Three Ways You Can Become A Valued Community Member On Social Media

Social media communitiesThanks to guest blogger, Kim Garst.

“Community: A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” ~Google

The above is a quote Kim Garst shares in Chapter 6 of her book Will the Real You Please Stand Up. On September 11th, Kim will be my featured guest on the Marketing Blab (click here to watch the video recording). Below is an excerpt from that chapter of her book.

Knowing how to become a valued and helpful member of a preexisting community is one thing, but many marketers struggle with figuring out which online communities are the most beneficial to join. With thousands of groups on Facebook alone, is it any wonder many marketers experience “analysis paralysis?”

This section will outline briefly a strategy for finding your desired demographic communities on social media, and then give practical tips for becoming a valued member of those groups.

1. Define your target demographic, and figure out where these people are hanging out.

Although this goes beyond the scope of this chapter, determining the demographic of your target market is a critical first step to finding your community online. . .

For instance, if your target demographic is twenty-something male “techies,” finding relevant Google+ circles likely will yield positive and rewarding results. Or if your target market is largely made up of professionals or academics, you will have the best chance of finding them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

2. Search for groups.

Every major social media site provides a way to segment its population. For instance, Facebook has groups – open, closed, and secret, Google+ has circles, and YouTube has subscriptions. . . .

The important thing is to figure out to which groups you will be able to add the most value and impact. In this sense, joining the biggest, “most exciting” group may not always be the best move. When deciding which groups to join, ask yourself:

  • What unique knowledge or information can I contribute to the group?
  • In what ways could I be a unique and valued member of this community?
  • How am I different from others in this community?
  • What can I bring to the table that members would appreciate?

3. Behave as a valued member, and you’ll become valued.

Once you have joined a group, it is time to figure out how you can become a valued participant. While this may sound obvious, behaving as a valued member inevitably will help you become truly valued.

By offering useful information, thoughtful opinions, and generous support to those around you, you’re behaving in a meaningful and authentic way, adding true value to the community. Practical ways you can add value to a group may include:

  • Offering support and guidance when a group member is struggling.
  • Asking thought-provoking questions to get a lively conversation going.
  • Providing relevant and thoughtful response to comments or questions.
  • Providing gentle leadership when conflict or disagreements arise between group members.

What’s been your experience with social media communities? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks and here’s to your sweet success.

About guest blogger, Kim Garst: Kim has owned an online business for 20+ years and has built her reputation as a leading authority on digital marketing and specifically, social selling over the past five years. This post is an excerpt from her book, Will the Real You Please Stand Up