I saw a Tweet the other day and of course I can’t find it, but the gist of it was that social media managers are not community managers.
I agree with that, but I think you have to be careful with that thinking simply because running social media means you are running a community.
A Decentralized Community.
I mentioned decentralized communities in The Community-First Collective and I want to expand on it because I think it’s an important concept for anyone looking to grow to understand.
First, what is a community?
That Old Thing Is Not the New Thing
I’m sure a lot of people (understandably) think of a community for a brand as hosting a forum as we have for Makers Mob (please join, it’s a great place for you).
And if you have something like that it is PART of your community. But in today’s world with social media and content creation, everything is your community.
That means your brand’s Twitter account and YOUR Twitter account.
It means your Instagram and YouTube.
It means your Clubhouse hosted rooms.
Everything is your brand and therefore everything is your community.
Because a community is a shared goal. You don’t have to think of it as people.
Think of it as the goal.
What is the shared goal that everyone has?
And yes, everyone has their own individual goals, but the community only works when there is also a shared goal.
This shared goal shows up in your forums.
It shows up in your blog posts.
It shows up on your Instagram.
The community manager growing your Slack group isn’t doing a completely different job than the person managing your TikTok.
Your brand is your community and your community is everything.
That can be a hard pill to swallow for some of you because you really want your brand to just be your website and your product.
You just want your brand and community to be the official channels.
But it’s not that in today’s world.
Your community is decentralized and there is nothing you can do to prevent that.
There is nothing you should do to prevent that.
At the Plate or In the Bleachers
You have a choice when it comes to your community.
You can either participate or you can stay at home. You staying at home doesn’t mean the community won’t continue to grow and find new places to land and because of that you might as well just show up.
You can be the leader in the crowd or the one in the tower that people never see.