Happy New Year everyone!
I’m watching the topics of Community and Loyalty become hotter and hotter in the business world as we move into the new year. And I don’t expect them to die down any time soon. I’ve pulled together some of the best articles and resources I’ve read lately to help you build a fiercely loyal community or make the community you have even better. Enjoy!
My 2013 Prediction: We will continue to see the successful rise of businesses with stellar communities. If your community is just so-so, no one will care.
Google Plus Communities are taking the online world by storm. New Yorker Magazine has a G+ community. So does Ford. It’s too soon to tell whether this is just “the latest and greatest” or will have true staying power, but it is clearly a powerful trend in the world of brand communities. If you want the quick lowdown and the whys and hows of a G+ community for your brand, check out this great post from Social Fresh: http://socialfresh.com/google-plus-communities/
LinkedIn is often an overlooked, misunderstood resource for building a brand community. Even I am still learning how to best leverage it. So I was relieved and thrilled to find The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn from Hubspot. Packed with 34 useful, actionable how-to’s, this cheat sheet covers everything from how to put together the best profile to how to make the most of LinkedIn Groups and everything in between. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Mastering-LinkedIn.aspx
Community Leadership is a topic I get asked about a lot. “How do I lead?” “Who is actually in charge?” “How do I meet my metrics goals?” As I’ve said many times, leading a community is not for the faint of heart. It’s just plain hard sometimes. This article from Forbes does such a great job discussing what it really takes and why so many “leaders” miss the mark. Well worth the read: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/12/26/the-most-misunderstood-aspect-of-great-leadership/
Make them feel valued and special is the #1 Fierce Loyalty Accelerator I list in my book. Nothing draws a client or customer closer to you than individual attention. I loved reading about how REI took this idea to really WOW a customer over Christmas. It’s nothing short of brilliant. http://www.fastcompany.com/3004369/how-rei-put-bow-social-marketing-and-wowed-customers
Turning one-time customers into Fiercely Loyal customers should definitely be on your to-do list for 2013. If you need some help on how, exactly, to do that, I wrote an article for The Bank of Montreal‘s small business blog where I talk about exactly that. http://community.bmo.com/smartstepsforbusiness/articles/5-strategies-turning-one-time-customers-loyal-customers
The ideas and strategies in these articles get your new year and your community off to a busy and successful start. Get to it!