Community Building: How to Grow With the Power of People

Does your business have an active community?

Would you like to build a community to support your business?

To explore these topics, I interview John Jantsch for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing and author of several books including The Commitment Engine.

John shares insights into how content and community connect. You’ll learn what to focus your efforts on and a few simple tactics that work.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Community-Building

John explains how building a loyal community can make or break your business. People are drawn to you over time if you provide good, valuable and authentic information.

Listen to the show to hear the example John shares of a woman who created a community before starting a business.

What is community? 

John shares how we have always had community. The concept of community is based on how people gather around shared interests or location to give and take mutually. This has not always applied to business.

A lot of the communities in place today have grown through social media. These tools not only allow communities to connect face to face, but also to connect much faster on deeper levels. Social media allows people to gather regardless of geography into a community of shared ideas.

people showing unity

A community is people gathered around shared interests. Image source: iStockphoto

Listen to the show to hear a great example of a company that has a huge online community.

How community-building has changed

John shares how people are now tired of being drawn into a sales funnel with free stuff that’s a “crippled version” of the upsell. Although these tactics worked a few years ago, today it’s different. John explains how some of the best marketers are now offering free stuff that is better than what others charge for.

Community-building is about building trust and conveying authenticity. John explains how people now want to participate in a community and draw value from it. A percentage of people will ask how they can go deeper into the community. It’s now more of a “platform approach” than a ploy to lead customers in.

Listen to the show to hear how Evernote’s content is being created by their community.

How to build a committed community

John talks about how communities form around an idea that’s worth sharing. You need to have a unique point of view that is different from everyone else’s. Start to bring people together and learn everything you can about them. You should aim to provide content that people want to receive and talk about.

Listen to the show to hear how you can find the opportunity to build a community.

What makes a “hero” community member?

John explains that when thinking of building a community, we should look at “Whom do you want to see you as a hero?” You’ll learn how this can help you create a successful community.

You need to decide the higher purpose that your business can serve and have your customers’ best interests in mind. Getting your customers and community involved in creating content is a really powerful way to generate loyalty and create more value for your community.

sme small business forum

Forums are an easy way to make the most active members the heroes.

Listen to the show to hear the advantages of having superstar community members.

How content and community connect

John shares the 5 types of content that every business and community need to create:

  • Content that builds trust
  • Content that educates
  • User-generated content
  • Other people’s content
  • Content that converts

The reason for building a community and creating value for the community is to grow your business and these types of content help you to do this.

Listen to the show to hear how your business will benefit from creating a community.

Hot tip

John shares how Facebook’s Comments plugin works if you have a product launch or a campaign that you want to extend to your community beyond your email marketing list. He explains how it’s a great way to spread the commentary that is going on.

facebook comment plugin

Use the Facebook Comments plugin on your blog to build your community.

Listen to the show to hear the benefits of using a social plugin for a product.

Discovery of the Week

Fitbit is a cool little device that motivates you to stay active. It tracks your steps, distance and calories burned—and syncs those stats to your computer and select smartphones.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know if you have tried one.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Marketing World is Social Media Examiner’s latest mega-conference—taking place at the waterfront San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, California on April 7-9, 2013.

As you’d expect, Social Media Examiner recruited the biggest and best names in the world of social media marketing for this conference. Only the best for you! Be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on building a community? Please leave your comments below.

Image from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Thanks for the Fitbit tip, Mike!  It’s good to know that a company came up with gadget that will motivate and remind us to stay active. It rocks!

    Great interview with John! I do agree with him that in order to build a solid community, you need to build trust. It’s all about credibility!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wanna.be.with.you.forever Devesh Verma

    Yes Trust is one of the biggest factor in order to build
    community or any kind of relationship over social media.

    We can’t count the
    importance of those Content which educates us like Content shared by SME Team.

    No doubt, DeviantART …J
    is really a wonderful website for artist and art lovers.

  • http://intesols.com.au/ Moin Shaikh

    Hello Michael, fantastic research! Its power of people that cause success or failure to any business. An interesting case i would like to share with you here: There is an MNC, an IT Company named Open Solutions Inc., whose main focus is banking and financial sector in USA, their tagline is “There’s power in Community”, what i like about them is their approach of focusing and emphasizing on community. Their success is all dedicated to their approach of building business around and focusing on community. Hope your research helps businesses build strong identity by using power of community.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks John – John Jantsch is a smart guy.  And get yourself a FitBit :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks much Devesh

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Power to the community!  :)   Thanks for your comment Moin

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  • Jmswatzell@msn.com

    It was amazingly helpful. Thank you so much! I will help spread the word.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much :)

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  • Nicholla

    I really enjoyed this podcast because in a lot of ways this was right where I am.  I have built a community group on Facebook, ‘Muscat – where can I find’ which I’m now transitioning to a niche social network. www.mywherecanifind.com – is a niche social network website for our community here in Oman. The facebook group has been a great success for the past 2.5 years so thus the transition to a website now.  I only launched it a week ago so Im working on my content calender and slowly driving traffic to it! At the same time Im not making any money from it but I hope to with time and community contribution that I will be able to approach advertisers and have them promote their products on my page.  This is all new for me as well so Im just trying my best to get this right! thanks for the podcast.

