Whether you’re a community manager, a social media marketer, a PR pro or a digital strategist, chances are good you could use a sounding board once in a while.
Joining a group of likeminded professionals is a great way to bounce around ideas, ask and answer questions and share industry news and tips.
Luckily, there are lots of communities out there where both new and seasoned pros can go to talk shop and get help—whether your preferred network is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+!
Here’s a list of 30+ of the best groups to check out.
Top Twitter chats
A Twitter chat is where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed. A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour.
Imagine a business networking event—but without a dress code and with a keyboard instead of a bar. The same social customs apply—courtesy and respect—and it’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests. There are Twitter chats in almost every industry imaginable. Here are some of the best for marketing and social media.
Wednesday at 2pm EST
Founders: Kelly Lux and Jenn Pedde
Tweets per chat: 400+
This chat’s been around since early 2010, and still going stronger than ever. It’s one of the best weekly chats to talk and mingle with other community builders and managers.
Sundays at 9pm EST
Founder: Mack Collier
Tweets per chat: 1500+
This is another chat that’s been going on since the early days. It’s a fantastic chat to discuss the latest trends and get blogging tips.
Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST
Founder: Marsha Collier
Tweets per chat: 1500+
Not just limited to social media, this Twitter chat is great for all things customer service. With a ton of loyal regulars who come back each week, it’s a great way to start building relationships with other customer service pros and get inspired to “wow” your customers on and offline day in and day out.
Wednesdays at 11am EST
Founder: Maria Duron
Tweets per chat: 1000+
This is a great chat for all things branding and digital marketing.
Tuesdays at 12pm EST
Tweets per chat: 50+
One of the newer chats out there; it’s a good one if you are interested in enterprise tech, big data, social business and community platforms.
Tuesdays at 8pm EST and Thursdays at 11am EST
Founder: Adrian Segar
Tweets per chat: 2,000+
Social media works at it’s best when it connects the online offline. This is a great chat to participate in to share event planning tips.
Tuesdays at 2pm EST
Founders: Michele Weisman
Tweets per chat: 360+
Started by Likeable Media, a social media agency, this chat is all around social media and digital marketing topics.
Tuesdays at 8pm EST
Founders: Viveka Von Rosen and Martine Hunter
Tweets per chat: 540+
If you are specifically focused on Linkedin, this chat is a great place to go for tips and best practices.
Tuesdays at 8pm EST
Founder: John Sternal and Chrisanne Sternal
Tweets per chat: 500+
While not specifically on social media, this a great chat if you are doing social media or digital marketing for a small business.
10. #SSHour // #SocialEntHour
Mondays at 4pm EST
Founders: Rachel Miller and Brian Fanzo
Tweets per chat: 150+
Another newer chat; a great one on social business.
Thursdays at 12pm EST
Founders: Daniel Newman and Brian Fanzo
Tweets per chat: 600+
This chat is great for those in the cloud computing and Big Data industries.
Fridays at 2pm EST
Founders: Sherrie Rohde, Dom Garrett and Jonathan Brewer
Tweets per chat: 600+
Part Twitter chat and part Google Hangout on Air, this is another great group for community managers. You can tune into the Google Hangout on Air as well as ask questions on Twitter every Friday at 2pm EST.
Mondays at 9pm EST
Founder: Atomic Reach
Tweets per chat: 3,000+
This is a great chat for both content marketers and community managers, as it dovetails nicely into both areas.
Tuesdays at 2pm EST
Tweets per chat: 1,100+
Hosted by @Paper_li, this is another great chat to check out if you specialize in small biz.
Tuesdays at 9pm EST
Founder: Pam Moore
Tweets per chat: 750+
Started by Pam Moore, this chat aims to separate itself from the whole host of other social media chats by only focusing on the new and freshest perspectives.
Wednesdays at 12pm EST
Tweets per chat: 2,500+
I couldn’t write a post all about Twitter chats without mentioning Buffer’s chat. One of the newer chats on the scene, it’s definitely a great one to participate in.
Thursdays at 10pm EST
Founder: Aaron Kilby
Tweets per chat: 1,800+
This chat focused on the online media side, not-so shockingly from the name.
Wednesdays at 9pm EST
Founder: Kelly Lieberman
Tweets per chat: 900+
The original Twitter chat about Pinterest, this chat shares its passion for Pinterest through discussions of best practices, new uses, tools, personal/professional use and more.
If you choose to get involved with one or even a few of these chats, the folks at Buffer have wrapped up some Twitter chat best practices into one handy list:
Top Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups make it easy to connect with specific sets of people, like teammates or coworkers. Groups are dedicated spaces where you can share updates, photos or documents and message other group members, which makes them great for networking as well as sharing.
There’s a ton of conversations happening at just about every hour of the day within these Facebook groups, some of the best ones I’ve found.
