I’ve been reading “A World Gone Social” lately for a personal branding class & I came across a chapter I particularly enjoyed called “It takes a community.”
This chapter defined what it truly means to be a “social media community member”.
Many big corporations still use social media as a means to blast out messages through a megaphone, as was the practice in traditional marketing (billboards, newspaper ads, commercials, etc.)
But the chapter defined good community engagement as doing the following:
- Being social from the top down: Believing that being “social” is not a campaign, it’s a commitment.
- Building on a common purpose: Don’t build a community around a product – instead, build a community around a common need, agenda or purpose.
- Putting the community first: Put the goals of the community first. Seek first to serve, then others will begin to trust and confide in you & your brand.
- Going where the community members live: Learn who your target demographic is and go meet them where they are.
- Being consistent facilitators: Be consistent in your activity and interaction with your online communities. It lets them know you’re truly there and not just there when you need sales.
- Enabling the community to self-moderate and self-protect: Sometimes you just need to stay out of it. Yes, you may be the expert in a community, but a true community has supplementary members as well who lead when the situation calls for it.
- Encouraging sharing and self-learning: Ask for feedback, critiques, suggestions – let your community know you’re still learning too and would love to learn from what they know.
- Promoting individual thinking: It’s OK to encourage intelligent disagreement and cultivate discussions. Plus, ‘groupthink’ stinks.
- and Cultivating a “red velvet rope” mindset: Make your community feel special, as if the information and content they’re getting on this side of the rope is exclusive to just them.
I totally agree with these ‘how-to’s’! Couldn’t have said it better myself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these “building a true social community” guidelines and any practices you have in your online community building.