Nowadays if you ask people why they are using social media (or want to) you are more than likely to get a response that sounds like one of the following:
- “I want to use social media to interact with my community”
- “I want to build a community”
- “I want to get involved with my community”
- “I want to join the community conversation”
The question I have for you is “what do you mean by community?” I find that this term is used quite a lot and is becoming a bit of a cliche when used in the same sentence as “social media.” Everyone wants to build communities, grow communities, and engage with communities, but what does that really mean? Have you ever though about what a community really means to you? A community is not something you can check in your analytics, it’s not about your unique visitors you have each day or about how many clicks your page gets.
In essence a community is you and ONE other person. If you have one loyal reader that is willing to interact with you, then you have a community; it’s a small one but it’s a community. I think Gary Vaynerchuk echoed this idea in one of his video posts where he said that a community starts with one person and grows from there. What I tend to notice is that a lot of people start looking at their community in terms of traffic and page views but neglect the fact that a community is all about conversation and interaction. If you have 1 million readers and none of those people share, comment, or interact with you via any channels, then I don’t consider those readers to be a community, do you?
I may not have as many readers as many of the larger blogs out there, but you know what? I bet that I do have a larger community then some of them. Spend time with whatever exisintng community you have, and never neglect your community members. If your community is one person then make that one person feel special and make that one person feel like they really are a part of YOUR community. Why? Because that one person is going to tell someone else about your community and it will grow. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to really build and grow your community.
how do you define “community” and what do you do to make people like they are really a part of YOUR community?
thanks for reading