Put The Communication Back In Community: Extend The Conversation!

Put The Communication Back In Community: Extend The Conversation!

By Liam Foy

A brief background on why you’re reading the brain dump / potential rant from me. So I was recently reading a post by Gary V “What you’re not getting about creating a community” and it got me thinking about how poorly some communities are run.

It’s more than just customer service and managing a crisis. Think about the brands you love…why do you follow them on social? It’s not just because that one time you were wondering if your ASOS delivering was arriving, it’s because you like the content that they produce and share to you on a daily basis. My girlfriend solely follows a local eatery (HomeSweetHome) because she loves their cakes and is tempted every day to buy one of their delicious, mouthwatering cakes every single day (Ok, we like cake. I can’t deny it).

Let’s get back on track, communities…

Is building a community rocket science? No
Do you need a fist full of money to do build a community properly? No
Should your community be based on competition enterers? No
Are we bored of these types of rhetorical questions? Yes. 

Like any plant that grows, nurturing your community is key. Play to your strengths as well as what your community wants. If you don’t know what they want then you need to start researching them, follow them, see what they tweet about, gain an insight into their world.

The connection is key. That’s not just a person talking to the brand / company. It’s the human element of that. It’s someone knowing that they’re actually conversing with another human being. If you can master that human connection, that individual is going to come back to your company because they know you actually care.

Some words that were drilled into me as fresh faced youngster were “Extent the conversation”. Simple words yet they go a very, very long way in the building process. So the next time you’ve created and shared your blog post / video / GIF of a person eating bacon, think about those words and how you can offer that little bit extra value to someone who takes the time to send you a message. You’d be annoyed if you messages someone and never got a response, so why should you give your community, people who actually like your brand the cold shoulder. If your aim is about likes / follows etc. community building is a long term play and you’re probably going to see very limited results in 1 day. I feel there’s some old cliche quote about ‘Rome’ and ‘a day’.

If you offer your community a better experience on social they’re going to be a retained customer. McKinsey & Company found that “improving customer experience from average to ‘wow’ is with 30-50% more in likelihood to renew and buy another product”. Stats to back up, ideas – what a world we live in.

The only real thing you need is a little bit of time and dedication to the cause (okay two things but they go hand in hand, right?) No one can be a perfect community builder but if you don’t strive to be a better community builder why are you investing the time in it? I know it’s harsh thing to say but that’s truth.

And that’s the end of the “rant”….Go forth and build a proper community.

Oh and if you’re wondering the quote that was drilled into me, that’s by our founder Rob!

This post was written by Liam Foy

As a Senior Engagement Manager, Liam co-ordinates with our clients to develop strategy, build brand awareness, manage communities and implement social media campaigns to a high specification.