Social Media: Building Community or Building a Nation

Build your “Nation” one brick at a time.

Take a page from my personal trainer when it comes to building community and Social Media. Sometimes there is an important element missing in many Social Media campaigns. The “Social.”

Many people out there using twitter, facebook and the like are not building a nation, much less a community, they are pushing out their message. From time to time I’m sure we are all guilty of informing rather than interacting. There has to be socialization in order to really dig deeper into what the use of Social Media is all about.

Some products, services, and companies are more conducive to a whole community interaction too. GYMRATZZ Inc. is one of those places.

My theory is that Social Media needs to be more than just a cyber interaction. Let me explain.

GYMRATZZ Inc. is a company started by Erin Reilly a personal trainer who also teaches at Gold’s Gym in Woodbridge Virginia. She has nearly 700 fans on her fan page and they are all people who are actively engaged. Not just with the fan page, but with the business. Isn’t that what you are striving for with Social Media? You don’t just want people to sit passively by and read your updates but not use your services.

Not only is her fan page active with comments, tips and trivia….it comes from the customers! Or as Erin likes to call it, her “RATZZ Nation.”

Now Erin is no social media expert and she is not a marketing guru. Yet people gravitate to her nation because she is amazing at what she does. Because of her offline community and her method of training, she creates an online community that interacts as well and their word of mouth and enthusiasm for her nation brings in more business.

How often have you walked into an exercise class and people are there a half hour early at 4:45 am, just so they can socialize? That is Nation building. Because she has built this nation it keeps her Ratzz more dedicated to both her services and themselves. They attend her classes, her boot camps and her personal training sessions. They are getting something positive from her services and they keep coming back. And they talk about it. Word of mouth referrals are what her business is built on. Yet they come quicker when she has the rich interaction going on in her online community.

Her online community is the place where onlookers can begin to engage but then they must come and engage in person in order to benefit from her services. And they do.

The key to any community building, whether it’s online or in person is to make sure you know the benefits you offer, and consistently match your message with your actual services.

Don’t aim just to build a community, aim to build a nation one brick at a time.