Social Media Communities: More than a page

23 07 2008

When most people attempt to use Social Media they assume that simply building a profile or page is sufficient. While the creation of your Twitter account or Facebook page is important it will remain useless until your began to engage in the community of which you have subscribed to.  For personal profiles interacting seems to come without a problem.  Friend requests flood your inbox along with annoying application invites. Around every corner is a link to join a new sub group or take part in a discussion thread.  However, placing your brand in a Social Media community warrants an entirely different approach to community interaction.

Recently reading Web Strategy by Jeremiah about questions that players in the AR and PR industries have in regarding Social Media interaction there was a point that stood out to me: Computer-to-Human vs. Human-To Human interaction.  Most companies have relied on computer-to-human online marketing to suffice as their Internet presence.  A sleek website that is easy on the eyes, content rich, and exhibits seemless navigation has often been the standard for a successful company website.  However, with the emergence of Social Media as a rising force contributing to online marketing, companies are scrambling to get into this space.  Facebook has become a platform that a number of companies have been flocking to because of their Pages feature.  For no cost at all companies have a chance to interact within the Social Media space hoping to market to the masses virally.  For some, the results are less than desireable; little to no “fans” on their page and not much interaction overall.  While there could be many factors contributing to this one question that needs to be addressed is does the page foster computer-to-human interaction or does it cater to community?

Social Media Communities are different because they thrive on the real-time interaction of the people who share the same common interests.  Users viewing a constant static page will eventually become disengaged thus rendering your page crippled.  The goal here is to provided content that encourages your “fans” or “followers” to keep coming back and interacting with their peers regarding the different facets of your brand.  Also, this content also needs to be updated on a regular basis in order to substain traction.

Once you begin to gather a following of dedicated users then your community will start to grow virally as your creditability will spread “word of keyboard,” and more people become interested.  A final tip I would offer would be to keep providing content, even if it traffic seems slow, as it may take time for your community to ramp up.  If you are passionate about wanting to create a social media community surrounding your brand, then the followers will start to trickle in.