Social Media — The Latest Chicken or Egg Scenario

by Starla J. King, OutWrite Living

A few weeks ago, I had a thought-provoking (now blog-provoking!) conversation with Mr. Social Media, aka Ted Rubin, and it really got me thinking about this chicken or egg scenario:  Which comes first in social media marketing:  the brand or the audience?

This question had been lurking around the back of my mind while building my new business, OutWrite Living.  I originally planned to start with a fully-fleshed-out website as my first “marketing” tool.  Let’s get my brand solidified, get my message pinpoint clear, and use that to bring visitors to my website…standard Marketing 101 methodology, right?

But there was something missing there for me.  My business is about connection, inspiration, a sense of community and shared experience…  and, oh by the way, my writing services.   I wanted something “richer” than a standard website to offer potential community members so they could better experience the OutWrite Living brand.  I decided to try something different and see what would happen if I started with building the community, leaving the website til later.

So I set up an OutWrite Living Facebook page and invited a couple-hundred of my closest friends – people that I thought would genuinely be interested in being part of this community, and people that seemed to have the energy I envisioned in this group.  Lo and behold, fans started arriving… without promise of anything except inspiration, entertainment, and possible connections…  because they all had one shared thing already – ME. 

After taking some time to observe and join the interactions on Facebook, I built the OutWrite Living website (, taking into account everything I had learned about my “audience” interests, likes, needs, etc.   And the best part?  OutWrite Living already has (is) a community!  This means I have a place full of interested, engaged people ready to click on the link to my new website,  read about my writing services, and consider doing business with me.   These people are not just “visitors” – they are honored guests.

So, which comes first – the brand or the audience?  For me, it was the audience… and I suspect this will become the new order for many others as well.  But then again, we still don’t know if the chicken or the egg came first…

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