written by Will Fraser | December 2nd, 2012
Thank you for joining us for Part 3 of this series on Community Building. If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, I would recommend you go back and give them a read. Feel free to leave comments on any of the 3 parts and I will comment back.
In Part 3 of our series on Community Building, we will cover 5 ways you can apply what we have talked about for your organization.
Start one person at a time
This may sounds tedious but communities are made up of individuals, and individuals require individual attention. Community Building is a one person at a time task.
Talking to your customers/users/members one person at a time is key. Ask them about themselves, about their experiences; make a personal connection. If this is all you do and you do it really well, then you will learn more and have a more loyal community than most others.
Find where people are already talking
As you reach out to individuals and build that personal connection, a community may start to organically grow. The important thing is that you find this community and take part.
When taking part, remember that you are just part of the community and don’t own the community.
A great example of this was seen with Facebook’s Developer community. Facebook setup a Facebook Group for the developers, but the developers ended up talking on Stack Overflow. Instead of resisting this, Facebook closed their group and directed everyone to Stack Overflow in an attempt to foster and grow the community how it organically wanted to grow.
Embrace the community you already part of?
If you selling running shoes, you are probably already part of the running community; if you make beer, you are probably already part of the craft brewing community whether or not you have taken part before.
Community building is a lot easier when you seek out an existing community with which to join forces. Join these communities and get involved. This could be anything from meeting at the local bar to sponsoring an event.
Connect your community members
As your community starts to form and members are participating, it is important that you continue to direct new community members to where others are.
Simply put, this means when you are talking to new individuals, make sure they know where they can meet others like them and join in. This simple task makes it easier to form a critical mass of community in one location.
Amplify your community with Social Media
Now that you have started to form community, it is time to amplify it with Social Media.
Even though your community may have started forming on Twitter, Facebook or your Social Network of choice to this point, you have been allowing it to all happen organically.
Wrapping it all up
In Part 1 of the series we talked about how community is not something that can only be built on Social Media. It starts with people and is amplified by Social Media.
In Part 2 of the series we talked about some examples of how the Disney Fan Club has built a passionate community. They use everything from Nurturing Community to Showing how the Magic is Made.
In Part 3 we talked about several practical tips you can use to start building your own community. Starting with talking to individuals and ending with amplifying it with Social Media.