Introduction – What is an Online Community?

Social networks are booming – and not just Facebook! Thousands of niche communities have been created over the past few years, filling up the holes that Mark Zuckerberg's all-encompassing giant has created. While over a billion people are speaking to everyone they've met about everything they do, many are looking for focus. They want to connect with other like-minded individuals around the particular passions that inspire them, without all the extra “noise” that Facebook generates.

online community

Affordable social networking applications, allow users to create that niche social network easily, and thousands of people are doing it right now.

Online communities are being built by artists and schools, by thought leaders and by local communities. They're being set up by individuals and by groups and by anyone who wants to bring together people who share an interest and a passion.

Businesses, too, are building brands, creating loyalty and discovering valuable intelligence on what customers want and expect. And they're earning from it. When a company gives space to its customers to gather and talk, it stops being a place where people go when they need to make a purchase. It becomes a pillar of the community, the only place where people go when they want to buy something related to their interests.

And today, building those online communities is easier than ever.

The Internet means that anyone can now create their own community.

They can build a website that gives their customers all the tools they need to easily hold discussions, meet like-minded people and form strong bonds.

They keep people coming back day after day, month after month, providing a virtual and valuable forum for people who share an interest.

Built right and maintained properly, a community website hugs customers close, strengthens a business and advances an activity.

But having the right kind of software to create that community isn't enough.

You also need the right strategy to make your community grow steadily and organically, without spending millions.

This book will cover everything you need to know to create a successful online community, from the essential first steps to proven strategies for growth and engagement. Once you finish reading, you will have a clear understanding of what you should — and shouldn't — be doing to get your social network moving in the right direction.

We'll look at the right way to build an online community, but not just any community; a community that remains active and thriving. A community whose members don't register, look and leave but one whose members come back again and again, post comments and contribute to discussions.

A community that people don't just want to join but want to be a part of.

Building that kind of community may mean taking steps that can feel counterintuitive. We'll explain why you should be taking those steps anyway.

We'll start by talking you through the process of launching a community.

This can feel like the worst time for a new social site. There are few members, few discussions and little reaction to the content that’s being posted — not that there’s much content either. We'll explain how to find those all-important first members and discuss why it's better to engage a small number of highly dedicated early users than attract a large number of users who don’t return.

We’ll then talk about building on that foundation. We’ll discuss the importance of forming a group identity and show you how you to do it. We'll talk you through the role of the community manager; and describe the best strategies you should be using to increase participation.

Finally, we'll talk metrics and money.

Although communities don't have the same monetizing process as other forms of online marketing it is possible to turn a community into cash and online communities do generate figures.

You should know how to find those figures, how to read them and what to do with them.

While so many businesses and community leaders focus on building their Facebook pages or fret about their Twitter content, others are having a ball discussing their favorite topics with people who genuinely care about them and who return day after day to their website to see what’s new.

Building that website is easy. Building that community is a little harder but with a little effort, it's an option available to any business owner and any community leader.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Degrees Of Separation In between You And The entire World

Degrees Of Separation In between You And The entire World

Social networking has actually been specified as the interaction between thoes or companies within a social structure. Within an online social network, people or organizations which can either be casual acquaintances or closely related by blood can quickly interact through messaging, blogs, picture sharing, chain mails, videos, music and a great deal of other communication tools offered in social media network websites in the web.

In the late 1960's, a social experiment called small world hypothesis was done to prove that any 2 individuals can be connected through a social media network by 6 degrees of separation. This was done by effectively passing a message from one person to a target individual through associates of individuals in the link. Although most of the links in the experiment failed to finish, the electronic variation of this experiment as well as the online social networks today has proven that we can certainly connect to almost any individual worldwide through our contacts.

 

Social Networking Websites

Social networking websites have actually just recently become popular in connecting individuals sharing the same pastimes or interests. These social networking websites can be, in a way, considered online communities where different individuals from all over the world can share their viewpoints, views, thoughts and normally everything that can cause the advancement of relationships or relationships. Making it easier for individuals to incorporate themselves into these social network companies, groups or websites can often be found in social networking websites where you can satisfy people with the very same interests, religious beliefs, region, view in politics, and so on.

