Your community platform is your home.                 

It’s the destination you want your target audience to reach so you can cultivate a community. In this central base, you can control the newcomer to regular journey, facilitate interactions between members, create great content, and form a powerful group identity.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn are bad platforms on which to build communities. You don’t have the control you need and you can only reach a tiny percentage of your audience.

However, you can use these social media platforms in two very useful ways:

  • Bring in new members. You can use social media platforms to find people interested in your topic and invite them to join the community. Following you on a social media account can be the first step to being a regular community member.
  • Increase activity from existing members. It takes time for visiting the community to become a habit. You can use social media platforms to let members know what is happening in the community. You can get members to visit more frequently through the platforms they are used to visiting.

For most communities, it makes sense to have both a Twitter and Facebook account. Invite members in the community to follow you on these accounts. Then use them to let people know what’s going on in the community.

For example, if there is a popular discussion taking place, write you can publish updates about it. If you have a great member-contribution to the community, you can update people on social media accounts about that too.

You can go beyond this. You can create a community hashtag on Twitter and let members share thoughts via this hashtag which are then pulled in to the community. You can arrange live discussions via Twitter and report on what was discussed in the community.

If you like, you can use it to share interesting facts or the best pieces of advice being shared in the community. The more interesting/useful, the more people will visit.

Lead image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and remixed under CC Share Alike 3.0

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