How To Find the Right Digital Community To Bolster Your Business

Written by guest blogger Pierre DeBois

Finding a community to connect with people can seem a challenge. Doing it digitally, despite the practice of working and communicate remote that has been adopted during the pandemic, can seem especially challenging.

What you actually are attempting to do is to find a group in which networking is as effective online as it would be in person. That quality can be difficult to identify especially as people begin to reconnect post pandemic. Groups break up, often not sharing all the reasons – which likely signals some drama or changing group dynamics that can hamper a richer connection. But there are several steps you can take to find the right digital community to bolster your networking objectives.

The first step is to plan your presence around your topic of interest. You should make a list of subjects related to your business, nonprofit organization, or your creative project such as a book. Planning topics allows you to plan your conversation. The result is placing your product or service front and center in the minds of the people that you’re meeting, giving a starting point for researching your product or service later.

The topics you choose does not necessarily have to be directly related to your market. You can pick ancillary topics that relate to your service or product as a natural way to build on a conversation. So for example if you are offering a car ride service then your topic tangential to your business can also include cars in general: Transportation, infrastructure, daily traffic, and, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lifestyle changes people experienced.

Your next step is to research the platforms that host your intended community or audience. There are plenty of ways to do this. You can simply Google your topic as well as search on social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok. You can also look at trends in demographics as well. Pew Institute, for example, offers a number of research studies that examines political, social and economic shifts in demographics. That could be a great starting point for understanding the “whys” behind consumer decisions and market reactions that are influencing online behavior.

Keep in mind that if you look at a given industry study you should also look at who authored the study – some studies are commercialized and can be a bit biased in making conclusions sound more than it actually is. Some studies are so commercialized that they can give you misinformation or misreads. For example, if you’re offering a product that is a multi level marketing then a company that is a multi level marketer will just give you the sunny pros without all the cons of using that figure product or service. Always be ready to consider more than one study if supporting information is widely available.

A third step is to join a virtual room in Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces to attract your audience. Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are live audio social media. The virtual chat rooms in each format are designed to allow host and audiences to talk on whatever topics they like. They are extremely popular given the shift in daily behavior from the COVID-19 pandemic. People want to stay connected. So it becomes important to develop a time to research and invest in Clubhouse rooms or Twitter Spaces to learn how to not only network but also to be able to take advantage of learning who is out there digitally or you could connect with and follow along and interact with.

The fourth step is to research group profiles that appear on a Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, or other online platforms such as Meetups. All these platforms have become very popular during the pandemic — alongside Zoom — as a way to connect virtually while the pandemic limited or eliminated the ability to meet. Groups profiles offer guidance on the topics covered and the level of activity that is maintained. Given the disruption of the pandemic pictures from two or three years ago where groups are physically gain together may feel outdated. But such pictures can also tell you this size and potential scale of networking opportunities as well as give an inkling that they are very well organized.

The fifth step is to develop consistent messaging on your social media platforms and from your profiles. It takes time for people to discover who you are follow up and trust you enough to eventually to do business. So make sure you are using your messaging as reminders of you, your topic, and also as a follow up beyond the initial Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Meetup introductions.

Finally have a good system for capturing the result of how you communicate. If you’re using Twitter spaces and find that you’re tweeting or using direct

messaging, you may want to have those discussions bookmarked (or at least take notes). You can bookmark a Twitter thread or follow along in Hootsuite, a platform deck that allows you to see or view different streams in social media. If you use email you may want to have a dedicated folder in your email client to be able to capture further communication.

Following these steps can help you develop a presence that can extend how you network effectively. Developing the most effective network can keep you moving forward in reaching people and put your entrepreneurial dreams a step closer to reality.

About the Guest Blogger:

Pierre Debois is CEO of Zimana Analytics.

Pierre Debois is CEO of Zimana LLC. A digital marketing analytics consultancy. Have your data reviewed and gain a marketing strategy for your business. He is a contributor to the business books “The Entrepreneur Within You” and “Faith, Failure, Success”.

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