It’s a common buzzword in social media, as well as the real world. Very often, people looking to raise their public profile use local events as a way to network and build their status. Doing so, they use the term, “in community” when describing their activities that day. Anyone from an aspiring journalist, a politician, even salespeople – at some point or another, they can all be found in community getting their brand and message out to the general public using events within their community of choice. In terms of social media, the term is very similar to how it pertains to the world outside of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms.
That being said, is it possible for your business to be “in community” when dealing with the people you interact with on a regular basis? The short answer is, ‘absolutely!’ An social media community is made up of people who enjoy interests and use social media to collaborate and share ideas and opinions. When it comes to social media, you actually can cultivate your own community with engaging content and consistent messaging. You don’t necessarily need to be Mr. Rogers in your community, although it may not hurt to try.
When it comes to social community, there’s two ways to go about it.
1) You can join other communities online that welcome people from the same industry or share a common interest with the people who are interested in companies within your industry. Being active in these circles will do wonders for your brand in cultivating a strong brand through intelligent discussion and industry knowledge. For example, you can join associations on LinkedIn and have a dedicated employee (or outsourced social media manager) monitor the activity to see where your expertise may be needed.
2) You can build a great community using your own social media. You already have people interested in your product and service. Get them to be your ambassadors and take the conversations that may have taken place offline and bring them to your social platforms. The common interest can be stoked through the sharing of custom and curated content. After all, your social media pages can’t all be about you and your company. Think of it like being at a party. Would you want to talk to the person only talking about himself?
While it may seem like a confusing term or daunting task, a social community really mirrors what you would see in the real world. Just as a group of people who live in the same neighbourhood, share the same roads and public facilities, and even work in the same area have common interests, it’s the exact same for a social community. It’s a group of people who share a common interest and find themselves on the same social media spaces to discuss and stay active within it. After all, just as in real life, the most valuable members of the community are the people who give the most back to it. As it pertains to your business, that means becoming a prominent member by sharing knowledge, promotions and compelling content.