How Does Your Community Grow?

Are you part of a community? Of course you are! And more than one. In fact, if you are on Facebook you are part of the 4th largest country in the world! That’s because Facebook now has more than 300 million accounts.

This means that how we communicate is changing – and rapidly. Many youth today don’t even pick up a phone to talk; they pick it up to text. I don’t send emails to one of my dear friends because she won’t read it. If I send a message on Facebook, I know she will get it, read it, and answer it. By the way, she’s 70!

Last week I attended the PRSA-Richmond chapter meeting. We heard from Dave Saunders of Madison + Main, who talked about social media, which he says “is the marriage of creativity, technology and interactiveness.”

With more than 1.5 million people on the Web today, he says it’s critical to be connected. Most in the audience raised their hands to say they are participating in social media through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Several had a blog. Then he stumped us. “How many have Tumblr” accounts? Very few hands. I don’t know much about it. If you do, I’d love for you to comment. 

When I Googled it (and when did that become a verb?), I discovered it is a “free and lightweight blogging platform aimed at quick and easy linking and sharing.” I’ll start experimenting soon; heck, I’m still adjusting to life with a blog. I promised myself I would post every Sunday and Wednesday so while I’d love to be reading a good book, I’ve got to finish this post. It’s just like being a reporter on deadline except that the only editor standing over me is in my head.

Dave also shared the benefits of social media and what it won’t do.  As for benefits –

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Reputation management
  • Improved search engine rankings
  • Increased Web site traffic
  • More sales for your product or service (if you didn’t know it, Dave says, “Cold calls are dead.”)

 What it won’t do –

  • Fix a broken company
  • Make you rich
  • Replace your other forms of marketing or PR

Quite simply, social media is another platform that is used to enhance your community, personally or professionally. So how does your community grow?

4 thoughts on “How Does Your Community Grow?

  1. Emyl Jenkins says:

    I’m with you, Cynthia. Once we’re about to get comfortable with Facebook and Twitter, another curve ball comes our way. It will be great to get Cecilia’s feedback from that discussion. But I keep coming back to the same old question—With so many networking opportunities, when is a writer supposed to write?

    • I think it’s like most things that need to be a priority — we need to schedule the time. I must confess that the writing of a blog is forcing me to write twice a week (I committed to 2 posts/week). I’m finding that as I develop this habit, I’m more compelled to write so perhaps I will finish the novel sooner rather than later.

  2. Cecilia Green says:

    I’m going to this luncheon Oct. 15 at the Publicity Club of Chicago, “Are Bloggers Journalists? Dealing with the Legal Implications of Today’s Media” Bloggers perceive themselves as journalists…but are they? Are they held to the same legal and ethical standards as traditional journalists? Should they?
    As a PR professional, how much should you disclose to a blogger, and how can you determine if your contact is a legitimate editorial contact or someone with a hidden agenda?
    I’ll let you know what jewels I pick up.

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