FountainBlue’s monthly top-ten rules of marketing are designed to guide our client entrepreneurial tech companies and the community in general on marketing practices that clearly communicate and connect, thereby generating momentum for people and organizations. This month’s top-ten-marketing rules topic will be on the top ten ways to build a community around your business, leveraging non-tangible social currency.
If you go with the tenet that momentum is at the heart of all business successes, then it follows that in the new age of building business where the consumer is king and technology is leveraged to deliver custom solutions, then creating a community around your business, engaging stakeholders at all levels through social currency is paramount for the business. Below are ten ways to build a community around your business, leveraging non-tangible social currency.
Find Win-Win Opportunities to Engage Select Ambassadors.
1. It’s a win-win if your company brand can enlist the right ambassador(s) to complement and extend that brand. It’s good for the company, and good for the community and individuals as well.
2. You could also enlist ambassadors by geographic location, extending your current brand and reach beyond what currently exists. It’s a win for the company as they extend to new territory, and a win for your ambassadors, who can associate with a respected brand, service and product, and extend the value and the reach of same.
Recruit Contributors and Managers to build the message and the community.
- Content experts add credibility to your community, and create relevant, timely content which educates, informs and engages. They gain social currency by writing on-topic to a relevant community and followership and receive recognition and esteem for doing so.
4. Activists can moderate community discussions on relevant topics while participating in the vibrancy and viability of the community, which benefits all.
Promote and Reward The Participation and Involvement of Your Advocates.
- Recognize your community leaders on the web site, in meetings and events, every chance you get. Many of the most engaged leaders respond well to this, provided that it is done well, and provided that they see fellow contributors as their peers.
- Additional social recognition for the most eager and enthusiastic supporters can be very motivating for all, providing that this is done fairly and well.
7. Tangible rewards are also at times appreciated, but generally not as coveted as social, non-tangible rewards for the most part.
By definition, your advocates will be closer-to-the-needs-of-the-customer than you are, so Enlist Their Input about how to better serve people like them.
8. Start with the needs and challenges of the customers rather than with a technology innovation which may serve the customer.
9. Develop and enhance your user interface to meet the needs of your customers.
10. Get insights from your advocates on how to expand technologies and brand into new markets.
We conclude that marketing has evolved with the times, and it will be much more about authentic advocacy, committed volunteers and social currency than it will be about PR, search engine optimization and ad-buying, although that will remain important. The challenge is to build that community and social currency that benefits all.
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