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I Built It, but They Haven’t Come

The excitement of bringing a new brand to life is almost unreal.  After getting clear on your vision, creating content, designing the elements of your brand, and setting up your social media accounts, you finally feel ready to share your message with the world.

Slowly but surely the months pass by after your launch, and the task of building a community around your brand begins to feel like an uphill battle. Perhaps you can relate.  Perhaps you’re wondering why your audience isn’t growing.  Or maybe you’re hearing crickets whenever you post so you aren’t sure if your content is as good as you thought.

I can remember it had been about a month since the launch of my blog, and I was staring at the homepage of my twitter account in confusion.  Why was it growing so slowly, and why was there hardly any interaction?

I thought that I had my bases covered.  I was tweeting high quality content throughout the day. Unfortunately, the small audience I had was barely responding and my account was barely growing.

I slowly realized my not so obvious mistake.  I was not interacting with my target audience.  My twitter page was simply a collection of my own content and nothing else.  I thought that if I built it, my target audience would naturally come.

Fast forward two years and now, as a social media strategist, I encounter this mistake all the time in my strategy sessions with my clients.  More often than not, they come to me expressing frustration that their efforts to build an engaged tribe have been futile.

Here’s the thing: When you are trying to cultivate community and expand the reach of your brand, there’s no such thing as build it and they will come.  In the beginning stages especially, it’s going to take a lot more energy and effort on your part to get your name out there. So what should you do to build your community?

  1. Be intentional about interacting

Intention is key to building a community that resonates with your brand.  Remember that social media networks were designed for us to actually be social by connecting with friends and discovering new people.  Yes, posting high quality content consistently is important, but it’s also important to designate time each day to following along with fresh faces. Keep the purpose of your brand in mind.  Who are you trying to serve? Interact with the people you discover online who match the profile of your ideal client or customer. Writing genuine comments on their social platforms is a great, authentic way of getting on their radar.

2. Share, share, share

Sharing is caring remember?  You don’t want to fall into the trap of only posting your own content (especially on Twitter).  Share content that has resonated with you so that your growing tribe can benefit too.  Is there an awesome blog or podcast that you can’t get enough of?  That’s a great way to start sharing the love.  As you share generously with your tribe, you’ll find that doors may be opened for relationships and collaborations.  You will reap what you sow.  If you generously spread the word about others’ valuable content, people will share your content too.

3. Reflect

Whether you choose to reflect weekly or monthly, it’s critical that you take time to step back from your community each month to get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t.  Is your audience responding to the more transparent posts?  Are quotes and quick tips attracting more engagement?  Have you identified a certain hashtag that is attracting your target audience?  The sooner you can identify what is resonating with your audience the better so that you can rinse and repeat.

Building a thriving, engaged community that loves your brand will take time, effort, and dedication.  Remember that even the most popular brands once started from zero.

Even though it may be tempting, try not to focus on the numbers.  Focus on creating an impact.  Share your heart and your truths with your audience.  Be committed to sharing value.  Your tribe will grow.  They’re counting on you to keep going.


Kendra is an organic social media strategist and co-founder of Humble & Whole. After growing a popular nursing blog and learning how to attract a targeted audience, she became passionate about helping bloggers and entrepreneurs find and build an engaged tribe with social media. Humble & Whole empowers bloggers and entrepreneurs to find and build an engaged tribe through organic social media strategy so that they can make a greater impact and create more income. Follow Humble and Whole on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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