What are some ways to build your community? Here are 18 tips.

Campaigns

One of the things I get asked all the time is how did your build your Mom-entum following so the following is some of the things I’ve done. It takes time and commitment, but it’s truly rewarding. I’m at Blogher right now writing this and it is amazing the kinds of relationships you can create through Twitter, a blog and a Facebook presence. Here are my thoughts:

1. Decide what your subject matter(s) are going to be and be consistent.

If you choose 2-3 topics and keep your content limited for the most part to those topics, your audience will begin to remember you for those subjects.

2. Send a personal response to new followers.
When someone first starts following you, it’s the equivalent of a date. They’ve taken the first step to say I think I like your content, you seem interesting and I’d like to get to know you better. It’s only fair to reciprocate.

3. Tweet often. Post daily on Facebook. Blog at least 3 times a week.
Don’t be afraid to tweet many times a day. Your tweets are about creating conversation and connections. Even when someone says to me “You tweet a lot” and I ask is it too much, they always respond with a “no.” And don’t worry about writing and posting blog articles every day. two to three times a week will be enough.

4. Create your own hashtag.
And then use that hashtag consistently over time. This will also help people to recognize over time. This will be important as you community starts to grow and become harder to follow everyone. For ages now, I’ve been using the hashtag #MILFF (Moms I Like 2 Follow Friday) and I use it to thank my community every Friday. It causes conversation and because I’ve been using it for quite some time now, members of the audience are starting to use it on their own. And based on feedback, I believe it makes the moms feel like they’re part of a club.

5. Be particular about who you follow.
Your audience should mirror your content. Don’t follow everyone. It’s not all about numbers; it’s about quality of the audience.

6. Don’t be a snob and follow only those with large numbers of followers.
I’ve watched early followers follower’s influence grow in a very short time. The ones you skip today can be the influencers of tomorrow.

7. Pay attention to the content you put up and the amount of engagement it receives.
Sounds like a “duh” but it’s important to give your audience more of what they want.

8. Learn the best time to tweet for your audience.
Different audiences have different behaviors.

9. Create lists.
Lists are helpful for categorizing your audience.

10. Don’t be afraid to be personal if you have a B-to-B audience as part of your community. Business people are consumers, too.

11. Include links to articles and things you find interesting.
But be sure to add a personal comment about the content you are sharing. Over time your audience, if they your comment/advice, will look to you for sage advice. And links have been proven to increase response.

12. Retweets are important for building your community.
Social is a two-way street. Retweets are ways to build relationships by saying “hey, I like your content.” And always remember to extend thank you to everyone who retweets you.

13. Clearly announce your content.
Words like “VIDEO, STUDY” help your audience easily identify the type of post you have created.

14. Have fun.
I played trivia and #WOTD (Word Of The Day). Others will see you and members of your audience having fun and want to join in.

15. Be yourself.
Don’t try to create someone online that is not who you are in real life. Just be yourself because eventually you will meet some of your audience in real life.

16. You have to commit.
Once you’ve decided to build a community, enter it knowing that you will have to stick with it. An engaged community takes nurturing and you can’t be there one day and drop off the radar and then expect the audience to stick with you.

17. Trade articles.
Every so often I will trade an article with a fellow blogger. It’s a great way to broaden your audience.

18. Ask twitter followers or fellow bloggers if they want to guest post.
Everyone wants to increase their social graph and broaden their audience through different topics. If your blog has a following, more often than not someone will want to offer up guest posting in the hopes of capturing some of your audience’s eyeballs.



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