So as many of you know the creation of SteamFeed.com was based on the intrusion of what have become known as “fauxperts” into the social space. A lot of information has been shared by the SteamFeed authors about what NOT to do when building a social media community. I thought it might be a good idea to take some time and discuss some things you CAN do to build that community. Keep in mind that there are some common fundamental goals and outcomes that you are trying to achieve. However, how you get the results can vary greatly. Of course the use of a credit card in purchasing followers, friends, seeds etc is not something you want to pursue. Lets look at some alternatives.
There is a reason that it is called “social” media. It is not referred to as wallflower, or shy media. The first and most important part of this endeavor is to be social. Common sense dictates obvious stuff, engage and involve yourself with your community. Example, if you post something like, ” just had a chicken taco at so and so taco place, which is your favorite taco? Chicken, fish, beef, pork?” Be there to engage with your community as they answer your question. Try this, go to a party, ask the group of folks you are with a question, and then just walk away showing no interest in their answers. Think you’ll be invited back? It’s the same with social media – be there, be interested, be involved. *Just a note at this point, be aware that this takes time – time out of your day to day, time to build your community.
Some tools to get the job done.
Here is where things are more to a personal preference. Keep in mind that ones choices here should revolve around results, and with any luck enjoyment. I say enjoyment solely because any activity if perceived as fun, will not be approached as “work”, but that is purely an extra added bonus if achieved. You have a lot of options here. Let’s name a few, and see what strikes your fancy.
1. Some Platforms
Of course there is FaceBook and Twitter, probably the best known engagement avenues, but what about LinkedIn, Pinterest, G+, Scoop.it, Storify, Youtube, Quora, Twylah, Rebelmouse, Instagram, Path, Stumbleupon etc, etc, etc. Really this particular list can go on forever depending on your interests. Whatever platform you choose, go all in. FB, Twitter and LinkedIn all offer wonderful opportunity to take engagement to the next level by joining in chats or discussions related to specific topics. These pinpoint topic directed sessions gives one a wonderful opportunity to make friends, and share information with folks with similar interests. Wherever there is an option to “follow”, take the time to seek out like minded people and follow them, as well as interact with them.
2. What about a blog?
Another great way to increase interactivity in a community is to start a blog. Not everyone is an award winning author, but that is not necessarily your goal in blogging. Write about your interests, write from your heart, and don’t be afraid to let people know who you are out in your blog posts. Blogging is not solely about outbound information. You can write wonderful, moving blogs, and not get the desired results if you don’t engage others in your bogging community. Remember you are building a community, that will mean reading other blogs, and commenting on those blogs. By commenting I am not referring to “nice blog, thanks.” I am talking a heartfelt, honest response to the post. Whatever platform you choose for your blog – Posterous, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr etc. – they all offer opportunity to follow other bloggers, and a chance to build a community. Take those opportunities.
Don’t like to write, what about a podcast – all you need to do for that is talk. Options are a plenty in this arena as well. Whether it be a recorded or live event there are numerous options for podcast platforms. How effective do you think asking a colleague or friend to be a guest on your podcast is going to be? What a cool way to meet new folks, and get to know friends better. Once again a perfect opportunity to build a community by sharing experience, ideas, and knowledge. That word, “sharing”, it comes up a lot in social media.
Clearly there are numerous ways to build that social media community without the use of a credit card. No matter which one or ones you choose. The common ingredient is going to be involvement, engagement, interaction, whatever you want to call it, you need to be present. Forget about the numbers and concentrate on the engagement. If you put the work in, you will get the results. After all, when you went to college you didn’t get a diploma after the first day simply for signing up for classes. It took a lot of hard work, same thing here folks. Be involved with your community, be a friend, be social.
What advice would you give to someone trying to build up their community? Please leave a comment below!