Creating an online community is important for small businesses and start ups as you need to create a space for you to be able to build your brand and showcase it to a target audience.

The goal of an online community is not just to find potential customers. An online community aims to build brand awareness, amongst a genuine audience who are interested in what your company has to say. And if you’re having fun while doing it, you can be pretty certain it’s going right. Start building your online community with our step-by-step guide below.

Valuable, shareable content

Content is a significant part of any online community; you need to give your audience something to discuss, after all. The content that receives the most engagement will have a real value to the industry. The more in depth and targeted to your audience, the better received it will be and the more they’ll have to talk about – which is exactly what you’re looking for.

While you want your content to have value, you should also prioritize how shareable it is. This may mean a catchy or contradictory headline, using a divisive public figure to draw interest or simply writing a well-written piece with a clear structure and zero faff.

Whether it’s a beginner’s guide or an in-depth resource, recognise your content’s place in the industry and use this to create a piece of copy that will intrigue your community into discussion.

Social engagement

Once you’ve created the content, you need to start shouting about it. Social media is the ideal way to do this as it’s built specifically as a space in which to create a conversation.

Don’t be scared to get creative – a killer social strategy will certainly help you find people interested in your content. Just make sure you fine-tune your tone of voice to represent your brand exactly and you’ll be able to create that community in no time.

Setting aside time to engage on social is vital to keep yourself in the view of your new audience – don’t forget your marketing basics!

Interact with the conversation

Once you’ve posted the piece and shared it on your chosen social media channels (sometimes not sharing it on every single one is a good option!) then you must remember to respond to any comments or queries.

At this point you should use discretion. If a comment is abusive or if someone is simply using your community to advertise their own business, delete the offending comment/s. If there are genuine replies based on the content or commenting on your brand then happily reply. It pays to be nice – especially when you’re representing your brand!

If you can provide extra helpful information in the comments, don’t hold back. While you don’t want to give away your entire business, give commenters something a little extra for their engagement. They’ve taken time out of their day to speak to you, so make the effort to do the same.

Are you struggling to build an online community? Get in touch with the Team Organic team for a free website review to see how we can help!

Lauren is the driving force behind our content and social services to clients. If it’s an amazing Pinterest competition or engaging copy you require, we have that more than covered with our content & social team.