Four Ways to Build Relationships with Your Community

Yesterday I had the pleasure to be a guest on Deirdre Breakenridge #PRStudChat.

To say it was fun would be an understatement. But most importantly it was great to be around so many PR rockstars such as Deirdre Breakenridge, Valerie Simon, Nicole Rodrigues, Sandra Fathi, and many more.

Along with Nicole Rodrigues and Sandra Fathi (the other two guests) we talked about how you can build relationships through content.

Building relationships with your community, audience, stakeholders, is the difference between a successful social brand and a promotional oriented one.

In this day and age, you have the chance to really get to know the people you are trying to reach. You have the chance to make a difference as a brand.

Why would you want to be an advertiser when you can serve people?

I know your brand needs the meet the bottom line. But when you listen to your audience, a funny thing happens: They start believing in your brand, becoming loyal, and spreading the word about it. They become your brand ambassadors.

Today I am going to focus on four ways brands can build relationships with their communities every single day.

How to Build Relationships with Your Community 

Invest in Your Content 

It all starts with your content.

The easiest way any brand can start building relationships with its audience, even if it’s starting from scratch, is through content.

That means sharing meaningful, helpful content your audience might find useful.

It also means creating content that answers your audience problems and struggles.

It means spending the time to find out what your audience cares about and work from there.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or are already an established brand, Mark Schaefer hits a sore spot when he says “Stop creating random acts of content.”

As much as you want to reach your audience and talk to them, you have to first have a strategy

When you decide to launch a new product or service you follow some steps: Research, strategy, promotion, etc.

The very same is valid for content creation.

Take the time to research what you audience wants and needs, listen to what they are talking about on social media, what questions they ask your customer service department, etc.

Build a PR content strategy around that and find ways to intertwine it with your business strategy.

Listen

This may come as no brainer, but you will be surprised to learn how many brands don’t actually take the time to listen to their audiences.

Make it your objective to actively listen to the people you’re trying to reach with your brand’s message.

Use the appropriate tools to learn what your audience is talking about.

Pay attention and take notes.

Do that every single day.

Engage

There is nothing more frustrating than a brand that does not engage or answers its community on social media.

The very definition of social media is being social.

You can’t create your brand’s profiles and leave them be, using them to only push content about your brand.

It does not work this way. And soon you’ll pay the price of inattention: People will stop being interested in your brand.

Engagement on social media is like attending a networking event. You don’t go there to only talk about you, you’re interested in meeting new people and what they have to say.

Stop spamming people and engage!

Put Them in the Spotlight 

Want to win your audience attention? Put them in the spotlight.

You can do that by featuring your community members, as well as influencers in your niche on your brand’s blog. This goes back to having a content strategy.

Share their content on your social media channels. Invite them to write content for your brand’s blog.

When you focus your attention on your community, everything else shifts.

They pay attention, they listen, they interact.

There are many ways to build relationships with your audience, but the bottom line is you have to show you care.

As simple as it may sound that’s where many brands fail.

Now I want to hear from you: What other tips do you have for building relationships with your audience?

And if you have the chance to participate on #PRStudChat, do it. You will learn a lot and you will connect with some of the smartest people.