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  • Finn Hodgins

Building A Community Vs. Having Followers

You've probably leveraged big social network platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to build an audience for yourself. These platforms are great tools to get you reach and help you be discovered, and are a way to amplify your voice to the world.


But what happens once you get your voice out there and start gaining followers? Do you stop there?


The answer is no… but many brands make this exact mistake.


They think their social media following is already a “community.”


Wrong. The average person follows over 200+ people, and that's counting inactive accounts. The number for Gen-Z/Millennials is probably north of 500 people.


The point being, no offense, if someone follows you, you aren’t really special. They probably also follow a ton of other accounts in your niche.


All brands, from personal brands to direct to consumer brands, are struggling more and more to be unique and stand out. With engagement rates plummeting and algorithms constantly evolving, brands have to create a new style of content designed for virality, which isn't necessarily the type of content that provides their existing followers value. This is affecting the authenticity of their relationships.


Just to be seen, brands are trying to “hack” the algorithms with unique strategies to get views that typically feel forced and fake, instead of providing their community with engaging and valuable content.


Again, virality is great for fast growth, but you need to have a strategy in place for when you get followers, or else you’re going to be spinning your wheels.


This is why brands are so frustrated now-a-days. Sure, they can get new followers, but they struggle to engage their current ones and when they try to post valuable content, it isn’t even seen...


It is important that when you gain followers, you have a strategy to funnel them to a platform that you own, so that you can create a real community out of them.


A platform where you can have their full attention, be in complete control, and create a true, engaging community around your brand.


This will tell you a lot about the quality of followers that you have. If a follower is willing to join a private community where the conversation is solely based around your brand, then they clearly like you a lot…


The problem is that even the brands who understand this are using the wrong tools to build communities. They are still using social networks like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Discord etc..


To achieve the best success for your brand, your community should be off social networks.


Why?


For starters, these platforms still own all the data and have complete control. You are simply renting space from them.


When creating a community, you want to think of it like an email list. If a customer joins, they should be a LEAD FOR YOUR BRAND. This means, you should have access to their data for marketing purposes.


Next, despite being in private groups on these social networks, you still do not actually have the full attention of your audience. Let’s be real, no matter how great your content is, there are still millions of other distractions on social networking platforms that are distracting your audience from seeing it. Even when your follower is in your group, they are still getting bombarded with notifications, ads, and posts from other people that are tempting them to scroll past your content.


Group engagement on these social media platforms is steadily decreasing, as group leaders are competing with tons of other creators, algorithms, and more, even in “private groups”.


The goal of big social networks is to keep users on their platform, not to benefit each individual brand.


Think about it this way, when someone logs on to a social network, what is their use case? They are usually subconsciously logging on to consume content, be entertained, and pass time…


Rarely will they login to specifically see you. This goes back to what we said above about you not being special, and fighting for attention.


Now, on the other hand, if you had your own private community off of a social network and someone joined it, what would that tell you?


They are specifically going there for you! Now that is extremely valuable…


Think about the competitive advantage you'd have if you could drive your followers into your own space, where you can let them build a deeper connection to your brand, and love you even more…


And as touched on above, that type of "follower" is worth far more to you than a follower on any social network.


Having the full attention of your audience and the ability to directly touch them with all your content is the single most valuable thing for your brand, and that is what building a true community is.


This will allow for real engagement.


You’ll be able to focus conversations around your brand, get deeper customer insights, build a far stronger relationship with your community, and reap the benefits of owning a community.


At the end of the day, all the above will contribute to more sales for your brand.












Think about your own private community similar to what your own personal app would be like. You have complete control. From moderation, to analytics, to IP, to customer data, to content, it is all yours. You don’t need to play by someone else's rules, rent a platform, compete for your audience's attention, or any of that.


Sound like something that can benefit your brand? We guarantee it is. The stronger of a group that you build on Grouped, the more success you’ll see for your brand.

To create your own private community,click here.




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