Building a community around your brand is one of the most essential assets that you have.
So what the heck is community?
Community is family.
Community is friends.
Community is listeners.
Community is followers.
Community is organizations.
Community is people with shared beliefs.
Community is people that you need to help.
Community is a set of people that you run to for help.
Your community is built up of the people and relationships that surround you. When you need help, you reach out to your community. When your community needs help, you help. Both are interdependent on each other.
In today’s world, all we have to trust is community. MASS MEDIA IS GARBAGE. It’s the Polar Bear of media. It can build you up and then eat you later. People don’t want to be told to believe, try or trust something from someone that is not emotionally connected with them. It takes building a human emotional connection (empathy, the ability to relate to, etc.). Remember, a majority of a message depends on who it is coming from. Let’s dive in a bit further…
We’ve All Experienced the Power of Community
Think about a time when you really needed help with something. Maybe selling subs for a youth sports team when you were a kid. What did you do? You called your family members. You then called or walked over with a smiling face and ask your neighbors. I don’t know about you, but I would hit my sales quota every time just by doing that. What can we learn from these experiences when it comes to driving our brands forward. Increasing sales. Gaining followers. Gaining attention of bloggers. Gaining attention of the press.
What Can We Learn from Past Experiences
The one thing we can learn from this experience is that it’s much easier to reach out to your existing community for help. The people that already know, like and trust you. The people that will listen to you. The people that care. If we know this then why do we continually focus on reaching out to strangers, who supposedly are in “our market”, and ask them for help (buy your product, share your information, etc.). I think it has something to do with the fact that we view reaching out to the outside world as having more opportunity then just reaching out to our very own community. The people close to home. I’ve made that mistake probably a thousands times getting Social HubSite off the ground.
In my eyes, I believe in a methodology to build your community by focusing on what I call using the 4 P’s to Build a Community Around You and Your Brand. Some of these questions are the backbone behind the new book I’m working on right now, The Social HubSite – “How to Reach Your Destiny Through Your Community” coming out fall of 2013.
- Why do you exist? This goes for both you and any brand you developed or are a part of.
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Why should other people care?
- Do your goals align with why you exist?
- Who can help you achieve your purpose?
- Who cares about why you exist?
- Who do you already know that can help you?
- Who are the connectors that surround you?
- What form of media are you using to attract and sustain your community?
- Do your websites just blast information or do they offer real engagement opportunities that are centered around your purpose?
- Do people feel a part of your brand/idea or are they just connected in some way?
- Do you offer unique engagement opportunities for people that care and have a passion for the purpose you serve?
- How are you engaging the people around inside of the platforms you have created or participate on? (i.e. how are you gaining feedback from customers)
- How are you using your website to be an extension of your social networking experience?
- How are you drawing people in closer to your brand to better focus their time, attention and energy?
- How do people interact with your brand directly?
These are questions that you need to be able to answer if you want to attract your ideal customers and fans. By answering some of these questions you will start to formulate a strategy to grow through your community. For example, one strategy using social media to attract customers and fans is to comment on status updates from connections on LinkedIn. Part of what makes humans connect with empathy (showing people that you listen and that you care). Write back to your connections in the comment area under their status update with a thoughtful response. It’s worth your time. At some point when you need to ask them for help, the likelihood that they will listen and take action is far greater. Part of the success behind an effort like this is carefully selecting the people that you can help and vis versa. Common sense right? But why don’t we do it?
The key is FOCUS and PRIORITY. Spend a few moments thinking through the 4 P’s. What are you doing to each day to optimize one of the 4 areas? Think close to you and not so far away. The pathway to wherever you are trying to go, what ever you are trying to achieve, whoever you want to be, is right in front of you. It’s not hard.
Care about your community and your community will care about you.
Become a member of Social HubSite today and we can help you build a community around your brand. We bring the technology and personalized support that you need to optimize the 4 P’s to attract your ideal community (customers, fans, etc.) and empower them to help you achieve your purpose.