Posted 05.24.2013 by Josh Krakauer

Build Community With Purpose

So you’ve been tasked with building your brand’s online community strategy. Fantastic! Through conversations with the higher-ups, you’ve identified your communication channels, potential stakeholders and objectives for growth. For most, this is (more than) enough to start blogging, tweeting, curating, connecting. After all, your working towards a goal. That’s important. But we’d reckon your strategy is still missing one critical element:


Where a goal ties your efforts to a measurable, desired state (fans on Facebook; number of event registrations; submissions of user-generated content objects), a purpose sets your sights on something BIGGER. Much BIGGER than the brand itself.

Take a look at the purpose that guides some of our friends communities:


Ally of, a social content curation platform. is a technology company. It requires a growing intake of monthly subscribers to survive. But their purpose is not, “drive sales through consistent content marketing.” Their purpose is to make the world smarter through the exchange and sharing of knowledge. That’s powerful. To execute on it, they may choose to devote more time and resources into platforms that align with that vision, like TEDx or Quora. Whatever their strategy is, you can bet they’re channeling energy to engage with people who want to make the world a smarter place also.

Tim McDonald of Huffington Post Live and My Community Manager, had this to say:

Tim believes that what people say matters. That purpose stays top of mind as he interacts with the thousands (and potentially millions) of people who are looking for the opportunity to speak up and be heard.

And Marty Smith, of Cure Cancer Starter.

Marty wants to cure cancer; end of story. Followers of his social properties all resonate with that purpose, and contribute content (and hopefully, donations) to support the mission.

Do you see the difference? Can you feel it? Building a community with purpose is a fundamentally different roadmap; it’s emotional and transparent. It isn’t self-promotional or platform-centric. Brands with a strong purpose state it proudly.

It doesn’t just guide the way you create content. It guides the why.

Our purpose is to ignite and nurture the conversation between consumer and brand.
What’s your brand’s purpose?

  • How great is it that you mentioned 3 people and we all gave you a response? Love this. We all have a purpose. As community managers, it’s our jobs to make sure everyone’s purpose is heard.

    • tamcdonald I was looking for three distinctly different but equally genuine responses. You all delivered. And absolutely agree! Thanks for contributing, Tim. ^JK

Josh Krakauer

Josh Krakauer is the CEO of Sculpt, that social media agency you just discovered. He uses words and pictures to make people smile, laugh, think, and buy.

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