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14 Community Building Tips to Develop an Online Following

Brett Farmiloe, June 17, 2021

What are some good ways to build an online following for your business?

To help your business build an online following, we asked marketing experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From connecting with your online market to being consistent with your branding, there are several things that may help you build your following online.

Here are 14 good ways to build a following online for your business: 

14 Community Building Tips To Develop An Online Following

Connect with Your Market Online

As an independent insurance agency, it is important to build a following of prospective clients online. Having a good digital footprint helps to drive brand awareness by connecting with our target audience. So far, the main platform we use is Facebook, but we are also working on growing our following on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.

Brandon Berglund, Berglund Insurance

Step Outside The Box 

Growing an automation company online entails stepping outside of the box. It is important to show potential clients and partners not just that you are delivering automation projects successfully, but also share the pieces that qualify you more than the rest. The passion about automation is one part. However, highlighting values, and the ways you help clients to make a difference, will set you apart and will open doors.

Spiros Skolarikis, Comidor 

Take a Genuine Approach 

One of the best ways to develop an online following is to demonstrate that you are there to take care of and support your followers and their loved ones with the services you provide. Taking a genuine approach with followers helps build that level of trust and reassurance needed to foster those connections and strengthen new ones. At MATClinics, we grow our following by communicating the support we can offer, such as counseling, to families or loved ones struggling with addiction.

Dan Reck, MATClinics

Zero in on Target Keywords 

Focus on keywords that your target audience is searching. This way, you can develop the right content and make it easy to be found. SEO strategies like this extend beyond blog content but also to social media content posts. You can share snippets of your blogs on social media with keyword hashtags to make your content easier to discover. You can even start hashtag campaigns and encourage your audience to share similar posts with the same hashtags to build momentum. Finally, don’t forget to engage your audience by resharing posts that your brand is tagged in and reply back to show your appreciation. 

Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors

Know Your Audience’s Platform

One of the best ways to connect with your audience and build a following online is through social media. Social media platforms are a great way to establish a more personable brand and feel that inspires and engages your audience in a unique way. Depending on the platform and your target demographic, this is where most people spend most of their time. People now fear missing out and want to be a part of the next best exciting experiences and adventures. 

Sara Brown, Cruise America

Provide Meaningful Content

People in online business communities seek one thing — value. They are busy, and when they come, they are looking for things that can help them get better at what they do in quick, efficient, but meaningful ways. Providing value is key when trying to engage with audiences online for that reason. Get your audience’s attention by giving them what they seek. To do that, find out their needs. Then, fulfill those needs with valuable information. Make it casual, entertaining, and engaging.

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Remember it’s a Marathon 

Out of every 15 posts in any given network, 10 are other people's related and relevant content, four are your own original content, and one is a promo or selling post. In other words, it's not all about you. Post content that's of interest to your target audience. Use automation tools. Follow people who are your target. They'll be notified and check you out. Make sure your profiles are well branded and optimized. Use hashtags consistently. Watch for trending hashtags on Twitter for extra exposure. Keep at it. It's a marathon, not a sprint. 

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Engage with Your Audience

If you want to grow your following online, you need to engage with your audience. Respond to their comments on your blog and social media posts. Show interest in them by giving them time to get to know you. Focus on publishing valuable content that really serves your audience. There's no need to put the focus on selling your product right away. If you bring value to the table, you can count on many new loyal followers!

Angie Makljenovic, She Can Blog

Write a Blog and Share It 

You created a website for your business, and now you need to attract an online following. Creating a blog that offers valuable information related to your business’ field is a great way to establish your business as a reliable source of information. Promote your content across social media channels to reach a larger target audience and produce content regularly to keep your audience engaged. Your blog will draw in viewers who then can be converted to customers.

Than Merrill, Fortune Builders

Captivate Your Audience

By sharing relevant information through the lens of storytelling, potential followers will be much more captivated than they would be by an ad or by dry, boring copy. Consider transforming stories into vignettes whereby people can gleam the point of the story by viewing a short 10–30 second video. Or perhaps just add photos to the story to provide some color and visual details to what you are sharing.

Tyler Butler, 11Eleven Consulting

Be Consistent with Branding 

If you want to gain followers, be it on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you should ensure your business branding is always clear. You want to use the same profile image, ideally the same profile handle and cover image. All of these are crucial to increase brand recognition. If you haven't got an in-team designer, a tool such as Stencil or Canva can help.

John Bertino, The Agency Guy

Make it Personal 

Humanize your brand by sharing the faces behind the business. Remember that people do business with people. If you have a handful of employees, highlight the people that make up the team. If you're a solopreneur, publish an introductory post every quarter. In the post, remind your existing audience why they follow you and share fun facts that your new followers might not know about you.

Nadya Ramos, Marketing Consultant

Develop Strategic Campaigns

Developing a strategic campaign on all platforms your target audience uses is imperative. As a grammar correction and predictive text software that can be used in a wide range of industries, our presence on LinkedIn is invaluable. We recently developed a campaign around challenges with spelling the word “bureaucracy” on LinkedIn. This campaign strategy helped build brand awareness and our following online by demonstrating how Lightkey’s AI-powered software works on Microsoft Word and internet applications to offer capabilities like real-time spelling corrections.

Guy Katabi, Lightkey

Be an Expert 

With so much content on the internet, it is hard for people to wade through what information is true and valid and what information is false. Working in the dental industry, it is important that we have the majority of our informational content written by a licensed dentist. While we still adhere to SEO best practices and a content calendar, I know that the information we put on our site is accurate and educational, which is the best way to develop an online following that trusts you. Being an expert on your subject solicits trust from readers! 

Peter Babichenko, Eurodenture

Brett Farmiloe biography
Brett Farmiloe

Brett Farmiloe is the founder and CEO of Markitors, an SEO company for small businesses. Google “digital marketing company” and you may see Markitors on the first pages of search results. Brett is a published author, Calendly enthusiast, and founder of the knowledge platform, Terkel.

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