Social Media Community Building 101: Get the Essentials Right

Everyone can use a great new idea for building engagement and growing online community, right?

How you build and grow your community will depend on the topic, niche or interest of your community. It’s no different here at Follr Communities, we are always interested in tips & techniques that will benefit our community, and our Communities.

In today’s video, SplashU gives you some of the basics to beginning an online community, building engagement and seeing growth. Be sure to be familiar and comfortable with the “etiquette” of social media, but we’ll have more on that in a future post.

As my friend Jeff Pulver often says “You live or die by your Database” which he has proven time and again. To have a successful online community start with your database. Send email to notify your network about your new Follr Community.

If you are a business get the by-in of your employees, who better to know and love your brand than the people who work with you?
Are you a hobbyist group, a non-profit, it’s just as simple, you already have the passionate members just encourage them to join in and interact in your new Community.

Be sure to get involved yourself, sometimes we get so caught up in building a community we forget that we are still a part of it. Lead by example as an essential part of community building.

Join or Build: What Do You Need from an Online Community?

A lot of people wonder why they would want an online community. There are really two questions in the single statement. Do you need a community as a member? Likely. Do you need to build a community as a leader? Perhaps.

There are a few simple ways to help determine whether you would benefit as a member of a community or if you are better off building a community to meet your needs.

Here are some quick tips to help you know which decision is the one you need to make. Join or Build?

If you can't find what you need, do you create the solution to the need? Build or Join an Online Community?

If you seek it, you will find it. Or will you?
What information are you searching for? As you pour through search engine results, digging deeper and deeper, not finding what you are seeking. When you do, is the information timely and relevant? Or just keyword purchases misdirecting you to something you have no use of?

If the information you need is beyond the first page of results, there need to be more relevant and reliable resources on the topic you are researching.

If you are seeking it, chances are thousands of others are as well.

Overwhelmed by Results!
Your search returns lots of information, more than you have time to sort and review. How do you determine which results are credible and which are not? Social proof, and word of mouth marketing experts, would say that now you will seek the advice of your own friends, forcing more time spent on research, still seeking information.

You choose a link. There may be ads, live updates, pop-ups, and more. The stimulation alone overloads your senses. Overwhelmed, you give up.

Taking the initiative.
You ultimately aren’t happy with the options you have been presented with. You are an “initiator” and ready to take action. The “initiators” are a group of people that have the spark, enthusiasm and the drive to take the words “I can do it! If I solve it, they will come!” and make them a reality!

This is the birth of a community. The topic, the focus, the need, isn’t important. You can insert any of those, or business vertical, local community, government (the list is limitless) and you will have a need for a community.

Building that community should be intuitive, simple, easy and quick. You shouldn’t need to “code”. You require a simple, yet elegant, platform which gives you a place to build a vibrant community forum.

A place that people will want to flock to and enjoy returning. You want your community to be discovered, so having it a part of a larger network is ideal, but you don’t want that parent network to control it’s visibility.

Before you know it your community will take on a life of it’s own, becoming the sought after resource just waiting to be discovered by someone like you.

You made a connection, and you might have changed a life. What Community will you build to make a difference?