Upon completing the registration for these social networks, you can then start to familiarize yourself with exactly what the social media network needs to provide. This can be done easily through browsing the member's profiles, reading the blog sites or bulletin board system and chatting with the other individuals online. In this manner, you can make good friends with other individuals you would not have the opportunity to be friends with in the real life due to the fact that of geographical, political, social and other constraints. Communicating with the people online will likewise make you knowledgeable about the various cultures, religions and people present in the social network which will be really advantageous in broadening your understanding about the world around you.

Threats of Online Social Networks

Because of this, many of the social networking sites have actually placed restrictions and constraints as to who could sign up with the network and what the minimum age ought to be. Some social networking websites have actually also put obstacles for the registration of individuals having a criminal record and some schools have even gone as far as prohibiting the use of the social sites to their students.

Understanding these dangers though, will help you take pleasure in and take full advantage of the benefits you will get from these online social media networks. So if you're ready to test your own small world hypothesis, search for these social networks online now.

Charles R Juarez Jr
Contributor

Are Social Networking Sites Doing Us Any Good

It is not long ago when the only mode of communication was the snail mail way or the expensive Telephone. But with the advent of internet our lives have completely changed. We are now able to connect with anybody in any part of the world instantly and at a very low cost. This indeed has brought a pleasant change in our lifestyle. Internet has helped us so much that even organizations can employ a global workforce and they all can work together sitting in different parts of world as if they are sitting in the same building. Not only this the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter has completely revolutionized the way we connect with people. We can get connected with our friends sitting in any part of the world and at the same time search our long lost buddy.

The immense benefits that have been brought by internet and the social networking sites sometimes downplay the negative effects associated with it. As it is an adage that excess of everything is bad, same holds good with these social networking sites. We are so much addicted to these sites that sometimes we forget to check the wellbeing of our near and dear ones but we never forget to check the latest updates on Facebook. 

Though it is not legal to create an account on social networking sites for a minor, but given its popularity, children are so tempted to use these sites that they adopt unfair means at such tender age and get themselves registered on these sites. These days we see lesser number of children willing to play outside as they are glued to the latest happenings in their virtual friend circle. And children here are not to be blamed because a child usually does that what he sees and when he sees that his father after coming back from a hectic schedule directly turns on his laptop to know the where about of his online friends rather that asking the child how was his day at school or without playing with him, he is also bound to check what is so interesting about these sites.

Therefore, instead of turning a blind eye and deaf ear towards this issue, it's time for us to awaken. No doubt we have witnessed a tremendous evolution in technology but to gain immense benefits from this new revolution, we have to make a judicious use of it. We are witnessing so many new diseases which were not even heard of because of our changing life styles. We prefer sitting for long hours in front of computers rather than taking a refreshing walk in the lap of nature. Therefore, it is time to act before we repent.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Characteristics of a social entrepreneur

A social entrepreneur is someone who has decided to undertake a venture that is aimed at tackling societies most pressing problems, like famine and climate change. A social enterprise could be a nonprofit or profit business model. Two people often associated with social entrepreneurship are Blake Mycoskie, CEO of Tom’s shoes who provide a pair of shoes for a child in need for every shoe purchased and Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, providing microfinance to the impoverished.

social media, business startup, markethive, entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurs embody most of the characteristics as other types of entrepreneur. However, there are certain traits that distinguish them.

Healthy Impatience

A social entrepreneur shows a healthy impatience with the way things are, according to Duke University, in a report by its Centre for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. CASE notes that socially minded entrepreneurs want to change things right away, know it can be done, and are often frustrated that bureaucracy and the lack of political will, impede on social changes that could benefit the masses.

