This Stress Awareness Month has been all about community, about the support and sense of belonging that is so important to us all. For small business owners, building up a community around your business is vital – not only for your business to prosper, but for your mental health as well.
I have compiled a list of simple steps you can take to start building your community:
1 – Remember it’s not about you
It is very easy to fall into the trap that your Social Media should be all about you and your business, when in reality it really isn’t not about you at all. Every post you create is for your followers (or for those who are soon to press that follow button). Before you post, ask yourself “what can someone gain from this?”. Your followers should be either taught something, entertained or felt seen with each of your posts.
Of course, I’m not saying to not talk about yourself or your business – after all, the whole point is to sell your products. I am simply saying be very careful about how you phrase your posts. Mention your products and services, but bring the focus away from yourself and onto your followers.
2 – Don’t forget to be Social
Social Media isn’t just about having a good strategy in place and posting quality posts on a regular basis, it’s also about engaging with others. Community is a two way streets and people are more likely to want to support you if you have been supporting them.
Make sure you give yourself some time each week to engage with some posts. You need to be engaging with posts from different kinds of people. You need to be in your ideal client’s notification bar as much as possible, you need to support those who support you and you need to keep your followers up to date with news in your industry.
If Twitter is one of your platforms, don’t forget you use Lists. Find out more here.
3 – Join Networking Hours (Twitter specific)
If you’ve done any networking, you know how rewarding it can be – especially if you work from home and don’t have a team by your side!
Twitter Networking Hours are a great way to do some regular networking and to build up those vital relationship. Once you start looking for them, you will quickly find quite a lot. To join in, simply include the hashtag in your posts and comments.
Here are the two that I try to join each week:
#SMESupportHour - Every Wednesday at 8pm.
#NWalesHour - Every Thursday at 8pm.
4 – Join existing communities
Social Media is full of well established and supportive communities for small businesses to join!
On Facebook and LinkedIn, join some groups and be as active as possible. Share your own posts (while respecting the group rules) and interact with other posts as much as you can. For the women out there, I highly recommend the Network She Facebook group.
On Twitter, join some Spaces. At first join as a listener but don’t be afraid to ask to become a speaker if you think you add to the conversation. Meg Fenn hosts a really interesting Space every Monday at 4:30pm and always seems to get people involved.
Find out more about Twitter Spaces here.
5 – Social Media Audit
The biggest demotivator with Social Media is when you put the work in and don’t get any engagement whatsoever. Yes, it happens and posts do flop sometimes, the problem is when all or most of your posts are flopping.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference. With a Social Media Audit, I can help you make sure you’re on the track to build your community.
Find out more here.