In what many like to call the “new now,” social proof is often demonstrated or displayed by the number of online followers one has. But, I’m of the personal belief that while quantity is great, quality is much better. I often get asked how to build an online following organically, and to those requests I always emphasize the power of community above anything else.

But how does one do that in such a noisy world?

My latest piece for Black Enterprise, I talk about the 3 essential principles to building a quality online following…

social media; community

1. Focus on engagement and community, not vanity metrics. Conventional marketing and advertising ideology would have you believe that the more eyeballs you have on your website or your social channels, the better. And while more exposure and awareness of your brand or business are great, it’s not necessarily the most effective way to connect and convert.

I’d rather have 1,000 true fans and followers than 100,000 online lurkers on the margins.


Those 1,000 loyal fans are going to do a few things for you: (a) they’re going to read or listen to your content when you consistently create it (consistently being the operative word here); (b) they’re going to sing your praises and share what you’re doing with others; and (c) they’re going to eventually love you enough to buy what you’re selling (if you’re adding value).

Strive to develop what marketing guru Seth Godin calls a “tribe—a devoted group of people who will engage with you and grace you with their presence in your online community over and over again. So if that’s 100 people? Good. 1,000 people? Great. You can eventually build up to a tribe of 100,000 or even 1 million who are truly there engaging with you rather than merely sitting on what platform-building expert Michael Hyatt calls vanity metrics: followers who merely lurk on social channels or on your website.

To learn what else it takes to create a quality online following, read the rest of the article here!

What are you doing to build a quality online following?

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