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  • http://influitive.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I found the discussion regarding the Facebook(FB) comment plugin to be really interesting. I think commenting is one of the strongest social signals one can use in building a community and the FB plugin extends the life of a comment by having it shared on the FB social network. You add more ‘oomph’ to your comments if you also have your profile linked to Engagio. When you follow an engagio user, you effectively follow them on all of their connected social networks and only track conversations (so the signal to noise ratio is very good). William Mougayar, Engagio’s founder and CEO, posted an article today about this engagio feature and I think is relevant to this part of the discussion http://blog.engag.io/2012/10/15/the-power-of-a-single-follow-and-the-engagio-profile-page/ (FYI. I work for engagio!)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Nicholla – Congrats on your move to building a community.  They will love you for it. 

  • http://www.patcoakley.com/ Pat Coakley

    I am really enjoying these podcasts, Michael! I have used Fitbit for the past four months!  I also bought the scale which wirelessly transmits your weight up to your fitbit fitness stats.  Only guys would share THAT on Facebook!  Sometimes, I get notifications from Fitbit wondering if I’m alive as they’ve never seen someone have so many sedentary hours who was above ground.  A good day is when I climb the world tallest pencil.  Carry on with your great podcasts!

  • http://influitive.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Oman is on my list of countries to visit in the future. I will definitely check your website when planning my trip. It is great example of leveraging your facebook group to setup up a website. Great job!!

  • Stephen Bauer

    Thanks for the very informative show – its on the top of my podcast list !   also – You might want John to fix your TWEET THIS address on his site – He has the wrong link on his 10-15 post.  

  • http://influitive.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Hey @mikestelzner:disqus - I added a comment earlier this morning and have not yet seen it. If it was rejected or deleted for some reason please let me know so that I don’t repeat the same mistake. By the way, great podcast series!!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    It likely got stuck in moderation.  I see it here now about you wanting to visit Oman

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Stephen – Thanks Stephen! Can you tell me the link that is incorrect on his site so I can pass it on to him?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

     Thanks Pat!  Loving my FitBit!

  • http://influitive.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    No it is an earlier one that got lost. No worries, I will post it again

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Found it – it is up there now

  • http://influitive.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    awesome! I was just opening my laptop to repost the comment. Thanks for finding it and I look forward to the next podcast :)

  • http://twitter.com/learntopodcast Dave Jackson

    Michael, I love my fitbit (had it for years). If you don’t have one yet WAIT. They have a new version coming out that will sync via blutooth to your smart phone (as well as usb receiver). This way you can see your progress during the day. 

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Dave!  It is called the FitBit One and I think it is already out.  But I would not wait as I think that little feature is not that big of a deal.  Love mine, averaging about 13000 steps a day

  • Marketing Time Inc.

    Your post on this subject is interesting.

     

    It’s not a typical media marketing strategy. 

     

    In my opinion, social media is building a network of people with similar
    interests.

     

    ~Where people voice their opinions.

     

    It also becomes the vehicle to attracting potential new customers and keeping
    the interests established customers.

     

    However, the question not only lies on the community of people but the
    actual company itself.

     

    This is where business planning and research become vital to the longevity
    of the organization.

     

    A community can be developed by reasons, beyond scope, sometimes it just
    develops through one’s hype or riot or gossip, etc. to create a general community
    interest.

     

    But in the long run all businesses need business plans, market research,
    financial backup, etc. in order to keep up with the demands of the market at
    large.

  • Marketing Inc

    Previous post… I was trying to be polite…because whoever you interviewed for
    the topic didn’t make any sense in relation to the media marketing.

     

    The community does not build the company; it’s the planning and
    understanding different facets of business in relation to market fluctuations,
    economic cycles, financial management, etc.

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  • http://www.doitsocially.com/ Muhammad Adil

    Yet another wonderful post. Michael Stelzner you are making me your All time favourite Personality on Internet.

    The points you raised about Hero community member and types of contents are not discussed else where but these two are quite essential points. I will surely start work on this.

    Thanks for lovely work.

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