To begin to build a community online I believe that, firstly, you have to work out how to get the best out of people. Secondly, you have to think of creative ways in which to engage with your audience and keep them entertained.
The ultimate goal is getting your fans to work for you. To be advocates for your brand and tell everyone they meet about you.
One of the best ways to do this is to offer an unbeatable service. Look at how Facebook began. Upload a profile and share. Its that simple. This has now obviously progressed somewhat but the core concept remains the same. It has matured, into positive engagement and lifestyle. What a success!
Your ideas for engagement have to share the same values. There are companies nowadays offering services to people that have been sorely missed in the past and they all share one thing in common. They provide a service that is unique and which fills a gap in the market but they get people connecting. For example;
- www.peopleperhour.com. This provides people with a unique and specific job search and also enables people to post up what services they can offer.
- www.cdbaby.com – you join, pay the small fee and upload your songs and release them on itunes. Boom.
- A brand new site called www.roomrooster.com is about to hit our cyberairwaves, which introduces landlords and people that need to rent a room and vice versa. It seems to top the competition as it has a heart, design friendly and ultimately, a free service. For now.
A recent chat with a fellow marketer revealed another brilliant idea centred around a big event. That particular company (who can’t be named at this stage) have thought of an ingenious way in which to fill their event and getting their avid fans working for them and THIS, my friends is the way forward.
In some ways it could be compared to getting 20 teenagers selling tickets to all their friends for an club night, to guarantee numbers. Look at how Prime Time TV programmes work, encouraging you to get involved on Twitter with hashtags, or even call in an vote to win a huge prize. The concepts are the same with different tangible rewards for the marketer.
Food for thought?