Posted by Eric Ungs

Social NetworksThe importance of understanding your purpose for involving your brand within each social network.

What value will your community gain from your presence. These questions must be addressed before diving into a social networking platform, or at least start with an idea and evolve it. Each platform may serve a different purpose, in most cases it does. Different people use different mediums; before diving in you need to distinguish who is where and strategize accordingly.

In most cases this is a trial and error process. If you’re not creating any type of community maybe you are seeking or approaching the wrong relationships. This is where your patience is tested, building and gaining trust to mold your tribe takes time, let it develop.

I am the voice of the Twitter handle and Facebook fan page for the Arthritis Foundation Iowa Chapter. These two different networks reach two different audiences. Through ‘trial and error’ I have found that the community I have created on Facebook doesn’t reside on Twitter, so I had to rework my Twitter strategy accordingly. I am taking the approach for my Twitter handle of building a community around other non profits, organizations, and businesses within the state. This is taking more of a professional relationship approach, partnership if you will. I also reach out to the national advocates who have strong voices for Arthritis education and funding. Building these types of relationships may/will become beneficial for future opportunities.

My Facebook presence serves as a coffee shop.

It’s a place for those whom are ‘around’ arthritis to come and chat; share stories, give advice, and mostly, to be a support system to those who live with the disease. This is also where I share scheduled events and fundraising efforts. I must add that I do have my Facebook automatically feed into my Twitter. I feel the information I provide on Facebook brings an even more authentic and genuine approach to my Twitter handle. I don’t, however, feed by Twitter to my Facebook status updates, but is viewable from the fan page. Automatic Twitter to Facebook usually doesn’t fly with the Facebook crowd because they’re feed becomes over-saturated. Your status pushes others down, more is missed. It’s crucial to find the line in the sand to know when your updates have become inconvenient, and hate to say it, annoying. Thus resulting in unfanning, unfollowing, or even hiding your status updates. You have failed in developing this relationship.

The point is…

When you’ve decided to explore different platforms you need to know why you’re there and to whom you’re wanting to connect with. If you have these answered before hand your navigation is much clearer, you’re able to set goals and define a strategy.

So what are you waiting for… mingle.

Photo source: martin.canchola

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