How Difficult Is It to Build an Online Community on Social Media Today?

Once upon a time, building an online community seemed relatively simple.

You’d select a social media channel or start a blog, work at it assiduously, and voila, you’d have a following which might even have made a little money for you.

Alas, those easy money salad days are long gone!

What happened and what can you do about it?

Let’s talk about that! 

First off, the online world is a lot more complicated than it used to be.

From a limited number of social media channels with just a few features, we’ve blossomed into a lot more of both.

I cite the recent launch of Clubhouse which is a voice only social media channel that other players like Twitter and LinkedIn are scrambling to emulate.

The Metaverse is becoming fragmented, trying to cover all bases becomes exhausting and expensive.

Next, there’s the deteriorating quality of the online conversation.

Spam, the influx of many online who are merely trolls, and poor community management due to increasing volume are to blame here.

Finally, the increasing polarization of society, particularly in the US, also contributes to the difficulties of growing online social media communities. 

The 2016 US Presidential election was IMHO the tipping point here.

Big Tech has been in a downward slide in the US since then.

Adding to its problems, Big Tech is now expected by some to be a gatekeeper/censor of online content.

Legal changes are being considered by the US Congress which would change the face of social media. 

The net result of this has been increasingly acrimonious discussions online. 

Some so bad that I personally know of people who have left social media because of it.

Building online communities is rather difficult when everyone is squabbling and the moderates are fleeing for the exits. 

The other conditions mentioned above don’t help either.

What’s to be done?

Unfortunately, I don’t have silver bullet here.

I don’t think anyone does.

But, I will repeat the two mantras that I’ve been espousing since I started this blog.

Effective content and engagement strategies are still the way to go.

I personally believe that the current fracas will pass, it has too.

When sensibility and moderation, if for no other reason than from sheer exhaustion, then those who have stuck to well thought out content and genuine engagement will be the winners.

History is on  our side! 

That’s it for now!

Please check out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program for more ideas on how to use social media.

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.

And, remember!

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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