Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Managing Online Communities in Your Social Networks
Managing your social networks may seem like a new process. However, online communities that form as people follow you and your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social networks are not new. People gathering together around a common interest dates back to 1980s. The only major difference between the online communities of the 1980s, 1990s and today is the technology platform where the community interacts.
Online communities are organic and ever-changing because they are made up of diverse people who have come together for a variety of reasons. They stick together because of a shared interest, such as their love of your products or their need of your services. But just liking the same thing doesn’t keep an online community together. Online communities thrive when they are well managed.
As a business owner, you can benefit from cultivating your social media followings into online communities. Some of the ways you can leverage your community include:
Not all social networks provide cohesive platforms to manage your online communities. Facebook Pages and Groups feel the most like the messaging boards of the past where you can see not only the comments from others to you but to one another the conversations between community members.
Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles have faster moving streams where threads of comments tend to disappear quickly down the news feed. LinkedIn Groups and Google+ Communities provide more robust community-building tools.
Regardless of the social network you’re using, keep these things in mind to effectively build and manage your online community:
A well-managed online community is an asset to your business. Building that community can be a job unto itself. There really is no way around participating in your community to properly manage it.
To save time, enlist others to handle the day-to-day oversight of your communities across your social networks. Your community managers can come from within your team or from within your online community or can be hired. Professional online community managers exist, either as freelancers or as part of a social media marketing service provider or interactive agency.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman