Creating a Community, Part 2.
This week’s social media blog posts:
Monday: The two kinds of online consumers.
Tuesday: Creating a Community, Part 1.
Wednesday: Creating a Community, Part 2.
Thursday: Social Media you can own.
Friday: Giving up control.
(This is the tenth in our series of Social Media posts for the month of October. We look forward to your feedback on this series.)
In yesterday’s post, we talked about the power of online social communities with common interests of its members at the center.
Here’s a “ground up” example that might help illustrate how you can elevate “solutions” into the formation of a “community.” Let’s say you are the Brand Manager of Dial Soap. You already have a large number of customers who like you and who are loyal. So you say, so why not just start a Facebook page titled “Friends of Dial Soap”? You could, but chances are you wouldn’t attract attention beyond the audience you already have. (Actually the brand did just that (Dial Soap’s Facebook)…and has a whopping total of 53 friends. Out of a possible 300 million. Woo hoo.)
So try broadening your approach. Ask what it is that your customers like about you, or how you can help visitors solve some sort of problem. Remember, successful Social Marketers are those who understand what customers are trying to do and how their products and services can help them achieve this.
Knowing this, you might start a Facebook page titled “Protecting Families From H1N1 Flu Virus.” There. You have just set Dial Soap up as the solution. Maybe not the end-all solution to protecting families from the flu, but by setting up and enabling a community of people who can come together to share ideas, tips and thoughts on minimizing the chances of contracting H1N1. You could integrate news feeds from relevant health news sources into the page, along with interactive maps to follow the migration of the flu bug, health and immunization alerts and other relevant information. And yes, you’ll make it easy (effortless) for community members to find out more about Dial products and where to find them.
You could then use this Facebook page to sign up followers to receive a “Flu Tip of the Day” via Twitter, and link to YouTube videos you’ve posted demonstrating the correct way to wash hands, sanitize kitchens and virus-proof play areas.
In other words, you can use Social Media networks to tap into an audience (or create an audience) that is already out there.
Then, there’s the “Magic Multiplier” of social networks: once you’ve “friended” someone, your postings are visible on the “wall” of their page, making it easier for others (friends, and friends of friends) to become part of the community. A recently completed study found click-through rates on Facebook wall posts average around 6.5% (compared to the average 0.02% click-through rate on social network banner ads), demonstrating that social media users are more deeply involved in the content.
You can see how communities can build fast. In some cases, companies can build a sizable following strictly using Social Media networks. Nike and Apple have over a million fans on Facebook. Even the AFLAC duck has nearly 140,000 friends on Facebook and nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter.
Social Media networks are one quick way to tap into or build a community. There are other ways you can build communities as well. We’ll touch on some of those in our next post.
Posted by Mickey
- Creating a Community, Part 1.
- Social Media you can own.
- 500,000 Facebook fans in less than a week.
- Sticky yet slippery.
- The demise of the “fourth wall.”