Your Social Media Community is like a garden.

Growing a loyal group of social media fans that want to hear what you have to say isn’t easy—just like growing tomatoes isn’t always easy.  I know, you hear about companies that have hundreds of fans ‘liking’ their page, following them on twitter virtually overnight.  But think about it—generally those are people who were fans before and they just discovered that their object of affection is someplace they can connect!

Success never happens overnight.  Let’s take Lady Gaga as an example.  Here is a woman who has been writing music and performing in small clubs for quite a while—she has worked hard to define herself, to get to heart of what will connect with people.

You may not be global like Lady Gaga, but you can develop a true connection with people who appreciate your product, your service, your contribution.

First, you need to know exactly what that (your contribution) is—what will connect the most successfully.  I’m talking about connecting the strengths and talents you already have with the people who value them.  A laser-like understanding of what those are is key to creating connection—there is absolutely no room for fuzziness here.

Second, lots of people need to know about you so the ones that will love you can find you.  Visibility!  Get out there—be in conversation, network online, participate, try and fail and try again.  This is just like it is in real life—at parties, bars, work events, the soccer field, the neighborhood, and at school.  If you stay at home (physically or metaphorically) no one will know you exist—so get out and play.

Third, be consistent in frequency, tone, location, message, and the experience you create for people.  If you are edgy, be edgy everywhere and every way.  If you are sweet, then be sweet all the time.  If you are helpful, then be helpful—I’m sure you get what I’m saying here.  People want to count on you for something (that was the contribution I mentioned above) so give it to them EVERY time.

Finally, stay in the game.  The platforms will change (yes, Facebook will someday not be as popular as it is now) and as long as you are still in conversation with your community, you will just move along to the next venue of participation.

This is like growing a garden: it takes time, focus, energy, consistency, nurturing, and persistence—and then you get the beautiful, ripe, luscious tomatoes you’ve been waiting for.

What are you finding that works to connect with community?  Share it here!

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