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Building a Community on Social Media

By Business of Baking Blog posted 03-25-2021 12:00:00 AM


Are you looking to grow your online audience and build relationships with them? Learn how to create a tribe and community around your brand on social media. Discover the most effective strategies for marketing in the online space and how to convert your audience into an engaged fan base that will actively promote your business.

The most effective style of marketing in the online space boils down to building relationships. People buy from brands with quality products and a story or personality that they can connect with. In the last few posts, we’ve talked a lot about social media and tips for connecting with your audience. However, today we’re going to look at the bigger picture of how to convert that audience into a fan base that actively engages with your content online and ultimately promotes your business for you.

#1 Be Consistent

Time on social media doesn’t progress at the same speed as time in the real world. Since so much content is consumed in one sitting on social me, being inconsistent can really hurt you in the long run. Sharing content once a week is a drop in the bucket when consumers are spending hours on social media and seeing content from their favorite pages daily if not multiple times a day.  

I’m not saying that if you don’t post daily all hope is lost. However, I am saying that you have to develop a plan to show up consistently with quality content to really build a loyal following and community online. Share a weekly menu or special at the same time each week so that folks know to look forward to it. Consider sharing short behind the scenes footage in your stories as you work on special projects. Try out various strategies and pay attention to the response, and refine your methods from that point onward.

Whatever you do, make sure that whatever you start you keep up. If you decide to post daily, plan ahead to keep yourself on track. If you decide to post weekly, make sure that you follow point #2 so that you don’t lose ground on the days that you don’t post. If you decide to post less often then weekly, be prepared to have to rebuild camaraderie with your audience every time you come back online.  In other words, I recommend that you post content at least once a week.

#2 Be Engaging

When you’re busy running a business, it can be easy to forget about the social part of social media. Your online community doesn’t exist just to buy from you and give you likes. The members of your community are also sharing content that they’d like for others to engage with.

Therefore, if you want to build relationships with others on social media, you have to connect with them on the platforms as well. Like their content. Comment when you have something valid to say. Even an “at a girl” is welcome from time to time.

#3 Be Interactive

Building a community is very similar to building a team. If you want your community members to be invested, give them a role. Solicit ideas and feedback from your community to not only get their input, but to let them know that you value their opinion. Ask them to pick flavors for a menu or hold a naming contest for new menu items. Bring them into your process and make them feel like a valued part of your team!!

#4 Be Visible

Statistics have shown that social media viewers respond better to faces than objects. So, although you might have great images or videos of your work, sharing media of others enjoying your work or even producing the item will do much better online.

Consider collecting media of customers eating your products or their smiles when they pick up their orders and share those online. You can also capture footage of yourself or your staff creating those items and share that content online. It’s your account so get creative. Just make sure that your content includes some happy people.

Building an online community can feel like extra work in the beginning, but it can have a great payoff once your community gets behind you. This fan base of customers will make product launches run smoother and special events have a higher participation rate. Once you invest the time in fostering these relationships, you’ll notice that your marketing efforts will yield a better return. 

Cyd N. Mitchell
Business Blogger, Retail Bakers of America

Cydni N. Mitchell (aka Cyd) is a Bakery Consultant and the Sweet Business Coach behind Sweet Fest®. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sweet Fest® is an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing, branding and web design.

By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and she is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, Georgia’s Largest Annual Baking and Sweets Expo in Atlanta. She is also the Business Blogger for the Retail Bakers of America.