Growing a vibrant community is a powerful all-in-one marketing tool. In our Help Desk, we talk about how to use its features. But today, I want to talk about why and point you to some ways can help you build a vibrant community.

The guiding principle behind modern marketing isn’t to interrupt your audience; rather it’s about how to build a knowlike, and trust factor. Simply put, relationships are a lot more powerful than marketing.

It’s always good to stand out and for your audience to think of you as the one stop shop for all things related to your industry. You can accomplish this by knowing the who, what, where, when, and how of your community.

In marketing, this is known as Buyer Persona.

Think of this as basic demographics. Do you connect with CEOs of large companies? Is your brand geared toward niche segments? Do you primarily have a product used by educators?

In short, know who you currently reach. This will help you connect with similar individuals.

Once you know who, now understand what they care about. To truly build relationships with your audience, remember this: Marketing is not about you. It’s about them. If time management is something your primary buyer needs, provide them with stories in your paper about this.

Flexible scheduling can come into play here too. This setting allows you to publish on only specific days of the week. Remember: The goal is to tailor your paper to your audience’s needs.

This isn’t about geography. Rather, we are referring to knowing where your audience is in the buying cycle. Remember, you want to build relationships — not constantly make sales pitches. If the majority of your readers are just discovering your company, your paper should be geared toward general “stage 1” informative resources.

Always build your trust factor first.

When did your audience become your audience? If you have had a consistent subscriber base for awhile, it may be the time to start offering “stage 2” type resources such as case studies. Continue to build the trust factor by providing better and better resources and news articles.

Alternatively, if you find your audience constantly growing and diversifying, then you may want to considering segmenting your message into several smaller papers.

Finally, it’s helpful to know how your audience found you, and for a number of reasons. It helps you know where to focus your additional efforts. If your audience is primarily on Twitter, be sure to engage with them (for example, #BizHeroes).

And you may be reaching people without even knowing it. One of the best referrals is when a fan shares your content. If you’re providing content so informative your fans want to share it with their friends, then it means you’ve done your job — exceptionally well.


We want to hear from you next. What tips have you used to grow your community? Leave us a note in the comments!

Magda Alexandra Torres
Magda is a Social Media and Communications professional. Her main interests include corporate communications and social networking. She also enjoys traveling, blogging and learning. You can reach her on: Google+ and @MagdaATQ.

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3 Responses to “Growing a Vibrant Community”

  1. Northdakotatroy

    Great article. Two tips. 1. If you discover an unserved or underserved niche market, fill the niche. 2. Don’t ignore the local market.

    In my case, both of these things played a huge part. Our state was underserved on the web, so our first website took off, and the local audience is the most loyal kind of follower. It’s tempting to focus your site for a national or global audience, but we found that being hyper-local, offering interviews to local radio stations for example, builds a strong base of loyal followers who are more likely to share and talk about your site.

    Good luck!


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