Creating Community on Digital

Brian Curee

Are you ready to go BIGGER? To reach more people and include more platforms in your digital strategy? Bigger is always better, right? With all the options available today, the possibilities are endless, but is growing your audience the next right move? Today, we’re going to explore creating a digital sense of belonging within the platforms you’re currently using. 

Do More People Equal More Connections?

We’re going to use the idea of a fishbowl to illustrate some important ideas today. When you picture a fishbowl, you might think about the fact that a fishbowl is not very big…it’s not an aquarium- there’s not a lot of space for a bunch of fish. You could compare a fishbowl to a village as opposed to a city. Even though a city has more people, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are more connections. 

Lately when I’ve been talking to you awesome radio industry friends, I can see you’ve got this drive to grow bigger, to reach more people…you want to take over the world with your frequencies. You’re no longer limited to what your towers can do since social media came out, since you launched a website, since you’ve had an app developed. You’re no longer limited to your local community. That seems like a great thing at first glance, and I know you’ve got the best of intentions, but let’s think a little deeper into it. 

What If We Tried Walking Instead of Running

One of the things we always hear from people working in the digital field is how overwhelmed and busy they are. Why is that? Maybe it’s because you’re constantly trying to keep up with the changes to the algorithm, the new platforms or trends, the standards someone else is pressuring you to live up to. Maybe it’s because you don’t feel like you’re doing enough, you’re not good enough. Maybe it’s because you’re a one-person digital team and you’ve got to do it all. A friend shared a video, Godspeed, with me recently, and one of the things the makers point out is that if we keep running, we’re going to miss things. You can watch the video below, if you’d like.

I want you to think about this question for a moment before you go on reading: what is at risk when you try to go bigger than your fishbowl- your local community? Going bigger isn’t bad, but maybe going bigger isn’t best. As a marketing company, we want to help you reach more people, but it’s important you reach the right people, the people who need you, and that you build relationships with those people. You don’t have to go bigger to make a powerful difference in people’s lives. Building a strong foundation with the people already following you paves the way for meaningful growth as it happens. 

Remember in Episode 1 of the Rethink Digital Podcast, when we talked about getting to know people by name? When someone mentions you by name, it means something. In a village, people know each other, they do life together. In the video I mentioned above, some of the people who’ve lived in this little village in Scotland have lived there for over 80 years. There was a person they interviewed who knew everyone’s name and their stories- their hardships and their good times- he knew it all from memory. Those are the kinds of people who are trusted, who we want to be friends with, but if we get more focused on growing and expanding beyond our fishbowls, will we risk losing relationships with the people that have always trusted us? 

What If You Simplified to Super Serve On Digital

Don’t lose focus of the local community you’ve been blessed to serve. If you’re used to following what everyone else is doing on digital platforms, give yourself permission to venture off the beaten path. It’s ok to experiment with your approach as long as you stay true to your purpose and your why. Try focusing and simplifying to give yourself the margin to really connect with your audience. This comes back to (you guessed it!) engagement. We have to remember that the people who are following us and taking time out of their day to write comments have names- they’re not just a number. When you slow down and get to know the people you already have following you, you’ll create a sense of belonging. When people feel they belong, they’ll become your biggest marketing asset, which is people who tell other people about how great you are! As you get to know people, their stories, and what they need, you’ll be able to create content that will make a difference in people’s lives- you’ll see the ways you can super serve the people who have put their trust in you. That’s why you’re doing what you’re doing, right? 

Become a Better Listener on Social Media

When you respond to someone’s comment, it means something. It means way more than you can probably imagine. When you’re busy and just trying to tick “engagement” off your to-do list, try to think about the people on the other side of those computer screens, on the other side of the social feeds. We’re not here to give people good advice, we’re here to be a part of their life. If you don’t get to know people by name, there’s no relationship, and if there’s no relationship, there’s no trust, there’s no brand loyalty, there’s no connection.

What If “Best Practices” Is “Not Best”

Learning “best practices” is not always the best path for you. Finding out what other people have deemed best practices on digital are great for using as a blueprint to get started, but those ideas and methods are not always what your followers want, need, or respond to. Many times, the term “best practices” is referring to what will get you ahead according to the algorithm, but I think we’ve all realized recently that we can’t keep chasing that elusive dragon. Experiment and find out what resonates with your audience- what is getting the result you’re looking for- conversation, connection, life-change. There is no short-cut to real community. You have to put in the time and the care people are looking for. 

3 KillerB Thoughts

  • Being overwhelmed and overworked, running from one thing to the next, can cause you to miss things. Really think about what you can simplify or drop altogether to help you slow down and build connections with your audience. 
  • Give yourself permission to take the path less traveled. 
  • You don’t have to go bigger to make a powerful difference in people’s lives. Connecting with the audience you have now will build a strong foundation and pave the way for growth as it happens. 

If this sounds great to you, but you can’t wrap your head around how to get there from where you are now, schedule a 30-minute session with our KILLER team and let’s talk about how you can get started building a community online. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment