SM Fundamentals: Social media is about community

I recently wrote an article for the International Association of Business Communicators’ CW Bulletin about the ten fundamentals of social media every charity and nonprofit should know. I am also sharing them here in a series of posts so that I can go into more detail about each than I could in the article and so we can discuss them individually. I should note that while my audience for the article was people involved with charities or nonprofits, these fundamentals are relevant to everyone on social media especially any small t0 mid-sized business or organization.

Here is the third post in the series.

Social media is about community

As you build relationships with individuals, you will find they start to interconnect with each other and form a community.  Having a sense of community—whether a community of interests, a geographic area, or a combination of the two—is necessary to achieve something bigger than what could happen as individuals. A single mother, for instance, can get supports that she requires. Or it may be as simple getting moral support or not feeling alone. It could even be getting help to find shelter or childcare.

Social media could be the means to develop a community but it can also be a way to take an existing community to a new level. By adding an online component, supporters or members of an organization can stay connected and strengthen their relationships with each other and the organization itself where previously that only happened on the occasions when they physically got together or were proactive such as making a phone call or sending an e-mail. Social media brings people together in a way that relies less on taking initiative because people invite the information into how they live their lives socially online. By strengthening this bond on social platforms, you tap into your supporters social circles and have the chance to add new supporters.

A good example is the Twitter account for THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, Ontario which regularly has conversations with members of its online community.