Marketing Minute 122 "Building Brand Communities with Social Media" (Digital Marketing / Branding)

One of the most effective marketing strategies is that of building a community around the brand as well as integrating the brand within existing communities. This works best when the organization’s marketers are sincere in their efforts not only to serve their target audiences, but also to help those audiences achieve higher-order life purposes by serving fellow members of their communities (think “self-actualization” in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).

When people are united in their efforts to progress, they tend to develop communities that support, nurture, and encourage each other. When these communities are developed around a particular brand, that brand becomes an essential component of the community.

How do brands build community? Digital technology gives us the ability to build communities that are far-reaching as well as highly interactive. For example, in the health and fitness industry, it used to be that physical locations were the base station for building these community groups, but social media platforms have allowed community building to include participants far outside the immediate geographic area. This means that the stand-alone yoga or dance or fitness studio now has an opportunity to develop products and services that can be offered across the world. As this occurs, it becomes even more important to build brand because the competitive circle has now expanded globally as well.

Social media also helps brands build more interactive and engaged communities. People can discuss the brand at any time and in any place. But marketers cannot just allow the discussion to take place without direction. Instead, they need to guide the discussion so that it’s instrumental both in building the community and in keeping in line with the image that the brand is trying to develop, maintain, and convey.

Remember… A great way to build brand community is to use the brand image, attributes, and benefits to unite people in a manner that helps them achieve a meaningful shared identity around that brand.

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