Building a loyal community on social media isn't just about gaining followers; it's about fostering genuine connections and creating a digital family that champions your brand. You might not know which social media channels your business should be using … but we can help with that.
Think about it - your followers are savvy. They're not just looking for another sales pitch; they want something real, something they can relate to on a personal level. So, how do you stand out from the crowd of competitors fighting for their attention? You do it by crafting content that speaks to them, resonates with their experiences, and makes them feel like they're a part of something meaningful.
In this blog, we'll take a look at some key strategies that can help you achieve this authenticity and build an online community that genuinely cares about your brand. We'll touch on everything from maintaining a consistent tone of voice to leveraging user-generated content and fostering meaningful interactions.
So, what do we mean by ‘authentic content’?
It’s about staying true to your brand’s identity and values. Knowing the importance of brand identity and owning your sh*t is a start. Your users are looking for genuine and relatable experiences from the brands they follow. So, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, you can spot it a mile off. Crafting content that resonates with your audience on a personal level sets you apart from those competitors. Here's a few tips we know will help you.
If you haven’t got brand consistency then what the fu*k have you been doing this whole time? Maintaining a consistent voice across all social media platforms is the start of building this trust and familiarity with your followers. Don’t confuse people by saying one thing on one platform and the total opposite on another. A distinct and coherent voice helps to establish your brand identity. So, why’s it important?
👉 Brand Recognition: Having a consistent brand voice will make you stand out as recognisable and people can connect your content to your brand.
👉 Trust and Credibility: Builds trust and reliability, you will be viewed as a brand that’s dependable.
👉 Differentiation from Competitors: Have you got a unique brand voice? It’s key to setting your brand apart. Be a brand with personality.
👉 Builds Emotional Connections: Cultivates a deeper relationship with your audience by evoking specific emotions and increasing engagement and loyalty.
👉 Clarity in Communication: Sets a clear understanding of the brand's message, values, and offerings, leading to better brand recall.
👉Stronger Brand Identity: Contributes to a strong and recognisable brand identity, shaping how the brand is perceived and creating a cohesive narrative aligned with its image and positioning.
👉Enhanced Customer Experience: Fosters a seamless and unified experience across touchpoints, enhancing reliability and comfort in customer interactions with the brand.
Want to see this in action?👇
Taking a look at the airline Ryanair – they have a consistent tone of voice across all social media platforms. Let’s look at their Instagram bio – “Catch flights, not feelings with Europe’s no.1 airline💅”. This casual, witty tone is consistent across all social media platforms. They infuse humour into their posts and responses, which has successfully created a dedicated fan base that is eager to engage with their content. The content is informal, but relatable. A great social strategy in our opinion. See for yourself ⤵️
Ryanair basically just takes the pi*s out of their customers … and it really seems to be working in the online community building department. We’re not saying this will work for everyone, it definitely won’t. But this is something that is unique to Ryanair.
Take a look at how Ryanair engage with UGC. They know its value and input humour into their response to gain maximum engagement.
And it doesn't just stop there ... Look at their Insta post 👇
The caption to this post is “your daily reminder babe x” which is not what you’d expect to see from brands. Using phrases like ‘Babe’ as a way of addressing customers is what sets them apart from competitors. It’s informal. Some example comments from their followers “this account is proof that humour exists” (@bobomitsenf) and “I fuc*ing love this account” (@emiliemydue) show active engagement with the brand. They’ve sparked a lot of UGC by taking this approach.
Taking a look at their biggest competitor Easyjet, you can see Ryanair’s strategy is superior.
443K Instagram followers
1.3M Instagram followers
587K X (aka Twitter) followers
791.9K X (aka Twitter) followers
So you’ve nailed having a consistent tone of voice across all platforms … What's next? Having a strong identifiable visual identity.
Think about your brand colours, fonts, and design elements that help to reflect the brand’s personality. Incorporate these elements into your social media so that your content resonates with your community. You want to be easily recognisable. You can’t imagine McDonald’s without visualising their staple colours, red and yellow. Starbucks? Green and white. IKEA? Blue and yellow. You want to have a cohesive visual narrative. Does your brand do this well? If not, you need to have a re-think.
Onto the big one. Encouraging and leveraging user-generated content (UGC) is a mega strategy that will help strengthen the authenticity of your brand community. You can showcase the genuine experiences and perspectives of your followers and this sense of inclusivity and participation comes hand in hand.
A bit of advice – ask followers to share their brand experiences and reviews. Invite those conversations to your social media. Whether it's through photos, videos, testimonials, or creative posts, showcasing this shows you value and appreciate the contributions of your followers. When others see real people advocating for your brand, it adds an authentic touch that can change perceptions and trust in your brand. Share content that gets people talking about their own experiences. By nurturing this sense of belonging, you can watch as your online community develops a genuine desire to advocate for you.
