Benefits of On-line Communities

What are On-line Communities?

If you are on-line for any amount of time, you may be a member of a group or two, or perhaps several that will discuss topics or collaborate with other professionals in your field of expertise.  If you are lucky enough to be active in these groups, you may have regular online chats, skype calls, or if you live close enough, even have had the opportunity to meet some of your on-line friends to discuss possible business ventures.

These are the benefits of on-line communities.  Many people, professionals in particular, don’t seem to “get” the concept of social media and the importance of participating in on-line communities.  They think if they log into a #tweetchat once or twice a week and RT someone’s post they are “participating”.  They also think if they join groups on LinkedIn, and post a few links to their blog  that also constitutes as “participating”.   If you want to know what it takes to be successful when participating in on-line communities, just follow these steps:
  • Participate regularly (Regularly is different for everyone – whether it’s once a week or every day, do what your schedule allows.)
  • Always have a positive attitude (Negativity breeds negativity and this is a good way to get kicked out of your community.)
  • Follow the rules (If there are rules, make sure you read them as a courtesy to all members of your community.)
  • If the group/community you join has a member roster, enter your contact info (social platforms, blogs, etc…)
  • Ask questions (Everyone was new like you once, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  As a general rule, people are nice.)
  • Have an idea? GREAT! Make suggestions, collaborate, this where the fun starts.  On-line communities are an excellent way to make connections all over the world.  You can also obtain clients with on-line communities you may not have gained otherwise just because you formed a relationship.

I’ve met some amazing people on-line through my online communities.  Some I’ve written about on previous posts like Keri Francek JaehnigDorien Morin van Dam, and Jure Klepic.  I’ve had several skype chats with Keri and Dorien previously and today had one with a good size group including Keri, Dorien and Jure as well as Greg Welch, Karleen Harp, and Jocelyn Wilhelm.

Prior to the days of social media and on-line communities, would I have had the opportunity to meet these amazing people?  Probably not.  Karleen lives in California, and while I’ve been to California a few times, I never met her while I was there.  Jure lives in Canada, and I’ve never been to Canada.  Social networking is an amazing opportunity if you take advantage of it by getting to know people and build relationships.

So let me ask you the hard question: are you getting to know people when you are on-line or are you just spouting information, retweeting and checking in to FourSquare?  Are you building relationships or do you leave your social platforms the same way you joined?  Not knowing a single person, not knowing if you are making a connection, not knowing if the time you spent was wasted?   If you can’t answer with any certainty,  I have a challenge for you.  The next time you go on-line, and every time thereafter make one new friend.  Just one. Say hi, ask them how their day was, how the weather is, anything.   Don’t try to sell them anything or tell them about your business.   Just make a connection.  Then let me know either on this post with a comment or on my fan page.  If you don’t have an on-line community in mind, join us at Kickin it with Klout or Kickin it with Kommunity on Facebook.  (You don’t have to have an active Klout account to join.)


16 Replies to “Benefits of On-line Communities”

  1. Love your post, Knikkolette! But I love our on-line friendship even better. It has been an amazing adventure to meet you and the others you mentioned, particularly Keri Jaehnig, with whom I collaborated on the Game of Like.

    It doesn’t hurt us to have such unique names, right? 😉

    I will share this post with my hands-on networking group in Myrtle Beach, which I am building after your KIWK model and which has grown to 50 local members in 60 days!

    Love to chat again real soon.

    1. Thanks Dorien! That means so much coming from you because I respect you and Keri so much as professionals. I agree with you, our on-line friendship has really blossomed and it would not have been possible without social networking and the community KIWK! I’m so happy to hear about your group in Myrtle Beach! You are an amazing woman Dorien! 🙂

  2. Great article, Knikkolette. It is on target and thought provoking. I often wonder how much do I need to do to engage people. Someone I met online from the Game of Like who was from CA introduced me to locals in Myrtle Beach that are really helping my business.

    Keep up the great posts!

    1. Thanks for the input Sherrie! Dorien & Keri’s Game of Like project was a fabulous idea that has grown into a wonderful community of it’s own. Isn’t it amazing how someone from California introduced you to locals in Myrtle Beach? Just goes to show how social networking and online communities are beneficial! Thanks again for your comment & keep them coming! 🙂

  3. Knikkolette great post. Having a community approach is one of the undermine topic of Social Media and I’m glad you made it emerging. Personally I’m a community oriented person, even when I tweet 4sqare check-in. I feel that sharing means emotionally engaging the person you follow and those who follow you. Yes the business and the reputation are in the picture, but really bild it up are personal relationship and sense of community. I’d like to say SISTERHOOD (the brotherhood of the female half of the word) a mix of support, love and creativity oriented to a common wealth, the wealth of community. It’s not by chance that the strongest communities have women in charge of wealth management.

    Thanks Knikkolette it’s really a great post!

    1. Thanks Fabrizio for your input. I really value your opinion! 🙂

  4. Great post, Knikkolette! You’re so right, it’s all about a sense of community which evolves as the relationships develop. I have met some truly amazing people I would never have met were it not for the social networking groups (including you, of course)!

  5. Very insightful post Knikkolette, which is so true. Spending time to get to know people a little better is something we need to dedicate time too, however it’s time that really is an investment. An investment in relationships

    One of the things that I find many of my clients struggle with, is knowing exactly how ‘many’ groups to join. And without a goal, they join so many and try to keep up with so much, that they end up wearing themselves thin. Which defeats the purpose.

    And then of course a busy schedule, particularly as they see their networking efforts pay off and they have an influx of new clients.

    I’ve recommended that they find a few groups that they resonate with the most and that they find is reciprocal in their sharing and giving. And to work on building solid relationships in those few groups.

    That’s so much better than trying to be a member of too many groups and then not really having the time to participate as much as they would like.

    That’s certainly something that I’m finding has helped.

    Thanks again for a great post!

    1. You are so right Annemarie! It’s so important to always have your goal in mind and as your last post states it’s easy to get off track when you are distracted by always being online with your social media accounts. Thanks for your feedback – I always appreciate your views.

  6. This should be required reading for anyone trying to understand exactly how to use social media! It’s the relationships. Always has been and always will be. My biz wouldn’t be where it is today without the use of social media and it seems to be ever-expanding with the use of skype and who knows what’s next? A really great post Knikkolette!

    1. Thanks Martha! I really appreciate your kind words! 🙂

  7. What a great article! Social media is just that, a social platform that you can use to get to know others as well as some businesses. You are so right that it is the relationships that matter.
    If you are not you are missing out on a lot, look at all the wonderful people in this one little group!
    Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks Wendy! You and everyone here have all proven the point that relationships do matter and can make a difference! 🙂

  8. Great post, Knikkolette. Our online community and collaboration have been a great experience. Sorry I’m a bit absent these days. I’m underwater on about half dozen projects and Dorien and I are running the ToughMudder in Tampa this weekend. I hope to come up for air soon. Keep up the great work you’ve done to build our online community and I hope to be able to help out and interact more soon. Paul

    1. No worries Paul ~ you’ve already done so much to contribute to the group I couldn’t ask for more! 🙂 Congratulations on participating on the Tough Mudder race! I saw another FB member talking about that race here in GA and it prompted me to get in shape and I’m training for a much shorter and lighter version called Warrior Dash in May. Maybe I’ll do the Tough Mudder in 2013. 🙂 Good luck & have friends there to take lots of photos!

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