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Today I have a great topic for you. We’re going to be talking all about the importance of building a community for your brand and what platform you should use. I’ve had several questions regarding this topic and thought it would be a good idea to cover this in one of our jam sessions, so let’s get right to it.
The Meaning of Community in Your Brand
The very first thing I want to discuss is what community means in your own brand. It can be difficult when you’re starting out to find ways to connect with your audience. However, it’s not impossible. There are so many different ways you could start a community as well. In fact, you could build a community on Facebook, through email, a forum, or pretty much on any online platform that you’d like. Your possibilities are endless. However, not all platforms are created equal.
I want you to keep in mind that no matter what platform you choose, a community takes time, hard work, and a big commitment. Not only do you have to take the time to set it up, but you’ll also have to spend the time working on adding value and nurturing your community and the people in it. They will be looking to you for advice and information that you’ll need to deliver to them on a regular basis. If you’re just starting out building our brand, I would never recommend focusing all your time and energy on building out a community. It’s just not the best place to start.
When I started my podcast, I recorded several episodes a week for five months before I started a Facebook group and started to build my online community. From the beginning, I did have an email list and worked to grow it. It was much easier to get started sending out emails and was much less stressful to manage from my experience. It was such a great way to stay in touch with my community and keep people up-to-date without spending several hours a day doing it.
Always Start With An Email List
I would always recommend starting with an email list, and from there, you can create a community on another platform as your brand grows. It would also help to have someone help you manage your community, so you’re not solely responsible for managing it all on your own.
The problem with a Facebook community is that it takes so much work to build and grow. You’ll end up spending time every day trying to come up with new content and manage engagement with your audience. You’ll also have to find ways to work around the algorithm and get your message out there. It’s always changing, so it won’t be easy.
Over the years, I ended up building my Amazing Seller Facebook group to over 58,000 people. However, as it grew, I had three admins helping me approve and disapprove the content that was being posted and trying to remove all the spammy content that people wanted to share. As I started to shift my focus, I no longer spoke as much to that audience and eventually decided to achieve that group and make it inactive. To be honest, it was the best decision in my opinion.
A while back, I started a new Facebook group called Rock Your Brand. Although I only have about 1,000 people in the group right now, it’s much easier to manage, and I think it was a great decision. I’m now able to better control the people and content who join, making sure that we only bring in the right kind of people for our brand. However, Facebook significantly limits my reach, and it’s much more difficult to reach my audience than email. I get so much more engagement from my email list than I do from my Facebook community.
Right Now Is The Best Time to Start Your Email List
My only regret in my past business ventures is that I haven’t started my email lists sooner. Even when I had a brick-and-mortar start, I was using email marketing. It really is one of the most effective ways to interact with a community. As I’ve evolved over time, I’ve seen just how valuable it is no matter what niche you’re in. You can start building a community using an email list. It’s actually easier than you might think. This could be as simple as you sharing stories in your email about other people in your community.
So, if you haven’t started an email list but are working to grow your brand, you need to start building one today.
Once you’ve started to build your email list, I would recommend you start thinking about creating a public community where people can interact with each other. This could be as simple as asking people a question in your email and invite them to head over to your Facebook community. From there, they’ll be able to start to communicate and engage with each other.
The secret to any successful community is that you have to stay engaged and post there every single day.
You should also be asking a lot of questions to encourage people to stay engaged and community with each other along the way.
A Facebook page is different from a group. Every brand should have a business page from the start. When a person interacts with anything on your Facebook page, they’ll be apart of a custom audience that you can use for retargeting ads down the road. You can also create content and build a community at the same time. People can follow, share, and like the content on your Facebook page. If you have a group, you’re limiting the people who can see what you post. This can be helpful when you’re looking for privacy and keeping inclusive content for your group.
I do recommend always start with starting a Facebook page first before starting a group. You’ll be able to share a sneak peek of your content and posts about your long-form content. If you do decide later on to create a group, you can share similar content there as well.
Facebook really is the best place to create a community when the time is right. Most people feel most comfortable using Facebook and don’t want to go to another platform they’re not as comfortable with. You need to go where your market is and don’t fight it. Most people have Facebook open on their phones or computers, so it’s much easier to reach them there than on any other social media platform.
You’re building an audience when you’re building an email list. Next, you’re showing up, helping them out, and showing them what you’re known for. You’re standing for something and helping your audience understand what you stand for in your brand. An email list allows you to point people to any content that you’d like.
This is what I would consider if I was building a new community from scratch. I hope that this session was helpful and you were able to learn something. It’s much easier than you might have thought, especially when you have all the steps right at your fingertips.
As always, I am here for you, I believe in you, and I am rooting for you. It’s time for you to take action and go rock your own brand.
Take-Aways From Today’s Episode
- The Meaning of Community in Your Brand (3:41)
- Start With An Email List (5:35)
- Right Now Is The Best Time to Start Your Email List (8:33)
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The secret to any successful community is that you have to stay engaged with your community and post regularly.