The Internet is all about community.
And your community can put you in front of the right people for your business to succeed.
When you make connections within a community, they want to know more about you. As they do, they’ll find out what you are capable of and what you have to offer.
However, I know full well it’s not always easy to find your online community.
Sometimes, you need to do some research to find out where your consumers hang out online.
Use Social Media
Billions of people worldwide use social media.
It’s likely most of your consumers use at least one social network. You’ll need to find out which one your consumers use the most to start your research. You can do this by simply thinking about your consumers.
- If they are mostly entrepreneurs or professionals, it’s likely they use LinkedIn quite a bit.
- Twitter is for people seeking information quickly from a large number of people.
- Facebook is mostly for people trying to stay in touch with friends and family along with receiving updates about businesses they are interested in making a purchase.
- Pinterest often times caters to women who search for ideas before making a purchase.
Think about your target audience what their needs and wants are before you pick one to find your online community.
Research Users on a Social Network
Once you choose a social network, you’ll need to find your consumers.
The easiest way to do this is to use the search function. Each social network has one, but they work differently.
On Facebook, you can’t search for people because you’ll end up with individuals who you can’t request to be friends with since you have a business page and you don’t know them personally.
However, you can search for pages that are similar to yours or have a similar target audience.
When you find these pages, like them, and start to comment on the posts. It’s better to find pages that are highly active, so you can gain better visibility.
As you interact with the people on those pages, they will start to wonder who you are and then follow you to your page. If you’re page is worthy enough, those people will like it and that could lead them to see what else you offer on your website.
Twitter is different because you can search for individuals. Not all of them are as easily reached though.
There are some people with thousands upon thousands of followers. These people are called influencers. You do want to be noticed by these people, but you have to start small and gain recognition before you can break through all of the people following influencers.
Use the search function to find people who have a related keyword in their tweets or bio that has to do with your target audience.
Follow them, reply to some of their tweets, favorite some of them, and if possible, comment on a blog on their website. After making yourself known, usually those people will follow you back. Send a message to let them know you are interested in connecting further.
For influencers, you’ll need to work harder. You will need to be consistent with your replies, favorites and blog comments. You can send tweets to those people with @username as well, which can help get their attention.
Once they follow you, go ahead and send a message. Continue the activity on their posts until you start to form a connection in which the influencer responds to you. Once that connection is formed, you can continue to gain the visibility of other influencers.
The reason you want to connect with people on Twitter isn’t only to reach that person, but to also reach their followers. As those people you make a connection with get to know you, they will start to share your posts, and then you’ll gain the visibility of their thousands of followers.
Pinterest & LinkedIn
Pinterest and LinkedIn work similarly to Twitter, so use the suggestions provided for that social network to find your online community on those social networks.
It all takes work, but when you start to see your community grow and traffic to your website increase, you’ll start to see how worth it all of it really is to your business.