If you’ve poked around any one of the vast number of social networks, then you have probably found that there is an online community for just about every interest. Whether you are looking for communities to engage your personal interests or places where you can help boost your
If you would like to make the most of your
Joining online communities can be a great way to enhance your online brand and cultivate a great, engaging image through a well-crafted
It’s important to first find where your audience is, but that’s just the first step. Growing an online presence is an activity that takes time because you first must discover how your audience communicates. Are they active on Facebook? Do they read Twitter updates? Do they have a Ning group? Finding the online areas where your target hangs out is the only way you can effectively communicate with them as part of a
But once you find those communities, a little more preparation is required before you launch a
Experience has shown that a company rep or a marketer can become an accepted community member if they contribute regularly. If that person takes time to develop real relationships and takes time to offer advice to community members, then he or she will reap the benefits of being a trusted group member.
That’s the new blueprint for developing online relationships with consumers that matter. And while that may sound like a lot of work, it’s not that difficult. In fact, many who have embarked on this
Pay Attention to the Rules – Nearly every
What rules are important? One example is some online community forums allow links in your signature (the short blurb that appears with every post you make), and some won’t. Make sure you are aware of the community’s rules before posting a link to your site in an online forum.
Study the Community First – When you join an online community, it’s best not to simply dive right in and start posting, but rather sit back and observe how things operate. Think of it as your chance to play anthropologist. Finding out what people are discussing and how they discuss it will give you a better idea of how you approach that particular online community.
And depending on the type of community, you will be able to learn how people use and comment on your product or service. It’s a great resource for an unfiltered view into how people really think about your brand or business.
Obey the Rules and Norms – So you’ve read the rules and regulations, and you’re abiding by them. That’s great. But every community also has several unwritten rules. Unwritten rules could include what’s considered acceptable when it comes to linking to company sites as part of a
Learn the Community Hierarchy – Most online communities have some kind of leader, whether it’s an official administrator or just an unofficial group organizer. By watching for a bit, you’ll be able to figure out which people are prominent presences and which people are just an occasional commenter.
But if you offer value-if you offer your own ideas and opinions about a range of topics, then you’ll be valued yourself. When you establish trust with online community members you will able to increase your presence and your brand’s presence with savvy