Community Building


I got a chance to listen to Bonnie Bough, the global head of social marketing at PepsiCo, talk about Community Building. I was surprised at how insightful some of his basic comments were.

To the best of my transcription ability, here’s a quote from Bonnie:


“I think the real key is to know thine self, and know thine community. Know why you exist or why your brand exists and also
know why your community is participating with that brand – and then service those needs.”

He went on to say he thought the three main points in building a community are listening, adding value and more specifically adding shared value. I can’t say that I disagree with anything he said in his talk.

The whole point of social media from a business perspective is to give your customers a voice and make sure they’re hearing your voice. With the millions of people on Facebook, it is easy to tell from one fan page to the next whether a real community is being established. Either there is true participation – or there isn’t.

Driving traffic, getting the top of Google and capturing e-mail are all part of internet marketing, but the community building is the Gold.

Think about Neil Diamond and the Rolling Stones. They both have raving fans but for most of their success their fans had no place to rave together.

Compare that to bands today who have forums, Facebook Fan Pages, websites and online fan clubs.  Imagine how much you can learn about your brand in that environment and how much you can enhance the lives of your fans.
When you’ve got an entire database of customers, what better value could there be than accepting their participation as well.

Read more about community building here.