Defining Ourselves from Within the Group

Social Media’s About the Group

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp and every piece of social media out there has done something amazing. Some have scaled better than others, but each has managed to bring people together to connect, share, collaborate and create in at least some small way.

The most successful platforms have huge numbers of users, but within each user base there are segments of individuals tied together in some way. Perhaps, they're colleagues at work, or maybe they share an intense passion for The Walking Dead. The point is within these huge platforms, communities form based on commonalities and shared interests.

The greatest value social media provides to people is its potential to build community. Why does one get on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform? It’s because others are already there. A community is forming, and following human nature, we want to be a part of it.

Social Media’s About the Individual

While the potential for community is key, the opportunity to define ourselves from within that community is essential as well. One doesn’t want to be just another Twitter user. I want to be Taylor Wiegert living in Cincinnati, Ohio at @twiegert. Being part of the Twitter group isn’t enough. Staking our own personal claim in a community much larger than ourselves is.

This is not limited to Twitter. With Facebook, we can define ourselves from within the Facebook community through our profile pictures and bios, through Flickr we define ourselves through the photos we share, with blogs we are defined by our content and so on.

Defining Ourselves from Within the Group

It’s human nature to want to be part of a community, and social media allows us to do that in the online space. However, humans by nature are pretty egotistical, and there is a desire to stake our claim and create our own personal brand from within that community. The most successful social media platforms understand this, which is why they are sure to incorporate both features.

The strongest brand social media presences appeal to the community and the individual mentality. It’s a fine balance of appealing to your consumer base while recognizing your passionate advocates and potential customers. How is your brand handling this?