As a marketer, you want your audience to trust and respect the products and services you're offering. An excellent way to do this is by fostering an authentic sense of togetherness with your existing customers — and then inviting new and potential customers into the circle.

Creating a brand-owned social media community is a lot easier than you think. How do you do it? With common sense and humanity. Begin with these key steps:

Encourage your team members to use their own individual social media presences and talk about the benefits of your products.

This way, your audience will get acquainted with them, see your brand with a human face, and grow comfortable with the messages your folks are putting forth to them. Let your customers DM, tweet and talk to your team members in real time, and factor in daily response windows so your employees can respond directly and in a friendly and welcoming manner.

Show gratitude.

When your community members contribute testimonials or advocate for you on social media platforms or your site, thank your audience for their patronage and loyalty and in your copy. Put your money where your mouth is by offering regular coupons, discounts, free items and other convenience-driven incentives to show the, how much their loyalty means to you.

When your customers share the fact that they received an incentive from your company, repost their message so other customers see you'll do the same for them.

Ask for the unvarnished truth.

Stress to your audience that, as happens within every group or family, constructive criticism can strengthen a relationship. Ask for their feedback actively and express your appreciation via personalized tweets or responses. Also, tell them clearly how you plan you use their input, whether your social media community is integrated into your website or is a separate entity unto itself.

Focus especially hard on customer service solutions to keep your community happy.

A study from Conversocial found that 54% prefer to use social media messaging avenues for their customer service needs, which is more than elect to use email or a company phone number.

The study also shows that 75% of people surveyed want a text response back within an hour; 43% of those folks think that a response under 10 minutes should happen, and 10% feel entitled to an answer instantly. Consumers are very impressed when a complaint or question they have is dealt with by a real live human.

Additionally, the survey showed that nearly 68% of respondents cited a positive customer service interaction as a reason they would seek to do business with a brand again. Providing prompt answers and actions builds unity quickly and intensively — make sure your customer service team is up to the task.

Monitor your progress with social media suites.

This way, data regarding your customers' experience with you can be easily checked for quality control, plus you can integrate your ad accounts over multiple social platforms. Warmth, capability and a sense of responsibility — that's how you build your community and keep it strong!