How To Use Social Media To Create Community

group of people setting up campfire

Earlier this month I wrote an article for ChurchMag. It was about the importance of creating community in the social media space, and also gave a couple practical ways to make that happen.

It was actually inspired by a conversation in the comments section of another post on ChurchMag, and I thought it was valuable enough to write an entire post around the idea. The idea was this:

Conversation creates community.

In the article, I gave a couple tips on how to drive conversation, which will then lead to growing community. It’s essentially about being intentional, strategic, and personal. To read the full article, you can click here.

One last thing before you click over to the actual post

If you read through it, you’ll notice I end the article with a quote and a question (typical Dustin ;)…). It was a little disappointing to me that nobody actually answered the question.

Maybe because it was too difficult. Maybe it was too open-ended. Maybe people have something against 18th century poets! For whatever reason though, nobody answered the question, and I’m sure that this community here on DUSTN will be able to add some insight (or at least give it a shot).

So, do me a favor and head over to ChurchMag to read the full “How To Use Social Media To Create Community“.

Dustin W. Stout Avatar

13 responses to “How To Use Social Media To Create Community”

  1. DustinWStout Avatar

    Awesome! I can’t wait to read it!

  2. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    I think that says something about our society. If you can communicate with someone regularly then just delete your only means of communication with them and give no thought to never talking to them again. Like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I can understand someone getting frustrated with Twitter and deleting it then realizing they have lost contact with someone but typically if you have been talking with someone on any Social Network for more than a few months you have at least an email or alternate chat contact for them to stay connected.

  3. Brandon Avatar

    Yes…eric! He emailed me back, and I got accepted! I’ll be writing something soon for it when things wind down in school in a few months…

  4. Alex Humphrey Avatar
    Alex Humphrey

    I know what you are saying, and in some circumstances I have seen that too. I was not complaining about my experience, but in experiences I have seen with friends of mine.

    I know a few people who left twitter and people who use to actively communicate with them regularly (like, multiple times a day) had no idea they had deleted their accounts weeks before until I mentioned it.

    I’ve seen it happen multiple times, even with users who had once met in person. It’s easy to disappear in social networking, even with people you think of as friends.

  5. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    I have to disagree Alex. It depends greatly on your level of involvement within the community whether it’s online or face to face that determines how connected you will be when you stop communicating. For example, someone recently shared his first church experience with a group of us and he spoke of arriving to no greeting, making his way to a seat in the sanctuary where no one ever really noticed him. After the service he made his way out and never returned and no one ever knew he was there. That experience equates quite a bit like someone coming in here or on someones twitter account and leaving a comment, not getting a reply then never returning and engaging further within the community. On the other hand, my experience with Shepherd of the Hills where I call my church home was quite different. I was greeted at the doors where they have greeters waiting to welcome you. During the Worship there is a time of greeting where you have a few minutes to shake hands with a few people around you and again feel even more welcomed. The weekly bulletin has a first time visitor card where they offer you a CD of any previous message simply for giving your contact information which allows them to send you a follow up letter thanking you for attending and welcoming you to return and offering you resources if you had any questions. Now if you haven’t returned you feel as though you were missed. The same thing should occur on your blog or even twitter account. When someone comments, you should engage them as Dustin does here. If someone who engages regularly suddenly goes silent, you should send them an email asking if they are still receiving your updates or if perhaps the content is simply not relevant to them as perhaps you may want to change it up a bit. Obviously as your community grows it’s harder for a single blogger to keep track of hundreds of subscribers but that’s where the community at large comes in. Especially in a Christian community. You begin to make connections on a blog and take that off to places like Facebook or Google+ where you see their daily updates and when you see a pattern of posts and notice a sudden silence you then send them a private message to check up on them.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. Alex Humphrey Avatar
    Alex Humphrey

    How to use social media to create community? In a way, I think it’s impossible. Real community (especially Christian community) is face-to-face real.

    How can I get people interested in my twitter and have a couch to sleep on next time I travel? If making a few online friends and keeping up with them is what you mean, I’m not sure.

    A lot of people I know follow each other, tweet back and forth, but if someone “goes silent” for a few days, it’s like they never existed. Is that real community?

    Blogs like this get a lot of comments and interaction on twitter, facebook, etc, but has a real community been created?

    In some ways yes, in other ways no.

    As you said, it’s a really tough question.

    God Bless,

    PS – I’d still love to hear that idea you had for me a few weeks ago!

  7. DustinWStout Avatar

    Thanks for your comment Wendy! I will surely check it out!

  8. Wendy Ager Avatar


    Now I’m not sure where’s best to post a comment!

    To SHOW people how this could work, check out Jonny Rose’s blog and his Purley (local town in the UK) 2.0 Project. This is his endeavour to increase the digital literacy and participation of people in his local community. He’s @98RosJon on Twitter.

    Since connecting with him online we’ve had regular growing meetings in Purley and I’ve got involved with Purley Business Association and Purley Festival – which are all about connecting, MEETING and helping each other within the community. There’s also a great online community sharing, connecting and supporting each other between meetings with various hashtags on Twitter.
    It’s amazing!

    Wendy Ager

  9. DustinWStout Avatar

    That would be Eric. He’s a cool dude.

  10. DustinWStout Avatar

    Haha! I noticed that! Thanks David! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Brandon Avatar


  12. Brandon Avatar

    I actually found out about church mag from your site a few weeks ago. I emailed the dude in charge about being a contributor…

  13. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    Awesome article! I think I worded myself out over on ChurchMag so I will let you read over there ๐Ÿ™‚

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