What is your biggest driver when it comes to growing a social media account? To have a lot of followers? To get a lot of likes? Or maybe to have the best looking pictures? In terms of value for yourself and others none of these things really matter! The only thing that really matters and the thing that will lead to success and fulfilment you can only dream of is COMMUNITY. And in order to build a loyal community you need to establish a connection with them. But how do you do that if you are just “a person behind the screen” for them, someone they have never met in real life?
We know it’s frustrating if your posts don’t get any engagement, you don’t receive any answers on your question box and the only people that really reach out to you are the people close to you. It can be very discouraging and sometimes it may feel like you’re just talking to a wall. But don’t worry, this is how it starts for everyone. We want to help you change the game and build a connection with your audience that brings real joy.
Before sharing some tips about building a connection with your audience you should reflect on yourself first. Why do you think it is that you haven’t been able to connect with them? Are you maybe not consistent enough? Or maybe you are too focused on creating content to become an authority that you are forgetting the basis of all communication: building a relationship.
It’s important that you don’t forget what you are doing this for, what your vision is and most importantly why your content is worth the attention. Authority is something you will achieve after proving to your audience that you know what you are talking about and that you care about giving them value.
Now, even though there is no “one-size-fits-all” way to connect with people, there are 5 crucial steps that will help you push forward in building a relationship with your followers. So let’s take a look.
Be genuine and vulnerable
There is so much content pushed out daily on Instagram that it can be hard to cut through the noise. Instagram has become a very popular social media platform with millions of people sharing content, which is why it’s more important than ever to be genuine and creative with content you share. Otherwise it will be hard to build a strong community that really loves what you do. It will be easier to establish a connection with your audience if they can resonate with the content you share. And even if you think, “nobody knows how I feel” or “nobody has gone through this”, you can be sure that the probability is higher that others have experienced something similar than the probability that you are alone. Making a genuine statement with the content you share can lead to more success than trying to fit into the expectations of the mass.
Perhaps one of the most important ways to connect with your audience is to be ready to interact, at all times. The faster you respond and the more you use the opportunity to engage, the better. Making yourself available to your community is a form of showing they are a priority for you. The attention you provide shows how much you care, like with anything in life. IG stories can be a great way to interact with your audience, you can use swipe ups, polls, question and answer boxes. And never forget to answer all your DMs and comments. Even though we get thousands of comments under our pictures and hundreds of messages every day we still take the time to answer every single one of them or at least we try our best. And I think this has been a big part of why we have been able to come so far.
Use the right words
On Instagram the conversations are more “direct” and “straightforward” than the type of sugarcoating you might have in real life. Perhaps it's because you don’t necessarily see the person across from you or simply because you have a limited amount of time and characters to express yourself. That’s why it’s super important for you to think about what you say and how it will come across online, especially if you are just getting started with building your community. Followers can feel attacked faster and have no problems in voicing their opinion. As long as your followers don’t know you too well you should be careful with what you say and make sure that you express yourself clearly. Of course we want you to stay true to yourself and your beliefs but just make sure that you don’t leave room for misinterpretation.
The greatest strategy to connect with people is to share stories. “Storytelling” is what makes narratives spread. It's in our human nature of communicating. We can memorize stories better than anything else. Storytelling also means listening. Try to understand what your audience is going through and what touches them in order to amplify your message and connect. Your stories should always have a beginning, middle and end. Don’t jump from topic to topic and leave blanks in your day. Your followers will be confused and lose interest in what you have to say, simply because they feel left out or because they can’t keep up. If you want to learn more about this topic check out our blog post on good storytelling!
Tell your story
Lastly you should also be telling YOUR story. In addition to building narratives on topics in your niche, take some time in telling your own story. Let your followers get to know you - the real you. People are drawn to connect with stories; we have been since our childhood! It’s no wonder why your parents used to read bedtime stories to you! Take advantage of this and tell your community more about you; where you came from, what you enjoy in life but also what you dislike. Show that you also make mistakes and that you also have things to learn. It’ll allow your audience to identify with you.
And that sums up the 5 most important steps to build a connection with your audience. None of these steps are hard to master, as a matter of fact they are already so simple that they are often looked over. But you will see that by following them your community will grow closer day by day. Give it a try and stay consistent - you’ll see that it will pay off soon.