The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 5

In this series of posts, we’ve been talking about the 5 C’s of social media. We covered “ContentContextClarity and Consistency.” Today it’s time to talk about the final C:

5. Community.

In order to build a community, you have to decide which type of approach to social media you are going to take. And there are basically only three approaches:

1. Passion Approach

2. Ideas Approach

3. Personal Approach

In the passion approach, you write about everything related to one particular passion. You love knitting. You are crazy about knitting. And it’s your greatest desire to write about all things knitting. My blog Stuff Christians Like is an example of the passion approach. I write about Christian satire on that blog, and that’s it. In order to write about chasing a dream and hustling, I had to start a new blog instead of trying to cram those ideas into SCL.

In the ideas approach, you write about your ideas on a broad range of subjects. You are saying, “This item just passed through my filter of thinking. Here’s what I think about it.” Seth Godin’s blog is a great example of an ideas approach. He writes about publishing and marketing and dreams and business and a huge range of subjects, instead of just one singular passion.

In the personal approach, you write about every part of your life. This is like a reality show, where instead of cameras, you use social media to share. My friend Carlos Whittaker’s blog is a brilliant example of the personal approach. When he and his family decided to adopt, they didn’t just write about the idea of adoption. They took the whole world on the adventure with them to South Korea. And, in the process, they inspired other people to adopt.

There are some blogs and social media platforms that blur these approaches. But, for the most part, people pick one path and stick with it. The business blogger you love is not going to write about problems he’s having in his marriage. Carlos is not going to write worship leader posts for a solid year at the exclusion of everything else. And the reason is simple: communities want to know who you are.

If you read a blog about knitting for a year, and then all of the sudden the blogger said, “Today’s post is about how I’m having a hard time feeling loved by my husband,” that’d be a weird experience. We’d spent a year building a relationship around a passion approach, and now there’s suddenly a hard left turn into personal. If the Pioneer Woman deleted all her topics except one and said, “From now on I’m just focusing on writing about an obscure form of cattle breeding,” there’d be a disconnect. You spent years getting to know that amazing blog as an ideas approach, and the sudden transformation into a passion blog would be disappointing.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t evolve over time, but if you’re not deliberate about what your blog or social media platform is all about, your community will never know either.

And if they don’t know who you are, they’ll never know why they should be part of your community.

Read the previous posts from this series here: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

Read more from Jon here.


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Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like. He speaks to businesses, colleges and nonprofits. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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