Sunday, February 13, 2011

Using Facebook to Develop Communities

At a basic level, Facebook represents one large community. Within that large community a limitless number of subcommunities form. People form communities around their interests, hobbies, events, companies, products, services, celebrities, schools, or even favorite foods. We form and use these communities in the same manner that we would in the physical world. We engage with one another, form bonds, share interesting articles, upload photos and videos, and invite others with similar interests to join our communities.

Although forums are still a popular way for these communities to form, they have graduated into more developed community platforms. Some communities choose to build premium communities.

Although these enterprise level premium communities offer expanded features and more customization, they’re also expensive and more suited for larger companies and organizations. Also, because these premium communities are set up on a different domain or a subdomain of your website, you then have to work harder to bring people to the party.

Facebook serves this purpose perfectly. Facebook has a large pond from which users can fish for others with similar interests or hobbies. You need to decide between a Page or Group when figuring out what features will be needed for your community or what your specific preferences are. But, no matter which you choose, you can quickly and easily set up a community, for free, on Facebook.

When the community is set up, you should search for other similar Pages and Groups and begin engaging there as well. Don’t be spammy about it, but you’ll slowly gain users over into your community the more you engage in the other communities and demonstrate a passion, knowledge, and presence.

Another benefit of using Facebook to set up communities, either using a Page or Group, is that it offers greater reach by breaking down geographic walls. Of course, some physical communities grow large enough that they break into multiple chapters with localized community groups all over the world. But, those groups still remain local, and although some larger organizational bylaws may exist to help guide the local organization, they form their own separate and unique communities as well.

With Facebook it’s not necessary to separate into localized communities, unless the users decide that is what is best for them. Instead, they can all interact and benefit from one another.

As you build your community, you need to decide on who will be your community manager. Ideally, this person should be either you or someone from your team. As the community manager you need to give your community reasons to keep coming back. All of us nowadays have too many things competing for our attention. Those that tend to get our attention will be the items that stay top of mind and that we find interesting, helpful, useful, or otherwise needed. Therefore, to continue to grow an active and growing community on Facebook, you need to engage your community; however, you can’t just engage them by simply updating your Page or Group status every day. You need to provide content in different formats because all members of your community will demand to receive their information and content in different ways. Some of us prefer video whereas others love photos, and some may want thought-provoking links to read.

Let’s explore some of the different types of communities that can be formed on Facebook, how users are utilizing them, and along the way, some tips to help you maximize engagement within your community.

Source of Information :  Facebook Marketing Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign
Using Facebook to Develop CommunitiesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Using Facebook to Develop Communities"

Post a Comment