Have you ever asked yourself what it really means to build your own online community? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to ‘read you your rights’ and bust out as the blogging or social media police. But I do want to share some valuable tips I’ve learned along the way. Networking ‘ammo’ that you’ll be able to add to your own ‘arsenal’.
When I lived in the UK and worked in the Wedding Industry, we’d all go to big networking events… ‘subtext’ – a big get together somewhere really fancy like Claridges or The Savoy. We’d have a couple of drinks and get to know each other, chin-wagging the night away. Around about the same time Twitter hit the scene and after nights like these, we’d find ourselves sitting on the train, Tweeting each other on the way home. We’d chat about the evening’s antics and who’d met who in the Wedding World. This was the start of building a community for all of us working on the London wedding circuit.
Slow down… Pull over! Starting talking and engage in real conversations.
Building a community is an organic process. Keep that in mind and think about how you’re communicating online. Speak to people and connect the same way you would if you were standing face-to-face. You can PM someone you’d like to connect with but careful not to be spammy. Connect with people you already know or are from your industry.
Local law enforcement for Facebook Groups.
Are you getting in people’s faces all over social media? If you are, then please give it ‘arrest’! It’s time to check in with yourself and look at how you’re coming across in the Facebook Groups you’re part of? Are you being helpful? Are you adhering to other people’s rules in the groups?
Stop DRIVE-BY Posting!
You join a new FB group, now what? It’s like being part of a precinct where you have a chance get to know the rest of the members. Be careful not to ‘drive by’; selling your services right off the bat and then disappearing into the sunset. It’s important to be genuine within your community. Introduce yourself and foster conversations. Eventually, you’ll naturally be able to share what you do. Think of social media as a networking event with the same etiquette as real life.
Time to go detective style and find out where your tribe hangs out.
There are so many groups out there and they’re a great place to foster relationships, help people out and give good value. Be present, ‘stick-em-up’ and put yourself out there. You’ll start getting tagged and recommended to others (personal recommendations are like hitting the jackpot).
Fancy a squad of your own?
Create your own group, as a way to ‘protect and serve’ your community or tribe. It’s important to remember to be real – so create your group and do meet up’s in person. So much can be said for meeting people face-to-face. The bonds that happen when you meet are always stronger. Then, continue to foster your relationship online. Build your KNOW, LIKE & TRUST factor.
It’s time to stand up and be counted – I salute you!
Get yourself in front of your community. Really, I mean literally get yourself out there. Think about where you can physically go and network with people. Afterwards go and find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Add them as friends and message them straight after your time together. Stay fresh in people’s minds and keep up real relationships. It’s all about positioning yourself to become a leader in your industry. Whatever you do and whatever message you put out there, make sure you’re stepping into that role by declaring what you do. The way to elevate yourself is to reaffirm that you’re the expert by helping the people who join your community.
You’ve earned your stripes.
It’s time to put it all into action and move forward. Ask questions in social media and have real conversations with people. Be genuine, share inspiring things and most importantly SHARE YOUR STORY!
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