Every smart marketer knows the importance of community. Interacting with your audience without being “that guy or girl” is a delicate skill. Many times a community can be infiltrated “below the line” by using poor methods of engagement. Other times this might be the dedicated job of a brand or community manager. Leaving it in the hands of these people and making it their job to know the Ins and Outs and the language of the community and the way they interact can be extremely important to how your brand is viewed within that network.
- Brand / Community manager should know EVERYTHING about the brand and or be a huge fan them-self.
- Community language and slang should be used.
- Brand should be transparent about being involved within the community.
- Off brand subjects and conversation is a must.
- Supply links when relevant to product pages or content pages on site but try not to overburden the user with links unless necessary.
- Don’t just share links to your own pages (be a good resource).
Here are some examples of niche communities and how to engage within them.
- StyleMob – Answer Style Advice Questions, Comment on user fashion, Post images, use forum to ask Brand Related Questions and receive consumer feedback.
- Fashionising – Heavy discussion about designers, fashion tips and style recommendations, and comment on blog posts.
- The Fashion Spot – Wide spread topics on forums, comment on fashion tips and include products and links back to site,
Male Related Communities
- Uncrate - Answer community allows users to post question and answers about products. “Real Advice from Real Men”.
- MadeMan – Young Men interacting about humor, sports, gear, “grub”, and women. Post comments and join in conversations about related topics.
- Art of Manliness - This community requires member profile allows connection hub for men to brand. Community supplies member birthdays, events, and forums. This gives the brand multiple levels of potential conversation.
- Cafe Mom - Thousands of conversations discussing multiple baby & children brand products to engage in, supply links within, and comment on. Comment on pictures that use products. Join and host groups to supply more content to curious users. Write a daily journal, being transparent and clear. The community manager here should be a real mother or father.
- iVillage Parenting – Message board based community that offers thousands of threads and open ended conversations. Brand manager should be a transparent parent and communicative. This community requires active conversationalists who will stay on topic and be insightful. There are many opportunities to supply other users with links and brand related content.
Not leveraging communities that tie into your brand niche is a waste of many opportunities that are available online. There are thousands upon thousands of communities dedicated to certain niches. These communities and networks are stimulated on a daily and hourly basis by consumers who are actively seeking out information, posting thoughts and reviews of their own, or just stopping by to read up on new content. By engaging with these users in a space that they are most commonly not marketed to, yet in a friendly, one-on-one level could help to create new customers and brand evangelists.