Why building your social network community away from FB or Twitter may be key
Posted on December 27, 2012 by @mqtodd
There are now a lot of choices about where and how we direct our social networking energy. Up till recently I have taken a “balanced” approach and attempted to have a regular (preferably daily) presence in around 8 main places.
I have taken some time to ponder and examining who of my friends are succeeding the most and why. I am seeing a trend towards gaining greater influence and attraction by focusing on a special place and building a supportive and responsive community there.
The 8 main places I am talking about are You Tube, Instagram, Facebook,, Pinterest, Linked In, Google Plus and “the bloggosphere”. Blogging and commenting on and sharing others blogs.
I know that there are others of you who are dominating such places as Tumblr, Reddit, Stumble Upon, Flickr and more.
Facebook anddeserve and demand some daily attention from everyone. They are “core presences”. The majority of social media interaction and sharing is still happening on Facebook and but it seems to me now that just doing the two of them is not really enough. Unless perhaps you have a highly engaged Facebook page.
2 weeks ago I was lucky enough to be interviewed by my friends Simon and Victor on their weekly You Tube show. I was highly impressed by the community that they have built up there by being consistent, engaging and fun and most of all by giving value. Every video they now post from their respective channels now attracts a huge response. They also both do some Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but get nothing like the attraction that they do on You Tube.
You can get a taste of how they do things here.
Over 6,000 views on this video already whereas I would be happy to have had say 50 from my 1000 or so You Tube “subscribers”. A lot of this is because although many of my 8,100 Facebook friends and subscribers have subscribed to my You Tube channel they very rarely visit You Tube. Victor and Simon promote themselves as You Tubers. They have You Tuber meetups. They actively comment on the channels and uploads of their biggest fans.
I am also pleasantly stunned by the rapid growth of the Instagram account of Tony Bennett. When I last peeked about 2 weeks ago Tony had 68,000 or so followers and was attracting about 6,000 “likes” on each pic. He is now at nearly 75,000 and is getting 7-8,000 likes. He also gets a huge amount of comments. Tony has built a massively responsive community. It takes more than his great photos to do this. He has been focused and regularly engaging. I invite you to look closely at how Tony has done this as it is duplicable. With daily energy. Not however without lessening your time in other places however. I am sure that in time the relationships that Tony has built up will cross over to Facebook, Linked In and more.
The key to this? Tony suggests that we identify our biggest “fans”. “You’ll need more than a bunch of people following you to climb the charts. You want fans, not followers. Fans are the ones who actively view their Instagram feeds and engage with you on a regular basis”.
So rather than trying to connect more deeply with your Facebook friends on Instagram connect with people who are passionate about Instagram.
Many of you have dismissed Google Plus as a “ghost town” yet those who have stuck with it and made it their “go to” place are having massive success. Amanda Blain is a prime example. She is constantly engaging and giving information. Connecting people to each other and posting regular entertaining or thought provoking updates. I wrote more about how and why Amanda is succeeding where others have not here. Amanda was previously highly active on Twitter and Facebook but she let those go to some extent to gain the early mover advantage and thus long term domination of Google Plus.
By focusing on Instagram Tony has managed to make the “Popular Page” which of course brings even more popularity. By focusing on Google Plus Amanda has “trended” and has also been made a “recommended user”. having a “balanced” presence across 8 different places will never bring you the attraction of this kind of thing. Unless you were of course some kind of celebrity to begin with.
You Tube, Instagram and Google Plus are vastly different beasts from Facebook and Twitter. They require an alternative strategy and perseverance. Maybe even a different character. We all have different “styles”.
Building community and really standing out is not impossible by sticking to these “big two”. Branching out to one more place and giving it your focus in 2013 is however a strategy well worth consideration.
Do you have thousands of followers on say 10 different places but very few “fans”?
Where to go? I am not sure. Pinterest is growing fast. “Old school” bloggers are still seeing growth in the communities they have built around their written content. Choose which place you enjoy the most I guess. It is meant to be fun.