Community building and social media marketing done right

by Martin Reed on 13 August 2013 in Snippets

You don’t need a fancy website to build an online community.

Going to your audience is far easier (and often more effective) than trying to get your audience to come to you.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to trip up and do this all wrong.

The big (and common) mistake

Simply spend money and bombard your audience with ‘relevant ads’ on social networking sites. Talk about yourself. Share corporate news. Fill News Feeds with product photos and price reductions.

That’s not building community, though. Or goodwill.

Instead, take a look at what smaller, local businesses are doing. They often do a far better job than any of the big brands.

Kelly’s Brighton Marina on the Nehalem Bay in Oregon, is a small local business. They are extremely active on Facebook.

They keep it personal. They aren’t writing about themselves all the time.

Instead, they write about (and share pictures of) the experience of being a part of their marina.

Lots of happy faces. Lots of stories. Tourists posing with their crab catches. Photos of Kelly, the owner, having fun and not taking himself too seriously.

The result?

Every post made on their Facebook page gets noticed. Likes and comments abound.

Customers share their stories and their experiences. Those who haven’t been or weren’t there on a specific day feel as though they’ve missed out.

They’re building a vibrant, active online community on Facebook in exactly the right way – for a financial outlay of $0.

Guess what? You can do the same.

Share this community building advice

14 comments

Similar Posts

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue August 15, 2013 at 7:37 am

I sooooo agree with this post. I feel much the same about a small business in Cornwall, and I am a great fan of how they have built a community feel on their facebook page. Lots of engaging pictures and the business owner is great at interacting with his page visitors: https://www.facebook.com/DrecklyCanvas

As you’ve shown, its all about keepng it personal and relatable and giving the community what it wants.

Reply

OneBrokeGuy August 21, 2013 at 2:25 am

Hi there,

I just wanted to say thanks for giving me heaps of ideas from this post. I have just started to establish my own business online, and i’ve been struggling with getting my own facebook page going. I can see, based on your post, that I’ve been focussing in the wrong direction. I need to stop making the FB page just about my business, but widen the community angle of it. Thanks for pointing out what should have been blatantly obvious to me!

Reply

Martina McKeough August 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

Keeping it local is really important. I’ve found so many local people simply through engaging with them on Twitter and Facebook. Equally plenty of clients have been to see me because they have heard about me on Social Media. I don’t bombard them with advertising instead I engage with a local audience and communicate!

Reply

Manish September 3, 2013 at 5:31 am

I must try these steps & see the results.
I also use Facebook for my clients but not operating it correctly. Thanks for the tips. Hope they bring positive change.

Reply

Diane September 7, 2013 at 1:36 am

That is such a great way to build a community as a business and I need to figure out a way to build one as a writer of short stories. I know I can share my stories but I think I need more. Maybe add travel writing to it and share some of the places I visit or something extra like that. Just adding my stories is a little like a business just talking about their own product. I need to find another angle depending on my audience. Food for thought. Thanks for the great article and for getting me thinking…

Reply

August September 27, 2013 at 5:10 am

I really like Kelly’s style; keeping it real is always appreciated. I felt like posing with a crab. FYI, I have never caught one. Thanks for this Martin.

Reply

Mark Walters October 3, 2013 at 8:50 am

By dumping a bunch of irrelevant and boring info you can only scare away your subscribers. Personal photos as in Kelly’s Brighton Marina’s page will be not only liked, but also shared and tagged by the people.

Reply

James Schiller December 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

As a realtor in South Carolina SC real estate, I maintain several blogs sharing not only showing properties but also events/activities in the said areas as well as answering my visitors queries about real estate related topics. I also encourage my followers to share their own experiences about a particular subject discussed in my blog. This will fuel fruitful conversation and foster engagement.

I definitely agree that keeping it personal and writing about how it feels like to belong in a locality, group, or community is a good practice to build a solid online following.

Great article! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Patrick December 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Though isn’t there something to be said for OWNING your community as opposed to building it for Facebook to own and to charge access to?

Reply

Jereme January 18, 2014 at 10:45 pm

I completely agree with this article. Small businesses are doing a much better job with community building than most larger companies. They are more engaged and in-tune with their customers. I work with several small businesses who do not have what I would call a strong website but they have vibrant and active Facebook pages they are using successful to engage their customers.

Reply

sazzad January 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm

That is such a great way to build a community as a business and I need to figure out a way to build one as a writer of short stories. I know I can share my stories but I think I need more. Maybe add travel writing to it and share some of the places I visit or something extra like that. Just adding my stories is a little like a business just talking about their own product. I need to find another angle depending on my audience. Food for thought. Thanks for the great article and for getting me thinking…

Reply

adem January 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Hi there,

I just wanted to say thanks for giving me heaps of ideas from this post. I have just started to establish my own business online, and i’ve been struggling with getting my own facebook page going. I can see, based on your post, that I’ve been focussing in the wrong direction. I need to stop making the FB page just about my business, but widen the community angle of it. Thanks for pointing out what should have been blatantly obvious to me!

Reply

John Paul Walker January 28, 2014 at 7:33 am

Well, as hesitant i could get in terms of agreeing to what Martin Reed had a way of say on this, it certainly does makes it much more easier and convenient to actually have it personalized in the social community than to make it all about Sales and Marketing, Advertising and gaining benefit by generating revenue by means through which is highly probable to torment one’s own brand. And that’s as far as it goes in terms of the Social Media Optimization & Marketing. However, i would still ascertain my views on the ‘no need for a website’ lingo. To most extents i would always believe to have a pathway and invite the audience you work so hard to impress in being interested in your products and services and thus have what they say as a ‘landing page’ to have purely getting to know about you and your motive/intent to have it made that way.
Bottom line: Social media must most likely be for social fun and mutual interests AND having a website to accommodate all your virtual desires and fulfill the sole purpose of branding it brightly could be a plausible verdict as well.

Reply

Robert March 24, 2014 at 3:51 am

Thanks for the ideas. I have been looking into utilising my facebook page and trying to think of the best strategies to move forward with. Thanks for the tips.

Reply

Leave a Comment