Finding your communities (for Newbies to Social Networks)

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Social media frenzy is pretty much alive and kicking, and it seems like everyone wants a pie of the action, particularly Twitter.

As an individual, motives behind using the likes of Twitter or Friendfeed are varied, ranging from Obama’s successful grassroots campaign for the lead up to his Presidency, to Demi Moore’s ass sharing pics (I’m not here to talk about that – sorry hommes, wrong post).

For those who are seriously considering the business benefits of the numerous communities that are out there, you need to first get one of those members to take notice of you.

A sloppy analogy to demonstrate this is your walking into a noisy pub where there are already groups of people already chatting about stuff that are of interest to that group. What are some useful tactics that might help you enter their conversations with minimal disruption?

1a. Hook yourself in with someone you know

Bringing yourself into any conversation is easily done if you know someone wh’o’s already entrenched in that conversation. Referrals exposes your alias to the rest of your connection’s community and gives you a chance of being followed.

1b. Hook yourself in with someone with a large follow base

The same effect takes place in Twitter: by starting repoire with @christinelu and @servantofchaos, I was either referred to other community members, who in turn had their own community see my Tweets and profile – the first step to growing your community.

2. Create your own niche

Being all things to all people doesn’t work, particularly in the social media space.  Social networks such as Twitter give you an opportunity to set up your own ‘alias’ or social identity as well as a short profile of your interests. Mine is here. Twitterers typically view your posts as well as your profile so that they can validate on whether following  you is worthwhile.

If you intend to set up a shared, corporate account, that is possible as well. There are plenty of corporate Twitter accounts out there as well. The likes of Dell and Microsoft are actively on Twitter, sharing info about their company and responding to feedback.

Users who don’t take time with writing a profile signals ‘I don’t care’ to the rest of the market.

3.  Choose the conversation/s that interest you most

The conversations that you choose should be consistent with what your profile is about. Twitter has a nifty real time search function that allows you to do just that. For example, entering, ‘social media’ will give you all the latest posts that have these combined words mentioned. You can then use this to sift through the relevant contributors and follow, create conversations and repoire with those selected few.

4.  Keep the talk up

Unfortunately the hard work begins here. To benefit from your Twitter community, you need to put in 3 times as much as what you get out of it. Unlike traditional communication channels, social media makes 2 way conversations easy to fulfil instantaneously which is a real benefit. The downside of this is that the person/s on the other side needs to see ongoing value with keeping you as a member of their community, pretty much in real time. Worse case scenario is that you get ‘unfollowed.’

There are some good guidelines on what and how you should Tweet, from my experience there are 4 key things to keep in mind..that’s for my next post on growing and nuturing your online community..

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