Micro-influencers, micro-moments, micro-content, and micro communities. “Micro” has quickly become a macro topic in social media marketing, and for good reason. To break through the clutter as a brand, going smaller and narrowing your focus can often be the way to go big.
So, what is a micro community? It’s segments of your larger audience that share similar values, interests, views, or lifestyles. It’s a deep dive into the psychographics that make up your brand’s community, and it could be the key to unlocking exponential brand love.
Social is a direct line to your consumers, where real-time feedback is not just a possibility but readily provided by eager fans. By approaching your current audience with the following steps, you can start identifying your micro communities and understanding how you can provide value to them.
1. Follow Your Followers
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to click that follow button, but it does mean that you should be
looking for trends in the posts and Stories your brand gets tagged in. Identify what other hashtags fans are using
when they include your brand’s hashtag, what other brands your fans are talking about, and the values your fans hold by the lifestyles they are living. What do their captions say? When and where are they using your product?
Look at the profiles of people who tag you, people who comment on your posts, and brands your fans are talking about. Chances are, you’ll find a thread or two that runs through these, and it could inform new content pillars, partnerships, or even products.
AirBnb and Blue Apron identified that their customers value both experiences and discovery – from new destinations to new ingredients and recipes. They used this data to inform a recent partnership that brings global culinary experiences to home cooking.
Chefs from AirBnB’s host cities created 6 weeks of meal kit recipes inspired by the cultural traditions of the destinations, allowing Blue Apron customers to experience a world tour of taste without having to wait for the next time they boarded a plane.
2. Mutual Friends
Are there influencers organically posting about your brand? Since influencers are earning an income through sponsored posts, they’re selective about the content they share organically.
If there are people with large audiences talking about your brand, it’s something that they think their community would also enjoy. Look at the influencer’s niche and their engaged followers to identify their shared interests that likely form a micro community that your brand could tap into.
3. Simply Ask Them
With your fans at your fingertips, what better way to identify a micro community than simply asking them about themselves? Integrations like Instagram Story polls, questions, and emoji sliders make it possible to get this information quickly and incredibly easily. These interactive platform features have turned social feeds into modern-day focus groups where you can use an open-ended “ask us anything” method, or get specific.
Where should you open your next store-front? Which pattern should be included in your spring line? What other ingredients do they mix your product with? Get creative in how you present these questions, and you’ll be able to pinpoint other interests your community has in no time.
4. Platform (Differentiation) Makes Perfect
With the user demographic split from platform-to-platform, there’s an opportunity to identify micro communities simply by understanding who your biggest demo is on each platform.
Do fan comments reflect the same interests or concerns across Twitter and Facebook? Is there a difference in the ages or geographic locations of your fans across Instagram and Pinterest? Are you not on YouTube or Reddit when your fans are?
Identifying your audience’s key demographic differences between platforms will shine a light on the content you need to be sharing in order for these micro communities to connect with your brand on a deeper level.
5. It Truly Goes Down in the DMs
Dark social: the dramatically coined term for interactions that happen through direct messages. If someone is taking the time to send your brand a message or respond to your Story, they value your brand’s place in their life. They want to feel connected beyond the tactile use of your offering.
Whether that feedback is negative or positive, it’s important feedback to understand what your community cares about. Are they requesting your brand in a location that it’s not available? Are they asking if you’re planning on making X product in the future? Were they disappointed by your messaging in a TV spot? Did they figure out a creative use for your product?
These 1-to-1 interactions are arguably the most important part of building brand loyalty, and if you’re not engaging in dark social, it’s time to see the light.
6. Connect the Dots
If you’re attempting to break into these smaller circles, it’s essential to provide value. It’s painfully obvious when a brand doesn’t take the time to understand the community they are trying to reach and, in turn, become an intruder rather than a valued member.
Micro communities have the potential to inform an experiential activation, a Facebook group, a niche hashtag, a brand podcast, a new flavor, a new color, or simply how you’re messaging across platforms. Most importantly, it’s not just about connecting people to your brand but rather about connecting people to each other.
Go micro or go home.
Want to learn more about micro communities and other ways to tap into culture on social? Check out our latest issue of Trend Tap where we spotlight companies that have gained true culture vision and leveraged it to seamlessly join cultural conversations.