As the founder of Triberr, a network that helps bloggers attract readers, Dino Dogan knows a thing or two about building a community of raving fans. At BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York, Dogan shared what he’s learned firsthand so other bloggers and marketers can apply these tactics to developing their own followings.
Here are seven keys to building your social media community, based on Dogan’s talk.
- Determine your goal for the community. Know what you’re looking to accomplish with your community. Why are you going to the trouble of building a community? Define the problem you’re solving. In Dogan’s words, “Intention is important.” Triberr focused on solving bloggers’ problem of getting more readers to their content. He calls it “Tribe Marketing.”
- Know your target market. Understand who you’re looking to attract to your community. Dogan advises bloggers and marketers to get inside the heads of their audience; a point with which I strongly agree. Develop a profile of your community in terms of a marketing persona as well as a social media persona so you appreciate how they react to your solution across social media platforms.
- Position the community. This relates back to Jack Trout and Al Ries‘ idea of positioning in the mind of your prospects. Dogan refers to it as renting out emotional brand share. By which, he means you must be clear about what you and your community stand for so people can support you. At its core, this is about building your community’s brand. (To develop your community’s positioning, here are seven branding tips.)
- Be the face of your community. As Dogan pointed out, “Nobody wants to hang out with a logo.” This talks to social media’s need to be human. Your community consists of people interacting with people. You need to be a real person in order to build trust. It’s difficult to get others to be open and supportive if you’re hiding behind a representation.
- Create a culture for your community. Culture is important for building a community. It helps support the connective tissue of your group. Triberr was deliberate in building their culture through the use of a special terms such as “Bonfires,” “Tribe counsel” and “Inbreeding.”
- Understand community happens 24/7. Once you start your community, it takes on a life of its own. You don’t control it. It happens on its own time schedule; even if it’s Friday night, someone will have a question that needs answering. To this end, it’s important to share the work with a group of your most active supporters who love your community and are willing to give back to the community for the greater good.
- Have fun. Allow your community to enjoy itself. Incorporate forms of gamification into your interactions to keep your community engaged and returning.
Building a community of fans, whether it’s to support your blog, brand or company, is about the collective good. While it requires on-going care and feeding to keep it going, the community will take on a life of its own.
What other tactics do you view as important for building a fan community and why? Tell us in the comment section.
This post is by Heidi Cohen, principal of Riverside Marketing Strategies.