Private Communities in Social Media

by Jerry Hobby on March 20, 2012

Private Communities in Social Media

Social media is becoming more essential than ever and we expect to see the highest growth in social media during 2012. This growth is impressive because it demonstrates the outstanding capabilities social media has brought to personal and professional communications.

One popular trend has been to become friends with as many people as possible and accept as many friend requests that come your way. The more people in your network, the more activity, and that’s not only entertaining, but addicting. Who doesn’t want a lot of friends?

The problem is, people really don’t want that many friends after all and they are just starting to recognize it. If you have too many friends, you can’t keep up. You can’t get your work done if you are too busy socializing with people that don’t really matter to you in the end. It’s a time management and focus issue.

The emerging trend is to create groups so that you can have everyone in one place for a specific topic. In other words, to add contextual meaning and purpose to your social groups. This allows social media to suddenly become an effective tool instead of just a toy. Imagine having a specific group for your bridge club, or your chess club, or your company, or your department inside the company, or even for a specific project you are working on.

We all do this now by just using CC a bunch of people and then use reply-all constantly. But this causes problems when people are added to or removed from the group. It also causes people to hit reply-all and write a new message, but use the old subject. Not to mention that the history of the message gets crazy over time.

Why not setup a social media group and have someone maintain the membership. Then everyone can participate. New members can see old messages. Sharing photos, documents, and other information are much easier. Shared calendars are built right in. Then, if you remove someone from the group, it’s fixed across the board.

If you do this for all the different groups you are participating in, both small lists and larger ones, then suddenly all your messages are grouped by context! This makes social networking suddenly a highly productive tool!

This trend is growing quickly. People who avoid social media because they think it’s just a waste of time, or whatever, will learn to create these private groups and more social media users will focus on these private group memberships and less on general public chat. Sure, both will exist. But general public chat will be more of a social thing and private social communities will be where the real work gets done.

Get started by creating a Facebook GROUP for your company and have your staff all join that group. Then create a Facebook GROUP for you family, and have family members join that group. Maybe there won’t be that many messages that often in some groups, but at least everything is sorted. The groups are private. The discussions are private.

As this trend occurs, it will impact marketing reach. This is why I am watching this trend very closely. When it comes to social media, you need someone on your team that truly understands social media culture and trends to make sure your marketing investment is well spent.

Structure your social media strategy to get more results for your business. Call us today.


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