Social Media and Community: not either or

From luc legay

Maybe no more than a year or two ago, I used to think of Twitter and Facebook as ways to drive traffic to our “main” online communities: TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes. The hope was that we could reach out to people interested in what we had to offer in either community on these other growing social networks and try to get them to visit and sign up as members…

Time passed and we realized that was happening, but not to the extent that we were hoping. While some people would visit and sign up for our social networks, something else that was VERY interesting was going on. If we shared a link to an interesting discussion going on in, say, TuDiabetes and included the title of the discussion on our Diabetes Hands Foundation Facebook page, if the topic was interesting, the discussion didn’t depart the page. Fans (or “likers“, I guess, would be the new term) on the page would engage in discussion DIRECTLY on the page and not leave Facebook at all.

Think of it: the convenience! You simply have to monitor one site (or few sites, maybe), keeping an eye on your main feed, and relevant elements are presented to you, on which you can jump and participate commenting about them, liking them or sharing them with others. It’s simple… and it’s brilliant!

Something similar happens on Twitter, though perhaps not in a way that is as easy to visualize because Twitter is less structured.

So, next time you are wondering whether your community should live on a space separate from Facebook and Twitter or be a part of these growing spaces, don’t think either or: you may already have a community going on in two or all three places.