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Why Private Online Communities Are the "New Black"
Posted on June 12th 2014
You have a website, you have a blog, you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, WhatsApp, FourSquare, Klout, and so on. How much time and resources do you allocate to maintaining ALL those platforms? Why are we sending our communities on social media treasure hunts to find the latest information we are sharing. Isn’t it time to do things better, more effectively and consolidate it all into a single place?
In today’s fast paced world of social networking time truly equates to money, and obsolescence can happen in moments. Forget about neglecting a platform, all the hard won fans won’t be there when you turn back around again. So what is a busy social media executive supposed to do?
Take a lesson from some of the big boys as they shift their focus away from the traditional website and move toward "Website 3.0".
Imagine... if you could integrate all your social network accounts into your website seamlessly and effortlessly, incorporate a forum style discussion board for improving customer service and retention, and then sprinkle in media sharing with videos and images.
Let’s not forget the blog, content is still King no matter what those predicting the death of content will tell you. Imagine that just posting an update or sharing a video filtered automatically to all your peripheral sites, then aggregated the content right back onto your site via your social wall.
That’s what is happening now. The focus on efficiency and elimination of the duplication or processes that eat away at corporate revenue is fast becoming the “new black” in corporate social media strategies.
Before you protest and cringe at the cost of a completely new website deployment consider the following... There are turnkey solutions available NOW that allow even the most technical Neanderthal to build their own online community website in under 10 minutes.
I have spent a lot of time recently, exploring some of the popular options currently available, I was a fan of Ning from when they first began, I saw the incredible potential for a business to really work those sites and create what I envisioned would be the perfect website meet social networking platform. Fast forward to today, and I found my McDreamy of a website answer in Follr.
If you are an observer of tech and social media trends, and the daily new buzzing topic, you will notice the term “private social network” becoming more and more frequently used. This is a broad definition of a category of products currently available, many have a few features mentioned above, but few have all those features as well as dynamic features and frequent user suggested additions to service.
Follr, with what I believe is the ultimate solution to “Socialize your website,” is a relatively “new kid” on the block, established in 2011 it has taken off amongst a savvy set in Silicon Valley (and me, over here in Delaware) who recognize the potential this hybrid offering has. What started as a professional networking site also includes some amazing features for individual digital identity profiles which allow the user to customize their own “story” as well as share their social postings.
Eagerly anticipated since last Fall was the addition of Follr Communities. These are unlike any of the otherprivate social networks or online communities currently available. For instance, NOW California built a community to help their mission of labor rights and women’s rights and initiatives. Other examples are communities for NBC The Voice, HBO’s Game of Thrones, Huffington Post, and my personal favorite a Community Managers Community (say that 10 times fast). And even better, each community has a social wall - where you can follow connected profiles from a multitude of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress and more.
All the other kids are doing it, why shouldn’t you? Is often the mantra in the social media world. In this case you really can.
For instance with Follr you can go from no community to your own private online community in less than 10 minutes. Fully integrated, totally scalable and visually pleasing, a Follr Communities Website can do a lot of things that your Facebook page can’t do, like replace your antiquated website.
So if you want to have a leg-up on the competition (for once), I strongly encourage you to create your free Follr account and build your own community, you won’t be disappointed (I guarantee it, I like it so much I begged for a job to help people discover my obsession, Follr).