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 Scoop.it, a social content curation platform.
— Ally Greer (@allygreer) May 24, 2013
Scoop.it 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 (@tamcdonald) May 24, 2013
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.
— Martin (Marty) Smith (@ScentTrail) May 24, 2013
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?
A few of the things I’ve learned during my first six months.
These simple discovery questions tell us everything we need to know about how social fits into a brand’s big picture.