Building an Online Community

Social web presence.  Building a brand on-line. We know it’s an important part of Public Relations and Marketing and Branding. But once we recognize it’s importance, the question is…. how do we do it???

Are you sick of hearing the answer that you need to first find your target audience, talk to them directly, so on and so forth.  If so, you aren’t alone.  While these steps are important building blocks, we are constantly hearing them. We need to know more don’t we?  We need new direction. What is the real NEXT step, what do we do after we figure out who to target, and how do we target them? Now that we’ve realized how important it is to build a social network, how do we do it?  We need to help to figure out how to build a buzz about our brand and create our on-line community.

An important question to ask ourselves is how do we want to disseminate information? Do we want to send mailings, do we want to allow consumers to talk amongst themselves via message boards and live chats? What modes of communication do you want to introduce and build your community around? Blogging and twitter, or forums, e-blasts and pod-casts? What combination of networking methods will work the best and make the most sense for your brand?

Mega Star Media wisely says that you need to consider if you can run the community by yourself, you need to determine what type of resources it will take to build the on-line community that you want. This is important to recognize from the very beginning. Hosting a web presence and on-line network can definitely be a full time job! This may mean hiring someone more equip to take on the task and manage the on-line branding.  If this is financially an option, get in touch with those who know more about social media than you and bring them on board to become a part of your brand/company.  For example companies like SocialDreamium who offers a  collection of tools and services that help you take full advantage of the social web for your brand. Think of it as outsourced community management. SocialDreamium works to grow your audience, and is built to help brands who may be struggling with the how to’s of social networking.

It’s sometimes difficult to figure out what comes next, but in the world of social media, many of us are learning as we go.  These are the first few steps, a couple of important things to think about as you begin launch your brand on the social web. So get out there, get started, and good luck!

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1 Comment

Filed under public relations, Uncategorized

One response to “Building an Online Community

  1. eric imbs

    Hi Taylor. I enjoyed reading this post and I think you might be interested in my last two posts on online profiling. http://crowdcloud.wordpress.com/

    I’m the Community Manager at KM Systems (http://kmsystems.squarespace.com/) where we develop innovation and feedback management systems. I see some amazing opportunities in the way participant/community data can be collected and used to nano-tailor advtertising messages; my interpretation of ‘Personal Branding’.

    I find the flexibility that social web tools offer drive so much more than just the community and it’s input; those tools can be developed to allow us to become much more personally involved with that community from a marketing perspective. I feel that over time, the tools that do/will enable this will become as flexible and sophisticated as the profiles they are capturing…allowing for infinite levels of participant profiling.

    Over time, I hope to see advertising so targeted that it is welcomed by the participant because they can see cues in the ads that perfectly match their personal preferences.

    I’d be keen to hear from where you sit, what you think and what movement you see currently in the personal branding/profiling space.

    All the best. eric imbs.

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