It's interesting to notice that the origin or root of the words communication and community – two that we frequently use with regards to social media networking and marketing – is commune.
Dictionary.com defines commune as conversing or talk togethering, usually with profound intensity or intimacy.
That seems to be a pretty good strategy for being effective with social media.
Yesterday I commented on the distinction between spam and valuable content. The discussion that followed in the comments revealed a consensus – if your intentions are focused on the benefiting the community, you indeed will create a mutually beneficial or intimate environment.
The surest way to kill intimacy is to disregard the needs of your community by exploiting your relationship with them. This usually comes in the form of being self-oriented – being a taker as opposed to a giver.
Respecting the Community
If what you are offering your community is truly valuable to your community, then you should indeed offer up our products and services, but you must do so with a focus on your community. Of course, this requires discretion – again, being primarily a giver.
This is the art of conversion with social media. Years ago we used to say you should not sell on the social networks because it goes against the culture of the social platform.
That may still be true, but as the social networks have matured, we now recognize that products and services add value just like the free content that we all share. The only challenge is simply respecting the nature of your social media channels by conducting your commerce elsewhere.
Putting Common Back Into Community
The purest definition of commune is the word common. When you align with your community in every way, you demonstrate that you understand them – their needs, challenges, and opportunities.
Most of us know what we do well but we discount the value of that knowledge. Share it and you will enhance its value. I am constantly amazed at what resonates with my community – usually the most simple tips and advice that I may take for granted.
The art of content marketing, that activity that drives your social media strategy, is to be an expert in the minds of the community, not yours. We all tend to forget that. I know I do, which is why I try to remind myself to inform, inspire, and to care.
Those are my words.
What are yours? What helps you to find that common bond – that alignment with the community you serve?
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Until tomorrow, Jeff
Photo Credit: inaweofgod'screation