The 3 Stages of Building a Social Media Community

Hootsuite continues to be not only an invaluable tool for managing social media, they provide education on so many different levels. From the basic how to use the program to more in-depth articles on engaging customers, building a brand and how build a terrific following.

I just finished reading and watching a presentation, ‘The 3 Stages of Building a Social Media Community’ by Evan LePage a Hootsuite Author.

Stage 1: Building a Foundation for Social Media Community A foundation is critical to any enterprise whether you are building a life, a house or an online presence. This could be easy to miss for someone building a social media presence. The temptation could be to just put posts and pictures and leave it to marinate.

But, Evan pointed out that, ‘The foundation of social media community is built on two-way communication.”

One-way communication is no communication at all. 
All interactions such as follows and retweets on Twitter or comments in Facebook need to be acted on swift and positively. That is a key to building any relationship and is the backbone of a strong community.

Stage 2: A Growing Social Media Community is what everyone wants, but less of those are willing to do the work, often signing the elbow grease away to strange computers for $29.95 a month. That may gain you a truckload of uninvolved followers, but what we want is engagement.

The reality is, not all followers are created equal. The reason you shouldn’t simply go buy 100 followers is because they likely won’t be engaged or get involved in your community, and they might not even be real. Earning 10 engaged followers yourself is a far more valuable use of your time.

You build an online community the same way you build a flesh and blood community, one heart, one handshake and one good deed at a time. Not only acknowledge what people do for you, but do them similar good deeds.

But it’s not enough just to grow a community, you must maintain them and keep them engaged.

Stage 3: Leveraging Your Social Media Community
Ultimately we’re all in business to make a profit, and we must leverage (not a bad word) the community to achieve our goals, but Evan reminds us,

…never ignore the principles on which you built this community. You don’t want to throw everything you’ve built out the window for a quick sale.

Collect feedback: You want people’s honest opinions This can only help us grow. Whether it’s my wife’s honest opinion about my haircut and shirt choice or a customer’s distaste for our slogan. We need to know whether we look like a doofus or not.

Crowdsourced Content: Answers to polls, photo contests and other user-generated content is one of the greatest benefits to your social media community.

Amplify your content: Let your crowd tell the good news. Ask them for help and tell them what you need them to do. This is what a true community does, a good one anyway.

If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson

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