Developing a Social Media Program – Community Development (Step III)



Welcome back!

To those of you who have been following my blog series, Developing a Social Media Program.    If this is your first visit to my blog then you may wish to go back to the beginning before starting this post but as each article is designed to be standalone feel free to start here!  (The earlier posts will still be out there!)

In this post, I’ll define the third component of developing a social media program, Community Development.  This is the third of the eight posts I’ll be blogging about separately.

By now, you have decided on goals and objectives, which social media applications to use (including a blog), and how to use them to achieve these goals and objectives.  The social media identity has been normalized.

This article addresses the building of a community of interest with whom to interact.

Oddly, in talking with clients and others who wish to engage with social media, this topic seems the most daunting to many.  While I don’t wish to trivialize this component, it can be broken into tasks which if followed in a disciplined manner will produce results (I know, many of us flinch with ugly memories of grade school when “disciplined” is used, but trust me on this).

The following tasks will assist you in developing a community of interest across social media:


  1. Offer content relevant to the topic you’re covering.  Be original and add value.  Don’t go all over the map, stay on target.
  2. Identify and follow influencers and subject matter experts (SME).
  3. Engage in others’ discussions but only after a period of constructive listening.
  4. Start discussions and encourage others to participate.
  5. Be polite and respectful, avoid egregious behaviors, and don’t be the troll!
  6. Respond to comments in a timely manner, admit mistakes, and apologize when necessary.
  7. Share others’ work and be generous in giving credit.
  8. Develop a program with scheduled times to do these tasks.
  9. Follow your numbers but don’t be a slave to them.
  10. Use a social media management tool (i.e., Hootsuite)  to manage your social media apps.
  11. Where available, join groups or forums and participate genuinely.  (In other words, add value!)


Let’s recap.

You now have a plan of action drafted to grow a community of interest around our social media program.

At the end of the previous article, this social media program has incorporated a personal brand onto the apps and developed a common profile and enhanced for keyword searches.

With the first article, I discussed how goals and objectives influence the social media app choices available.  Then the importance of having a blog and the options available for setting one up were reviewed.

We now know what we want to do and how we’re going to do it.

But, a social media program is not a static event, a fire and forget activity.

In the next component, Social Media Integration, I will discuss how to cross-promote across your social media apps to ensure the maximum coverage across your followers.  We have built a platform and we have determined how to bring the audience in.  Next is ensuring that message is getting out.

There are eight steps summarizing how to initiate, maintain, and improve a social media program.  Each of these represents tasks and interim deliverables.  Third party tools are available to assist with these and enhance the social media app’s themselves.  This ongoing series in my blog will discuss these.

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.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

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