If you want to build a loyal, engaged community of followers, you've got to create awesome content and target it wisely. By Tatiana Parent (Founder, Roadtrippers)
Social media is NOT about traffic (for us) — it’’s all about building relationships and a community. There’s no secret formula— just make all content, regardless of medium, shareable and likeable.
Earning the Likes
For Facebook, the best way to actively interact and build an organic community that’s heavily engaged is to share amazing content and be likeable. Think about the purpose of Facebook, it’s mostly to reconnect with friends and family, and brands have hard to learn the hard way that people just don’t want to see their Newsfeed bogged down in ads.
Some cosmetic advice in that regard: Don’t let your page look like a marketing campaign. It helps to have pretty background picture and a nice, easily-recognizable thumbnail, as well as an informative “About” section.
Think, why should people care about your page? What does it mean to them to “Like” you?
And now for the don’ts. Of course, never ask for “likes” on a post. It looks tacky and is sooo 2013.
Also, don’t ask questions in a post, unless you already have a high level of user engagement, because then Facebook’s algorithm picks up that no one is engaging in that post and penalizes you for it (which basically means they decrease the number of your followers that see that post).
A Little Bird...
Twitter is also another great social platform to build an organic community. When crafting tweets, keep in mind the 3 B's:
- Be favoritable
- Be retweetable, and above all,
- Be authentic!
How do you become favoritable and retweetable? Say something different, be yourself, don’t try to market yourself (people can spot that a mile away)…being unique will get people’s attention.
A quick note about WHAT to say. Create content that no one else writing, or package stories (like blog posts) in a different way that gives them an edge.
Posts with a Twist
When we first started Roadtrippers.com we didn’t want to be part of the “noise” in the travel industry. For instance, everyone writes about “New England’s Most Romantic Bed & Breakfasts”. So, if we were to write about that we’d just be part of the noise, doing something everyone else was doing. That’s never been our thing.
Our thing is the offbeat, more alternative approach to travel content. We’d write a post on “New England’s Most Romantic and HAUNTED Bed & Breakfasts”. Or “The Best Places to Get Kissed in Idaho.” We quickly identified that our community responded much more favorably to “Travel Content with a Twist” than the same-old “Best Restaurants in Atlanta”-type posts.
Now, with that said, people still want to find and discover Atlanta’s best new restaurants, so what we’d do is package it in a more fun, more engaging way. Like, “Best Restaurants to Pop the Question in Atlanta” or “Best Restaurants to Get Over a Bad Break-Up in Atlanta.”
Overall, the major takeaways with both building a community via a blog or on Facebook and Twitter are to be authentic, interesting, and concise. Share relevant product news, interact and engage as yourself, not as a nameless, faceless, personality-less brand. And always remember that it’s about saying something interesting.
Don’t be too wordy, fake or sound self-promotey, or Humble-brag (is there anything less likeable than a humble-brag?). And if there’s one way to guarantee that you won’t get retweeted, it’s to outright ask for retweets.
What kind of content grabs your attention?
Image credit: iDesign via Shutterstock.
About the guest blogger: Tatiana Parent is the Founder of Roadtrippers, the nation’s fastest-growing trip planner, helping travelers drive to the world’s most interesting places through their website and mobile app. She’s been traveling since she was 18. Boston, Hawaii, Greece, San Francisco, Berlin, Morocco, London, and now Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s not really one for staying put.