Byte the Book - How Can You Build A Community Around Your Content

Abigail Barclay and Suzy Astbury from Inspired Search & Selection attended a brilliant Byte the Book last night held in their new venue for 2018, House of Barnabas. Here is their account of the night with highlights from the panel.

The panel was absolutely brilliant and chaired by a pro, Lysanne Currie (Journalist and Digital Strategist and Ex Group Editor and Head of Content Publishing at The Institute of Directors) who has an incredibly impressive resume and a wonderful chairing style. She welcomed panellists, Piers Torday (children’s book author), Laura Lindsay (Director of Global Communications at Lonely Planet) and Leena Normington (Senior Media Producer at Vintage Books and the brains, voice and face of YouTube channel JustKissMyFrog) We were treated to an expert panel of social media experts who spent the next hour sharing their top tips on how to build a community. The key messages were clear that you must be authentic and genuine, or you audience will smell a fake a mile off!


There was so much great advice given about building communities and we want to share that with a list of our favourites from the night! So here goes, deep breath!


  • Be genuine both online and offline:
    • Your audience will respond well to it and quickly sense if you’re not!
  • Don’t be afraid to be human:
    • Show the personal as well and the professional as your audience will be interested in the story behind your work, e.g. where you write or create, how you arrived at certain ideas.
  • Work out who your audience is:
    • Within the wide universe of the online world, your audience will be talking and interacting about similar things to your product or brand and discovering them and their tone of voice through these related topics will be a great way to get to know them.
  • Listen to the audience and share passions and thoughts with them:
    • What are they talking about and how can you join that conversation?
  • Use different channels to tell your story:
    • Instagram is a great vehicle to story tell, Twitter great for short, snappy conversations and Facebook really lends itself to video.
  • Share experiences:
    • And facilitate an online environment where your audience can share theirs
  • Be organised and build lists:
    • Different segments of your audience, hashtags to use, profiles like to you follow and expand your network.
  • Don’t be afraid to get involved in industry issues that are of interest to your network
    • Warning! Don’t then spoil this by telling a joke which is irrelevant to that community – this is where consistency will help.
  • If twitter doesn’t work for you, try Instagram and use that if it works better for you –
    • There is no set number of twitter followers that you need to be successful, it doesn’t work for everyone and if your brand or product is particularly visual then something like Instagram could be much better suited to you.
  • Show consistency through tone of voice:
    • This will ensure that your audience get a good ‘sense’ of who you are and what you’re about
  • Build on the positives:
    • If it’s working for you then carry on and don’t forget to share your good news stories!


The discussion also covered beating algorithms where a few tips were shared and how much we should be spending on Facebook paid for content and was rounded up beautifully by the panel giving their most important tips then for building a successful and engaged community;


  • Don’t switch personalities – keep your tone and message clear
  • Don’t under estimate your audience
  • Be authentic – people get very excited about authenticity
  • Be creative
  • Listen as much as you talk


Thank you Justine and the wonderful community at Byte! Was great to be there and listen to an inspiring panel, you have inspired us to connect with our audience today.