Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Creating a Community

Creating a Community

Hi friend!  Today we’ve got a fabulous follow-up post on social networking by Suzie Eller.  Before I turn it over to Suzie, I want to give you one more reminder to sign up for Brass Tacks:  Message Development Essentials, a conference call that will be held this Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  I’m working hard to present all the things I’ve learned and am learning in a format that contains something for every speaker at every experiential level.  Please join us!

Without further ado…Here’s Suzie!  ~Amy

In our last post  I shared a second question: How will I communicate my message throughout my entire social media platform?

Can I be honest with you about something? I don’t like the word “brand”. But I love the word community.

Once we know who we are, the heart of our message, who is searching for that message, then we want every piece of cyber real estate that bears our name to reflect the type of community we hope to build, and the audience we hope to draw.

In our last conversation, we talked about a fashionista mom blogger. She’s smart. She’s savvy.

She’s also bummed.

She’s working so hard on her blog posts, but only a few are coming to her blog.

My advice to this beautiful mom blogger is to reach out to a larger segment of the cyber population to build community. A perfect second “home” in cyberspace is on Facebook.

I already have a Facebook page, Suzie. 

There’s a major difference between your personal page, where you share pictures of your kids and what you had for lunch, and your ministry page, which is specific to your audience and core message.

You start by creating a ministry Facebook page. This is a separate page from your personal page. There is no limit on the number of people who can “like” your page. It offers some very cool options like having multiple administrators, event announcements, the ability to pre-post your status updates, and much more.

Facebook allows you to have both a personal page and an organization or nonprofit page, but keeps those worlds separate.

Your ministry page reflects your ministry. It is specific to your audience. When you look at one of my ministry pages (yes, you can create more than one!) at www.facebook.com/MomsTogether, you find a ministry devoted to encouraging moms with solid information, giveaways, community, and connection.

Next, my advice to the mom blogger was to create a Twitter account (http://twitter.com).

Let’s say that our fashionista mom posted a great thrift find, and how much money she saved on her blog post. Then she takes a few moments and adds a status update with a link in her FB ministry page, and then a short, fun tweet with a link in Twitter.

The original exposure was just to those who came to her blog post. Now suddenly she’s opened a door to two entirely different audiences, but with the same core message, and same fun content. And in doing so, she is building a solid community of moms of faith who love shopping, or fashion, motherhood, and who want to live on a budget.

This creates word of mouth. It also establishes your identity. When people visit you on the web, they don’t have to try to figure out who you are. They know who you are!

Building community is just that. Using social media takes time. The key is to offer consistent and valuable content.

As you create your cyberspace community, understand that it may take an entirely different turn than you expect. My FB community surprised me the most! Moms Together will be two years old in November, 2012. It started with 100+ moms and today its nearly at 12,000 and growing daily.

Today, take an honest look at your blog. Your Facebook page. Your Twitter. How does each reflect you, your core message, your audience’s felt need, and yes, even your brand?

What is one step you can take today to begin to build community?

Suzie Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author, and Christian Writers Guild Mentor. Connect with Suzie at www.tsuzanneeller.com.

is not to count on the dollars, but build the community beforehand so that readers are waiting to receive the book, rather than trying to find readers after . .

is not to count on the dollars, but build the community beforehand so that readers are waiting to receive the book, rather than trying to find readers after . .

is not to count on the dollars, but build the community beforehand so that readers are waiting to receive the book, rather than trying to find readers after . .

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3 Comments

  1. Excellent tips from Suzie. Very clear and doable. I’m printing this out and taking the steps to spread our new website CirclesOfFaith.org. We have these outlets…now we’ll know how to use them best! Always helpful…Blessings!

  2. Realistically, how long will it take to build the numbers on your second facebook page. Sometimes it’s discouraging when I see the numbers significantly drop. I just wondered what the norm is?