Six tips to successfully engage consumers in social media communities.
If you are just beginning to build a social media community, trying to bring one back to life, managing a thriving one, or wanting to become part of one, one thing is certain; none of those tasks can be accomplished without building strong, solid relationships with the members of the social community you want to become part of. This is true in any type of social media community whether it's a Facebook fan page, TweetChat, niche message board or forum, Flickr photo group, or a channel on YouTube. In order for your engagement with these communities to thrive and grow, you need to build solid, trusting relationships with their members.
Members don't have to be the people you actively see engaging either. There are many spectators or lurkers in communities that derive value from getting information from trusted sources within the community. Spectators and those community members that are actively engaged are both vital to a successful social media strategy's success.
It takes time to build solid relationships that will help you engage in a community. Those relationships and bonds of friendship that form are built on a lot of trust, and contrary to popular belief (or Charlie Sheen), it doesn't happen overnight. It happens by continually being of value to the other individual. That value can take many forms, such as answering their questions, offering informative content, being consistent with your words and actions, and most of all, rewarding your audience, as well as always saying thank you.
Tips to Successfully Engage in Social Media Communities
Without solid relationships being built within your own community, you'll find it extremely difficult to build any sort of community around your brand, product, or service. So take the time to work on building these relationships; they can become quite invaluable in the future. Think of it this way: how do you put a price on an influential evangelist you built a relationship with in a social media community?
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Liana "Li" Evans is the author of the award winning social media marketing book, "Social Media Marketing: Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media" and she is the president and CEO of Da Li Social, as well as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University's Mini MBA Program. Liana has also been featured in the books "Online Marketing Heroes" and "Video Marketing An Hour a Day." As an established online marketing industry veteran with over 15 years of experience she's focused her unique skillset to specialize in integrated marketing and how companies can successfully strategize integrating all online marketing channels as well as offline traditional media. Her deep technical combined with a public relations background enables her to partner with clients for establishing successful online marketing campaigns that combine cross-channel tactics cohesively.
Li was the search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing architect for such companies as QVC and Comcast (Fancast) and has consulted with several other different sized companies such as AOL MovieFone. Her wealth of knowledge in dealing with large e-commerce and content sites allows her a wider perspective into what it takes to launch successful marketing campaigns in the online space.
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