Commitment to Improve Social Welfare

Social entrepreneurs are socially committed first and foremost. But what differentiates them from, a company engaging in CSR, is their ability to fully devote their time, energy and limited resources to make ensure they implement positive change. A business can use corporate social responsibility (CSR)  –  which entails everything from charitable donations to community work  –  to improve social welfare, but critics also point out that some for-profit entities use CSR as a public-relations tool.

Philanthropic

A social entrepreneur generally has a philanthropic predisposition. They also tend to distribute whatever profits are made to the socially disadvantaged, or reinvest the profit in the organisation. The idea is to grow the entity by enlisting more people, so more people can be positively affected, more lives can be saved, and much more social value can be created in the long term.

Lack of Megalomania

Social entrepreneurs don’t tend to have a megalomaniac personality. Their cause comes first, not their fame or finance. These entrepreneurs don’t have a problem letting others shine, especially their team members or others involved in local projects.

Reliance on people

Although most early stage businesses have pressures to conserve cash, this is even more true of social enterprises. Social entrepreneurship revolves around the concept of crowdsourcing, tapping into a team of faithful workers along with volunteers scattered around the world to solve the greatest problems of humanity.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


4 Ways to Spread a Tweet Beyond Your Audience

If you want to build your Twitter audience, spam isn't going to get you there. The key to connecting with potential followers is to offer something useful such as a tip, laugh, or link. If you aren't constantly talking about your product or service, you can establish a relationship based on respect rather than making a sale.

social media sharing

Twitter, like many social media networks, can be an excellent marketing tool. But reaching out to the right audience is a challenge. Businesses and professionals that are new to Twitter have few, if any, followers, and without followers your tweet doesn't have an audience—or does it?

Tweets can reach more than just the Twitter users following your account—if you do it right. And when your tweets reach more than just your own followers, your number of followers will grow, too. Here are four strategies suggested from readers at WAHM to spread a tweet beyond your audience.

1. Be conversational, not spammy.

No one likes spam—so don't produce it. Some Twitter users send automatic, prewritten messages. While that may seem like a good way to build up your followers, don't give into the temptation. It's spam. Instead, take the time to follow users that are interested in similar topics to what your business offers—you can do this by doing a hashtag search. Follow the people that are talking about things relevant to your industry, and then join in on the conversation: follow them, retreat them, and favorite their tweets. When they see that you have something interesting to offer to the conversation (e.g., not spam), they'll follow you back.

2. Use hashtags.

Using hashtags (#workfromhome, #mom, #parent, etc.) is a good way to get your tweet to pop up in Twitter searches and acquire new followers interested in related topics. But using the right hashtag matters, too. Tools like RiteTag help you see what hashtags are being used and searched the most, so you can make the most impact with a single tweet.

3. Know your audience.

Who are you trying to reach out to on Twitter? Identify your audience—for most internet marketers, that's the person most likely to buy your product or use your service. Once you've narrowed down a group of people that's likely to use your business, target them specifically. Follow other businesses that have a similar audience. Search for hashtags that your audience might use and engage in those conversations. Instead of reaching out to a big audience with no impact, you'll reach out to a smaller audience, but actually have more useful reach.

4. Make your tweets useful.

Don't think of your tweets as a marketing tool, think of them as an outreach tool. Instead of posting boring tweets about your product, share tweets that offer value, like a tip, a laugh, or a useful link. Retweet other interesting posts relevant to your industry or audience. When people see you post things that are useful to them, they'll follow you. Once you've built up an audience, you can post tweets that are directly related to your product, but you should still try to make most of your tweets as useful or entertaining, or you'll lose followers.

Twitter can be a useful marketing tool. While the platform is free to use, you do need to invest time and effort into reaching out to your audience and growing your number of followers. By sharing conversational tweets, using hashtags, knowing your audience and sharing useful information, you can expand your reach beyond just your Twitter followers. And when you reach people who aren't your followers, many of them will start following you—creating a snowball effect that continually grows your audience.

Reprinted credit goes to Hillary Grigonis

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com