9 Questions You Must Answer to Grow a Vibrant Online Community

Social media conceptMany marketers jump on Social Media and expect instant results. They often see other business leaders seeing success and question why they aren’t experiencing the same results.

The truth is that although some Social Media marketers may make it look easy, chances are high that the ones that are driving real business results did not just get lucky. Many have been in the trenches for months and years doing research on their community, testing different methods to drive engagement, integrating social media into their business and list goes on.

Knowing who is in your community is key to success for any and all marketers.

It could be you are still in early growth stages of developing your community or you could be several years into leveraging social media to meet business goals. Regardless of the size of business, how many fans you have, or how long you have been doing marketing it is important to stop and reflect at times.  Let me help!

9  Questions You Must Answer to Grow a Vibrant Online Digital Community 

1. What are your goals and objectives?
Hopefully when you started using social media you set goals, objectives and a plan to attract, connect with and engage your target audience.

If you didn’t, well no better time than the present.  You must take time to plan and set goals for what you want to accomplish.

iphone-buffer-app-b2. Who is your target market?
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to clearly define your target market. Who do you want to connect with? Define the specific demographics of your target market. Who are they? How old are they? What specific industry or niche do they work in? What is the role they have in business?

Some call this "Buyer Persona".  Start with simply your top 3 audiences.  Then you can develop a marketing campaign for each that "speaks" directly to that persona.  You get better results from niche campaigns that connect, than from shotgun campaigns that simply spray buckshot generally.

3. What is the online behavior of your target market?
When are they online? What social network sites do they frequent and why? How often do they frequent them? Do they read blogs? Do they prefer video, podcasts, text or all of the above?

Do they use smart phones or do they prefer tablets?  Are they online over lunch, in the early morning, or in the evening?

4. What language does your ideal customer talk in?
What is the tone of their conversations? Are they more casual or formal?  Do they use slang? Do they use acronyms or will they be confused by them?  Do they talk the same language and in the same tone of which you have been speaking to them?

Hint:  Your campaign messages to them need to be in their "language!"

Check out the language of 20 Somethings...

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5. What problems does your target market have and how can you help them solve them?
What keeps your ideal customer up at night? How can you help them sleep better? How can you help them solve their problems?

6. What are the core benefits you offer to your ideal customer?
How can you help them drive higher efficiencies in their life or business? How can you help them achieve more?  How will they benefit in purchasing your products or services

7. What core benefits do you offer that are different than what your competitors offer or what they can get from replacement products or services?
What do you offer that is unique? How is your product or service more valuable than the others? What can you do to drive higher value in the eye of your ideal customer?

8. What can you offer your ideal customer for free to attract them to you and your brand?
One of the best things you can do to grow a community is to share your best content. Don’t hold back. What information can you share with them to help them meet their business or life goals? You can provide free blog posts, downloadable worksheets or white papers. You can offer training in the form of video, audio or a combination of both.  Want to grow your email list?  Giveaway some real value for them signing up!

9. How will you measure success?
It is imperative that you set goals and metrics for how you will measure results. How will you know if you were successful if you don’t know what successful looks like? Truth is you won’t.

Is it website traffic?  Is it engagement on posts?  Retweets or repins?  Is it the number of leads or new sign-ups to your email list?  Identify a few KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) to measure!

If you struggle with the answers to any of the above questions, try asking your community for answers. People love to answer questions.

If you don’t know what they want, ask them.  If you don’t know what problems they need solved, ask them. If you don’t know what keeps them up at night or how you can help them, ask them.

At the end, you'll have a much clearer picture of your "next doable step"!

Want a worksheet for this?

Download the 9 questions you must answer to grow a vibrant online community.

Thoughts on this?  Any areas that you would recommend adding?

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