To get the best out of a community you need to stick out from the crowd in some way. Most good communities have some form of recognition for their more active users. You’ll see a lot of this on most popular ning sites.

Here is a list of things you can do in these communities to help stick out:

Post Something Useful

Every time I join a community this is the first thing I do. It is important that you post something that is relevant to the site as well as resourceful for it’s members. When I write these posts I like to also be as transparent as possible. Letting people know my intentions with the post helps them connect with my thought process behind it.

There have also been times when I felt it was appropriate to just repost something from my personal blog that is relevant to the community. I only do this in closed communities where Google won’t run across the duplicate content. I always link back to the original source as to not mislead anyone and to avoid people second guessing the posts origins.

This approach has worked well for me across all of my networks. The better the post, the better it works.

Get The Creator’s Attention

Reaching out to the owner of the community is a great way to get the inside scoop of its functions. Most communities have a page you can leave a comment on … or you could always find them on Twitter. Once you’re in the creator’s scope of vision you are more likely to get your posts, videos or profile featured on the front page.

Be Very Active

Another approach you could take is to participate in small amounts across the whole network:

  • Comment on a couple of existing posts
  • Post some relevant videos from youtube
  • Participate in forum discussions
  • etc…

Most communities will have some sort of ranking system for it’s members to encourage their participation. The higher your rank, the more exposure you get.

Offer To Help With The Development of the Community

I’ve done this a few times where I offer to organize some sort of activity for the community. It could also be as easy as just spreading the word to your Twitter friends. People usually remember the person that brought them into the community.

Conclusion

The goal is to get noticed through quality resourceful interaction with the community. Not all communities are created equal and certain approaches work better at different times. Be sure to set goals for yourself in your social media endeavours and learn to recognize a bad egg when you find one.

- Photo by Boston Public Library

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  • http://gabrielgadfly.com Gabriel Gadfly

    This is a good article. I’ve wondered about reposting content from my blog to a relevant community, but how do you know if it is a closed community not indexable by Google?

    • http://www.jonbishop.org Jon Bishop

      A ‘closed community’ is simply a community that you must be a member of to view the content.