When I first meet prospective clients, I ask them how many people are in their social media community.
Too often, they will proudly say that they have a couple of hundred first degree connections on LinkedIn.
(I love when their defensive reaction when they suspect I’m not impressed. It goes something along the lines of “Well, I only want a small quality list of close connections.”)
Or, they’ll have two or three hundred followers on Twitter and are quite pleased with themselves.
Folks, let me give it to you straight from the shoulder, these aren’t useful social media communities.
(Unless maybe, all you’re using it for is your Christmas card list.)
Step 3 of my 8 Step Approach for Developing a Social Media Program is Community Development.
I put it early in the approach because without an active, growing community, all your social media efforts are for naught!
(Also, please note that I call it “community”. That is the sum total of all your social media efforts. It’s one community! Don’t treat it like it’s the Balkans.)
Whatever your reason for being on social media, selling something, branding yourself, or looking for a job, you need a group of people to be working with, to interact with. This is your community.
You can do this in one of two ways.
A helter skelter, shotgun approach, or a disciplined, methodologized approach.
The latter takes time and effort.
Which do you think I’m going to advocate?
(If you select the first then please go back to my very first blog posting and read forward.)
That’s right, it’s the second one.
Why do you need a community?
You want people out there who already know you and trust you.
You want people who have longstanding relationships with you.
You want to be their “go to” guy or gal when they need help.
Most importantly, you want them there positively biased towards you when you need help!
It doesn’t happen over night.
Strangers won’t have that trust factor with you.
Each social media channel’s community is unique and has its own quirks.
Each needs to be treated differently.
But, you need to do it!
That’s it for now!
Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.