In this connected world, is being an online recluse an option anymore? For Week 2 of #MyFriendAlexa, we discuss the all important topic of community building.

How many internet users can you tap to be a part of your community?

Many users are online but hidden. They read content, but do not comment or share. Nor do they reveal any information about themselves. They observe and absorb but do not participate. These are the online recluses or the passive users who make up a whopping 90% of all internet users.

The 1/9/90 rule of internet culture posits that on a social media network, only 1 percent of users will actively create content. These are the power users of the internet. Another 9 percent will participate by commenting, rating or sharing the content. These are the content contributors and their activity is quite visible. The other 90 percent watch, look and read without responding. These are the undetected users and they remain hidden unless you use analytics.

Community Building: ways to connect

Community Building

In this digital era, the social media platforms and tools have an immense potential for branding, to position oneself as a thought leader.

The internet gives the opportunity to have a diverse range of contacts than is possible in real life. It is easier to look for information in online forums and hence easier to provide expert guidance in the area of your expertise. In fact, internet provides the support of networks all over the world and helps in building a community that is loyal. Can you really afford to ignore the large, vibrant online community that gives so much opportunity to connect and grow?

Create content that connects and builds a community

Good quality content on your website is always the first step to inform, connect, get repeat visitors taking you towards thought leadership. On a social media platform, map out your ideal reader aimed at helping them. Step out of your comfort zone and find ways in which you can help. Once your content clicks, the passive users would be moved to become content contributors ultimately becoming part of your community.

Powerful ways to deepen community relationships

Deeper connections can be forged in very similar ways, offline and offline. See what works in your relationships – being open, being helpful, being grateful, letting your guard down sometimes to reveal the authentic you. Do the same things online – be genuine, credit your sources, help others solve a specific problem, say thanks when you find useful content by acknowledging and sharing and develop your unique voice. Above everything, empower your online community so that they look up to you as a thought leader.

Make it easy for others to connect with you

Opportunities grow naturally out of your reputation for good content and meaningful symbiotic relationships. Once your content is in place and doing wonders, focus on your community building.

On your website treat the contact page as sacred territory. Update your bio to reflect what you are doing currently. Talk about your accomplishments, show off testimonials from people you have worked with. Include the links of all your social media accounts so that people know exactly where to find you. Your target audience may be scattered over many platforms and people will follow you where they most feel comfortable.

Connect with the internet stars

You have your own loyal tribe but you want to connect with influencers in your niche. Use the social network to build relationships that power your marketing. The advantages could be shares, links, traffic, higher rankings and public mentions.

Use advanced search tools to find people who talk about the same things you do, only they have been at it longer and have a larger audience. Engage in social media listening to know more about their content and strategy before making contact. Create lists of influencers so that you engage with them on a regular basis.

And last but not the least, keep at it! Stay consistent and true to your voice and content.

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