Group size: 1,500+ members
Started by David Spinks, CMX’s Founder, this Facebook group is the world’s largest, dedicated resource for educating, supporting and empowering community professionals. It’s a great place to meet other community managers, ask questions and share knowledge.
20. Social Fresh West / East
Group size: 500+ members
If you have ever been to a Social Fresh Conference before, you know they create a Facebook group before each of their flagship conferences. Many of these groups have remained fairly active months, if not years, after each conference. It’s a great place to connect with other social media managers and ask questions/share knowledge around social media management and marketing best practices.
Group size: 2,100+ members
If you work in editorial or news media, this group is a must-join. It is a massive community and focuses on all things related to social media in news. Plus, the community moderators make a point to emphasize and enforce all chat is off the record.
22. Secret Team
Group size: 9,200+ members
While certainly not just about social media or community management, this is a great community, founded by Chris Brogan, for any entrepreneur, consultant or freelancer to join. The group only has three main ground rules.
- You can help others be more successful
- You’re open to talking about ways to improve yourself.
- You don’t try to sell the heck out of your fellow teammates.
23.Community Manager, Advocate and Evangelist
Group size: 9,400+ members
This is another great hybrid group for both community and social media managers. You can mingle with other CMs, ask questions and share tips in more closed, focused environment.
24.Social Media Jobs
Group size: 19,000+ members
If you are looking for your next top hire or looking for your next gig, this group is a must-join. The core purpose of this group is to share social media jobs all around the world. However, there is definitely a US biased in this group.
25.Social Media Managers
Group size: 8,000+ members
This group is solely for social media managers to assist each other with questions, share best practices and talk about the latest trends.
26.Dirty Little Social Media Questions
Group size: 300+ members
The whole purpose of this group is provide a safe space to ask any question related to social media. This group os where you can ask any social media questions you’re afraid to ask elsewhere. With safety in mind, all conversations that take place in this group are considered off the record and confidential.
27.Social Media and Wine
Group size: 1,100+ members
Who doesn’t like wine and social media? This is the group for all social media managers who either work in food and wine or are just major foodies. Unlike some other groups mentioned in this post, this group skews very international and especially Australian-centric.
Bonus: Social Media Club
Group size: varies
Chances are if you live in a bigger city, you have a Social Media Club. Many of these clubs have their own local Facebook groups. This can be a great group to join to mingle with other pros in your specific area.
Top Linkedin Groups
If Linkedin is more your fancy, here’s a list of a few groups where you can mingle with other social media professionals.
28. Social Media Today
Group size: 140,000+ members
Started in 2008, this one of the most established groups on Linkedin. It’s a great place for social media professionals in all areas to share business tips and discuss the latest trends.
29. Community Managers Group
Group size: 12,000+ members
This is a group for both community and social media managers to talk shop and share tips for how they use social media to engage with their respected communities.
30. Digital Marketing
Group size: 690,000+ members
This group is for any and all digital marketers. It covers everything from social media and PR tips to online advertising and analytics.
Top Google+ Groups
Last but certainly not least, here’s a list of a few Google+ communities where you can mingle with other social media professionals.
Many Google+ communities are quite active as a place to meet and engage with people on topics you’re interested in.
31. Social Media Professionals
Group size: 59,000+ members
This is a great group specifically for social media marketers and digital PR pros to mingle with one another, chat about the latest trends and share interesting campaigns and case studies.
32. B2B Social Media
Group size: 1,800+ members
As it sounds, this is a group for social media managers in the B2B space. It’s specifically focused on sharing actionable tips, resources and campaigns relevant to B2B companies.
33. Google Small Business Community
Group size: 400,000+ members
With more than 350,000 members, this community, which is run by Google, is a goldmine for small business owners looking for tips for how to stand out online. They share a bunch of insider tips and often run AMAs and Hangouts on Air with certified advisors in a variety of topics.
How to get involved
With so many great groups online, it can be hard to decide which ones to join and participate in. Regardless of which groups you end up participating in, any of the ones mentioned above can give you a significant advantage when it comes to networking with others in your industry, staying on top of industry trends and just having a place to brainstorm and ask for feedback.
Here are a few tips for how to get the most out of the groups that you join:
- Start small. Choose 2-3 groups total to participate in so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Spend 10 minutes about three times per week in each group. That could be reading and “liking a post,” commenting, asking a question, etc.
- A good ratio to strive for is 80% commenting and/or sharing others’ content to 20% your own stuff. Spending too much time in the group talking about yourself or sharing your own content might not work as well to help you make connections as being interested in others.
Add your favorite chat or group!
There are tons of amazing resources online for social media marketer to meet and learn from other pros. If I missed your favorite spot to ask and answer questions and get involved with the social media community, I’d love to hear about it! Share it below so we can keep making this resource even better for all of us.
Photo Credit: Marc Wathieu