If you’re scrolling on TikTok, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one ‘try on haul’ video will feature in your feed. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically where people go shopping and show their followers what they’ve got by trying it on. These videos offer a unique and immersive way for consumers to experience products virtually, helping them make informed purchasing decisions based on real-life demonstrations and reviews. What sets these videos apart is their authenticity and relatability, as they often feature real people showcasing products in their own personal style and setting.
What’s great about these videos is that you get a genuine and trustworthy perspective on the product's quality, fit, and overall appeal.
For brands, leveraging 'try on haul' videos as part of their marketing strategy has proven to be a powerful tool for reaching their target audience in an organic and engaging manner. Brands are increasingly seeing the value in these videos which is why you might notice the hashtag ‘#sponsored’ or ‘#paid’ on these videos.
Have you ever re-shared a brand’s post because you could be in with the chance of winning a £50 voucher? These competitions can be highly effective for brands because they give back to the community. Not only does it increase brand awareness, but it makes your followers feel valued. And it won’t actually cost you much ...
Many of these competitions look a bit like this:
Be in with the chance of winning a £50 voucher to spend at [x brand].
All you have to do is 3 things:
👉Share this post on your story
👉Tag three friends
👉Follow us on our social media channels
Let’s break this strategy down. When a follower shares this on their story, it’s introducing the brand to ALL of their followers. The requirement to then tag three friends, is again, increasing brand reach even more. It’s also inviting active participation because these three friends might also do the same, to be in with the chance of winning. Then the final step to follow the brand is skyrocketing the brand’s number of followers but it means these followers will see all upcoming content.
These initiatives can generate a buzz and motivate both old and new followers to engage with your brand. It doesn’t always have to be a competition. It might be a campaign that invites users to use a specific hashtag when sharing any content. All of these strategies aim to encourage UGC and engagement.
Recognising and appreciating the efforts of your online community members by featuring their UGC on your official channels not only boosts their confidence but also strengthens their bond with your brand. Whether it's a repost, a dedicated shout-out, or a special feature, acknowledging their contributions can go a long way in building a loyal and dedicated community.
Make your socials … social. Show some love to your followers. Social media isn’t just a platform for marketing, it’s a marketplace full of ideas, conversations, and connections. To truly build a loyal community, get stuck in with your followers to get that engagement going.
This can go a long way … and it doesn’t actually take much time. You need to be responsive. Don’t just post and ghost. Respond to those comments, ask them questions, run polls, and ignite discussion. Show your followers that there are real people behind your brand who are ready to listen and interact. It’s not just about boosting your engagement metrics (yes we know it’s important); but it's about nurturing these brand relationships. Responding demonstrates your attentiveness and appreciation for their engagement. The result? They’ll probably engage with your brand again.
Actively incorporating user feedback and suggestions into your content and strategy demonstrates a genuine commitment to meeting your community's needs and preferences. By running polls, surveys, or open discussions, you can gather valuable insights and opinions that can shape your future content. Acting and implementing these changes based on user feedback not only enhances the user experience but also makes it known that the community's voice is valued and heard.
Engaging with your followers on social media is a dynamic process that requires genuine interest, active participation, and a willingness to listen and respond. Be a brand that cares. Celebrate their milestones, showcase their UGC, and feature them on your story highlights. These simple acts go a long way in creating a true sense of belonging. By focusing on prompt and personalised interactions, and incorporating user feedback into your strategy, you can cultivate a vibrant and dedicated online community that feels valued, heard, and connected.
So what’s the end game here? What do you gain from crafting authentic content and engaging with your followers? If you do it well, brand advocates are the end result.
The pinnacle of community building online is when your followers turn into your most passionate advocates. These are people who not only adore your products but also champion your brand values and vision. So how do you actually create these brand advocates?
By being consistent. This is when you repeatedly deliver mega content that’s valuable, foster genuine connections, and make consumers feel like an integral part of your brand story. Strive to exceed expectations at every touchpoint. This consistency extends to engaging with your followers. Like we said before, don’t just post and ghost. Show up for your followers. Creating brand advocates isn't just about getting more followers, or boosting your sales; it's about getting people to stand by your brand.
Not sure what brand advocates actually do for your brand?
👉Get you that brand awareness you’re dying for
👉Foster customer loyalty and trust
👉Generate word-of-mouth and UGC
In the realm of social media, building a loyal community online is about nurturing real connections and fostering a digital family that stands behind your brand. Crafting authentic content and engaging with your followers can lead to creating brand advocates. Who doesn’t want a mascot for their brand?
Authentic content creation involves staying true to your brand’s identity, values, and voice. Having a genuine interest in meeting your community’s needs and preferences will massively set you apart from other brands. Creating brand advocates is the ultimate goal. By embracing these foundational principles and consistently looking after your digital family, you can pave the way for a mega online community that stands by your brand through thick and thin.
Grab a brew. Have a read