Have you ever noticed that there are influencers on social media who mention an item and no sooner than they do it sells out? The cynical side of me believes there are certain people out there who could talk about how chic dust bunnies are and suddenly there'd be a host of people growing their own dust bunnies like they were chia pets.
But it takes a special personality, doesn't it?
Maybe when all business dealings were in-person. But now that a lot of them are online, it doesn't take an over-the-top personality to cultivate a tribe. In fact, you cannot only do it easily for yourself and your business, but the pandemic is the perfect time to start building your tribe if you don't already have one.
What Is a Tribe? Why Do You Need One?
If you have a lot of time on your hands--and you don't even need that much, it's a quick read--you need to look into the book on the topic by Seth Godin. But assuming you want the abbreviated version…
A tribe is your group of people that you have influence with.
A tribe is not a specific number of followers. A tribe is measured by level of activity. For instance, if you know a preteen on Instagram they may shout excitedly every time someone follows them or likes their picture. In fact, you may be surprised at the amount of emotional energy they can spend caring about an emoji. For most preteens, this is proof that someone likes them and they get validation from that. As a business owner, you should be past that type of ego enforcement. Instead, you want sales.
After all, likes aren't going to pay your rent.
So for you, a tribe is an active group of people who are interested in what you're posting and will act on suggestions you make. Tribes are the basis for influencer marketing. If you want more sales, you need to develop a tribe. When you do, they will help you with word of mouth marketing.
Ways to Build Your Tribe
COVID has prevented us from doing a lot of things recently. But hopefully what it has done has helped you become more engaged with your audience on social media. Ideally, you've used this time to start connecting with customers and potential customers. If not, here are a couple of ideas you could be doing to build your tribe:
If this type of advice sounds familiar it's probably because building a tribe for your business is similar to being a good friend. You want to be yourself and share the challenges and joys you have in life. Share your stories. Ask to hear theirs. These types of actions can have a very solidifying effect on your budding relationship. And a strong relationship will mean more revenue through word of mouth marketing in the future.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.
Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.