No matter how many subscribers you have, you should be fostering the community around your channel by engaging with your audience. The relationship you have with your audience functions the same as any friendship. The more you talk to them, the closer you’ll become.
Here are three ways every creator should connect with their community.
1. Talk to them on social media the same way you’d talk to your friends.
Oftentimes, celebrities use their verified check marks or high follower counts as an excuse to not interact with the majority of their followers on social media. They only reply to other celebrities, and they hardly ever interact with their fans. On the rare occasion they do interact with a fan, it becomes a huge deal to their entire audience.
While this strategy may work for high-profile actors and chart-topping pop stars, it’s no way to build an audience as an influencer. Your success depends on how many of your fans watch your videos and buy your merch, not what roles you get or songs you promote. Therefore, you should interact with your fans on social media the same way you’d interact with your real-life friends.
For example, if a follow tags you in an Instagram post, you should go like it or leave a comment. You can reply to their stories, retweet their fan art, and like their comments. You can even follow fans back and respond to DMs on occasion.
2. Go live so you can connect with your audience in real time.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to meet all of your viewers at live events. Unfortunately, due to distance, timing, and a million other factors outside of your control, you’ll never get to meet every single fan face-to-face. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with them in real time.
Go live on a regular basis. Having a set schedule will enable your viewers to make time to watch your streams. Likewise, it will show them how important their time is to you. It’s like scheduling time every week to see a close friend.
Additionally, you should go live on different platforms so that you can utilize their different features. For example, on YouTube Live, you can slow down the chat so you can read it more easily. On Instagram Live, you can add viewers to your stream as “guests,” allowing them to be on camera with you.
3. Utilize a crowdfunding platform to provide your biggest fans with exclusive content.
The more your fanbase grows, the more your audience will expect from you. However, as you continue to make bigger and better content, your core audience may begin to feel a little left behind. They might start to miss the way your content used to be or how much easier it was to get your attention back when your audience was smaller.
You can remedy this by creating a dedicated space for your most dedicated fans. Crowdfunding platforms such as Patreon or Channel Memberships make it easy to have a space on the internet only a portion of your audience can access. The paywall creates exclusivity, which makes the fans who sign up feel special.
You should use your crowdfunding platform as a place to share the more relaxed or expressive sides of your content. For example, you could do a live stream with a smaller audience, share a video diary, or upload an experimental video to see how they’ll react before putting it on your main channel. You’ll also be able to get to know these fans on a more personal level because you’ll have more interactions with them.
As a content creator, audience engagement is the key to your success. Connect with the community around your channel in as many different ways as you can.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.