Online outposts are key to a successful social media strategy. Outposts (also known as satellites or embassies) are places on the web where you maintain a presence beyond your home base, i.e., your own website, blog, or online community.
Some of the most notable outposts are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Ning, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Posterous, Tumblr, FriendFeed, online forums, and even the comment sections of other blogs.
Outposts are great places to grow your ministry’s online presence, and build trust, credibility, and relationships. They can generate ideas, traffic, resources, partnerships, and community. Outposts are ideal locations to engage and interact with persons who might not know of, or visit your home base.
At outposts you can add content, test ideas, and set up listening posts (e.g., using Twitter Search) to harvest insights. You can use these insights to inform ministry decisions and actions, as well as, share with your home base. Just as your home base feeds your outposts, outposts can also feed your home base!
Maintaining a presence at online outposts can drive traffic back to your home base. It can also build the influence of your ministry online. Activity at outposts can even take on a life of its own where community can emerge outside of your home base.
Outposts are different things to different people. From a ministry perspective, they can be seen as missionary fields on which to engage in Kingdom building!
(Many thanks to Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com, Darren Rowse at Problogger.net, and Cody McKibben at Socialmediamarketing.com for some of the ideas used in this post.)
Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!