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What Is Your Community About?

April 16, 2013

As I was surfing the internet as part of my usual Monday morning routine, I came across a headline that read “Community is About Behavior, Not Your Brand.” For a minute, I thought it was a typo because a community consists of a group of people that share similar ideas and interests (a.k.a. your brand) to accomplish a goal. And in terms of marketing your brand, shouldn’t it inhabit those same qualities to sell a product or service? As you may gather, I had many questions. Eek!

In an article by Jason Long in Social Media Explorer, he essentially states that the community built from the essence of what your brand represents, has nothing to do with the brand itself. Are you thinking “That can’t be, to build a brand is to build a community!” Well, yes, kind of – but you need to understand, a community is essentially developed by how you behave in reaction to what your audience needs. Jason’s centering thought revolves around the question “what makes us a community?” Of course we need to do certain things and act in a specific way to gain that momentum and create a group of people that share the same interests. But the question really becomes, what makes you belong to that community?

We are forced to acknowledge that some brands offer great products and services that bring people together for a reason – but it’s ultimately how brands act in those efforts that really gives a brand definition. A successful brand that’s worth remembering inhabits values that a consumer is able to observe in themselves.

So basically – don’t be fooled by the illusion that your community is your brand. It has something to do with it, but it’s not the soup to nuts definition. Community is built upon behavior. Plain and simple. If you want to build a strong brand, start by behaving in ways your audience would want to embrace. Ready, set, GO!


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