Social Media: The Virtual Community

Today, it is not enough to have your own company or personal hobby. It is not enough to have a website about it. The Internet is a vast, deep ocean of websites just like yours, but maybe they’re better. They might also be worse, but no one will know that your website is better if it’s never seen. The fact is, you could hide in a dark corner of the internet, unknown and never visited if you don’t market yourself.

Social media websites these days are like virtual billboards. You want to show the world something? Post about it here. And here. And here. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, the list goes on and on. It’s about selling yourself, your company, your passions and opinions.

If a friend posts a link on Facebook, chances are I’ll click on it. Celebrity gossip and updates are things I can easily track down on Twitter, and I feel like I know what’s going on in the world. I follow Reddit daily, browsing for an intriguing link to something new and unexpected. Why do I trust the sources I find on the internet to provide me with information and entertainment? It’s all about community. Whether fabricated or not, these social media sites convey the sense that you belong here with all of these other friends and strangers. Put your name out there in the virtual world again and again, and you will be surprised at what the results may be.

I’ve seen the workings of social media at its best. My mom first created a personal food blog because it’s her passion to cook. A few of her well-written articles and her beautiful site layout were miles better than some other food blogs out there, but she was shy to share the website outside of our friends and family circles. It wasn’t until some time later when she was confident enough in the website content that she spoke out and made her website known. Sharing links on facebook, joining online groups and websites that link back to her blog, all of these steps brought readers from around the globe. Now, a year later, she has over 100 Facebook followers and 600 Twitter followers, most of whom she’s never met before. It is indeed very possible to find the virtual niche your website belongs in, and you can thrive in that niche.

It’s a consistent effort to rise up in the whirlwind of social media. What it takes is weekly blog posts, daily tweets and facebook statuses. Can you continue to captivate your audience again and again, and keep them interested in what you’re doing? The charm of social media is to become reliable. If people think you are like a dependable neighbor or friend, then they will keep coming back to you.

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