In today’s world the opportunities to communicate and network are mind boggling. Social networks are continuing to grow in size. The number of popular social networks is also continuing to grow. Standing alone, these conditions make it very difficult for your organization to focus your community (prospects, clients, fans, etc.) into any one area on these networks. Creating your own community or even just a blog is not going to cut it on its own. It takes creating a culture of community to effectively unite your community together into one place to help you reach the goals of your organization much faster than any dollar on marketing that you will ever spend.
So what does it mean to create a culture of community for your organization in the digital age?
(i.e. events, meetings, phone calls, etc.) by fully supplementing physical interaction with digital interaction and vis versa.
to use a common digital community experience outside the live interaction.
to engage, share and connect outside of any regular interaction.
that your community interacts with on a day-to-day basis (i.e. email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
A great example of this is one of our clients, Pine Street Presbyterian Church. They have built a culture of community in several ways:
At the end of a sermon or group meeting there is a follow up question or discussion posted on their Social HubSite (http://pinestreet.socialhubsite.com) so their members can share their voice.
Pine Street has seminars for all of their members on a regular basis to show them new tools, give usage ideas and even just remind them of key features such as private messaging with other members.
They have put the purpose of their community right in the center of their online community and consistently publish discussions and content that are relevant to their mission. For example, there is a new question of the week posted in their online community that pertains to the recent sermon. It is sent out via email at 3pm the same day of the sermon and their members can share their thoughts and ideas on the topic. This is also a great example of Principle 1: Closing the loop for all interactions.
Inside of their community notifications are set to deliver messages and posts via email, member social networking accounts, social networking pages, text message and much more. In this sense, their online community truly serves as a hub to all of the members. They don’t have to worry about remembering to go there. It is integrated with the way they communicate on a daily basis.
In order for you to effectively unite your community, build trust among those around you and get people in your community to take action all of these principles must be working together simultaneously. Remember, people will never remember your organization by what you do and how you do it, but by how you made them feel. It is very core of branding and defining who you are as an organization. The sense of community you create is the foundation to everything you do.
If you are interested in building a community for your organization, please reach out to me directly and we can get the ball rolling. Click here to send an email or call my office at 717-657-7018.
Building a community around your company, mission and vision is much more important you think. It is a real representation of your brand. It is the fuel to achieving your vision. It empowers those that support your vision with a sense of belonging around the purpose you give to your community. A great example of this happened just recently with one of our clients, Harrisburg Biz Leaders (http://bizleaders.socialhubsite.com). Because of this community being developed there are now bi-weekly events formed outside of the online community getting local business leaders together in the same room to discuss important topics in today’s business environment. Because of this natural extension from the online community to the live event, I was able to provide one of the event participants direction on finding a job and now it has opened several new doors and conversations in just the past day. Now the person I met at the event is closing in on getting hired. This type of connection is life changing for her.
So think of the affects of what just happened here. Because of a purpose-driven community, in this case Harrisburg Biz Leaders, being developed it has led to life changing opportunities for someone. Everybody, every business and every organization has a community. The community you live in, your friends and family, your customers, brand advocates, etc. The secret is creating an environment that unites them together. For example, just recently we help launch a network of communities for Professional Referral Exchange (http://prebizhub.com). So far we have only officially launched one chapter (http://lowerpaxton.prebizhub.com), however because of the power of a purpose-driven community, members in other chapters have already started to join their chapters’ HubSite. The natural augmentation of a real-life community into an online community is already creating a deeper sense of unity and connection among members. Think of the added value this has created for the brand and all of its members.
These are just a few examples of what can happen when you unite your community together. You might be asking, “What is the benefit of a community to my company or organization?”. I’ll answer that by saying it is the most important things you can ever establish in anything you do, TRUST. With trust you build influence. Influence leads people to take action (i.e. buying a product or service, donating, offering support, etc.).
In short, your community needs to start with a plan and a set of goals. This is where we can help. If you are interested in building a community for your organization, please reach out to me directly and we can get the ball rolling. Click here to send an email or call my office at 717-657-7018.