While newer tools like SnapChat and Periscope may get all the buzz, Facebook is still the most popular social network by miles. According to Pew Research Center, 71% of online adults use Facebook. And many of them go there in search of community (whether that means keeping in touch with far-flung family and friends, meeting like-minded people close to home, or connecting with a cause). Facebook provided the foundation for the community I started, Seattle People of Color Salon (read about how SPoCS came to be here), and I wanted to share the four tips I took away from that experience:
1. Be lonely. Go ahead and feel your loneliness.
See if you can detect others in your network that feel similarly. Those people are already your community. They are just waiting for you to find them.
2. Find your community by listening.
Many people don’t realize that developing social media finesse has a lot more to do with listening than filling the digital field with unnecessary blather. We truly have enough blather already don’t we? For all you know, there might be a readymade community waiting for you!
3. No Luck?
Find the person or people who seem to know all the people you would like to be connected to. Reach out! You might be that person, so encourage people to bring you ideas. If you are that person, well good on you! Being a “connector” is often thankless, requiring generosity and energy.
4. Recruit some helpers.
Communities that are the most sustainable are maintained by many hands doing light work. One of the most successful and engaged Facebook Communities in Seattle is the public Columbia City group with almost 6000 members! A viable community doesn’t have to be huge— a close-knit and engaged group can meet many specific needs.