If you are a business owner or even an ambitious employee, being on social media is no longer optional. However, if you want to truly build your network, maximize your time and see a return on the relationships created on social media, it’s time to join the party… in social media communities.
Is there a difference between a chat and a community? Some say yes and some say no, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you make connections with people and that you participate in conversations that provide value to the people that you connect with. This is one of the best ways to increase that know, like and trust factor that helps your audience to believe in you enough to hire or recommend you.
Tweet chats are typically held once a week or once a month and are defined by a certain topic of conversation or group of people. For instance, #collegecash is a weekly chat run by Jodi Okun, held on Thursday nights at 7pm PST and is a great resource parents who have children that are college aged. Jodi may be a college financial aid adviser, but the College Cash chat isn’t always focused on financial aid because that would not provide the environment for continuous engaged conversations or the interest to come back again each week for new information.
The goal of any chat or community is to grow and raise awareness for the brand, but the cool thing about communities that are done well is that active members of the community benefit from increased exposure as well. When a chat is on-going and the same people come back week after week, this provides the basis for a powerful social media community.
Some communities on social media are interwoven across multiple platforms, which means that they aren’t just a weekly Tweet chat, but they also have places for interaction on platforms like Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Empire Avenue, Tumblr, etc. Sometimes there is more engagement in a community on Facebook than on Twitter. OMG Wine is a great example of a very popular Facebook community that is only on one platform, while Friends of Ricki is a social television community that is part of the new Ricki Lake Show and is very interactive on many platforms.
In the video above, you will find some basic information about social media communities, but the biggest take away is that communities on social media are there for you to jump into, try on for size and leverage for growth. No invitation needed. If you like the people you meet and your time spent engaging with the content and people in a community inspires, empowers and connects you with your WHY, then you have found a community that suits you.
Social media communities are fast becoming another business essential to not only participate in, but to cultivate for your audience. As your business and audience grows, there may come a time when you want to organize a Tweet chat or start curating content on other social media platforms. When this time comes, just make sure that you create a plan, like a marketing plan, that helps you to set goals, track your progress and stay on target toward increased brand visibility, client loyalty and revenue generation (or whatever your ultimate goal is).
Have you found a community on social media that you love or that you would like to invite others to experience? Do you have any tips for getting started in a community? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and have a wonderful day!