goes, “We rise by lifting others.” By making sure this is true for your community, you not only want to build deeper connections with members, but you want to come out of every interaction with like-minded people with more motivation.
Members look to you for help in many ways, including your thoughts, daily activities, hobbies, where to go at night, and more. However, great content is only part of connecting with your community. With more demands for attention than ever before, your community members will thank you for taking the time out of your day to let them know you’re not just there, but listening too. It’s more than clicking the “Like” button. It is by using your accumulated credibility that they have come to know and love and reach them through the screen. This lets them know they are valued and needed in that space.
Many opportunities to engage and connect with your community exist, depending on your platform. Here we give you five of the best ways to engage with your community.
Commit early and be consistent.
As soon as your community starts to build, it’s time to engage members with your content. You set the tone for them. Whatever you say is fine. So be sure to show up regularly and tell your members what to expect from being part of your community. Providing the necessary information lets them know how to act within the group as a whole.
Early engagement shows members that it’s okay, even great, to participate. This is how you want your community to be. They attribute as much, if not more than you, regularly. Giving them that agency keeps your community strong when you’re away throughout the day.
However, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your duties as a community leader. People operate best on reliability. Consistency is the key. Members will know with regularity the frequency, depth and duration of your engagement, encouraging them to keep checking the spirit of your community.
Educate your audience.
At the end of 2021, Instagram found that video content generated more comments than regular posts throughout the year. Users no longer wanted a photo of followers’ days, but instead wanted to hear feedback and be entertained in the communities they follow.
By using a mix of education and entertainment in your content, members slow down to assimilate it. It gives them time to learn but also to laugh throughout their days, which leads to commenting on what they find interesting and sharing what you provide.
Most likely, what you find fascinating and fun is why people search for your content in the first place. They benefit too! Share what you like with others. While brand identity sometimes gets a bad rap for not being authentic, that doesn’t have to be the case. Let your audience know that your community is authentic and that they are not misled by what you tell them versus what you actually do. Connections are meaningful, so make sure your members realize you know and appreciate it, too.
Reply to comments.
There are amazing people in your community who have invested their time in your content, so make them feel valued. It also gives you invaluable insight into who they are and what they expect from you. So know your audience!
There are many ways to do this. Start by responding to interesting or in-depth comments. Reward members who take their time to engage with your content in this way. Ask intriguing questions in your content. These will make people want to respond. Consider not only giving them your answers afterwards, but also allowing them to respond. By doing so, you not only have additional content for later today or the next day, but you can also share some of their thoughts and ideas.
Shine your spotlight on others.
You built this! Now shine your light on others. By highlighting certain members of the community, who are the most engaged, the most valuable, or the most motivating, you can drive other members who want to be lucky and into the spotlight as well. Not only will they love being recognized and selected by you, but they’ll also love the new traffic flowing to them.
Uscreen is a company we found to help others succeed in their video content communities. Founded by its CEO PJ Taei, Uscreen has built an all-in-one platform that empowers video creators to earn money. As a creator, you know the importance of getting paid for your creativity and originality. Help others reach this point in their content creations as well. By sending followers and recognition to certain members, they will in turn mention you, earning you new followers and more members to connect with in your community.
Many highly-followed leaders think followers care about their brand and react to it. And they do! However, followers want more than ever to be part of a positive community in which you attract the kind of energy you exude.
Everyone is already surrounded by negativity outside of your community, so why give them more? Make them feel good about themselves and what they are doing with you. It doesn’t take much to get serotonin flowing; even a simple smile or laugh can do the trick. Your reactions will naturally attract more followers who want your brand positivity.
Perhaps most importantly, promote positivity through your language. What members hear, see and connect to on a video content platform is crucial to them. Use words wisely in your way of speaking. Use terms associated with positive connotations, such as replacing “great” with “ok” or referring to everyone as “friends”.
By doing so, you are helping their brains connect positively to you and your brand identity. The bond between everyone becomes stronger because no one is a stranger anymore, but “friends” of the same community.
We’ve only listed five methods, but remember that there are plenty of other approaches to connecting and staying that way with your online community. Holistic practices like the ones we mentioned above maintain your credibility in the eyes of your members and give them reasons to stick around and engage with your content.
Perhaps you can get the best compliment when someone else makes a connection or generates a following because of your platform. So connect frequently and regularly with your community, forging relationships that will boost your motivation and that of your followers.
Image Credit: ANTONI SHKRABA; pexels; Thanks!
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