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Andy’s Answers: How Mitch Joel is building online communities that scale

Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation, recently spoke at GasPedal’s Word of Mouth Supergenius event, sharing his big ideas behind how to build a community and all the work that goes into it.

Mitch’s big point: Great communities take a lot of time and a lot of hard work. Recently, Mitch’s agency, TwistImage, was named one of the top Canadian marketing firms. From the outside, it may seem like something of an overnight success. But in reality, Mitch says it’s the result of nearly a decade of blogging and relationship building.

And while it may be hard work, it’s worth it. As he puts it, “We finally have this chance to have real interactions with real human beings.” A few of his big takeaways:

  • Start building your community today. You can’t build a community on a whim. Instead, Mitch says he believes in consistently building an audience now so that when you do have something worth promoting, they’re there for you.
  • Consistency is critical. Humans love consistency. Nobody wakes up in the morning and hopes their car or coffee pot is in a different spot than the night before. Just like in traditional media where everything is published on a calendar, social media works best when you deliver a consistent stream of content.
  • Ask: Why are we here? A common first question from clients is, “What should we be doing on Twitter? What should we be doing on Facebook?” These “what” questions, Mitch says, are tactic-based. “Why” questions however, are strategy-based.

If you like this presentation, check out our upcoming Word of Mouth Supergenius event in New York on July 20.