It seems like the words “community building” and “social media” go hand in hand.
Without community, social media is nothing. Every good social media observer understands this, and thus, focuses a large amount of their time and efforts on online community building.
Well except one… ME.
This is not to say that I don’t believe that growing your community size and engagement rates are not both important. To be clear, I really do.
If you started reading this article looking for specific tips on community building on social media below is a list of articles for you to read.
- The best community requires an invitation – The Mogul Mom
- What are you objectives as a community manager? – Social Media Examiner
- Offer value to draw people in – Social Media Examiner
- Follow the 70 / 20 /10 rule – Practical eCommerce
I encourage you to click each of the links above and to read the full articles about community building. I then encourage you to come back and read the rest of this article for a slightly different perspective.
So what is the problem with this advice?
All of the above advice starts with the assumption that before you had a Facebook / Twitter account you didn’t – and couldn’t have – had a community. But now that you have social media, you can FINALLY build community.
The mindset, that social media is the only place you build community, quickly causes problems inside any organization.
The biggest and best brands have always understood that community is not a technical problem. It is not made with a Facebook page, a blog or a printed newsletter. It’s made by connecting with your audience in a real way.
So, I’ve questioned the value of community building on social media and haven’t provided any actionable advice.
In Part 2 – of this series I will break down the details of why I think the Disney Fan Club has figured out “building community” regardless of social media.
In Part 3 – I will talk about how you can start to replicate this.