The New Communities

Simplistically, this could mean golfers moving into a golfing community.  In a more abstract way, we might see individuals seek out communities where they feel an affinity towards their spiritual and political beliefs is centric to the community’s mindset.

The place we’ve seen these new communities spring up most prolifically is on the web.  As we are no longer limited by geographical constraints, the opportunity to connect with like minded individuals on any number of topics is limited only by the time you are willing to put into it.

Social networks and social media outlets are the bridges and real estate upon which these new communities are built.

Social Networks

Social Networking has been around for thousands of years and still has roots in our local communities.  The Elks, Freemasons, your local Chamber of Commerce and college based Fraternities and Sororities are the beginnings of social networks.

A web based social network is a platform to connect with other individuals based on a near infinite level of criteria.  The popular platform Facebook was originally created as a platform for Harvard Alumni to connect with each other, but now allows everyone around the world to connect with people they work with, have gone to school with or share interests with – whether that interest is Scuba Diving or a drive to create a carrot shortage.

Social Networking on the web has been shown to be an excellent source of qualified leads that doesn’t rely on search engines such as Google, but rather relies on referrals from industry peers, friends, and family.  It also gives the small business owner an advantage over big business, as the small business owner has fewer resources to manage and can commit more time to creating connections in social networks.

Examples of popular social networks on the web today are

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Plaxo

And there are dozens more that are dedicated to each and every niche the imagination can conjure.

Social Media

Social Media refers to a platform driven by users who can speak to and connect with the individual responsible for the content and each other.  The benefit of social media today is that it has, in essence, forced companies of all size to have increased levels of transparency in their operations and marketing materials.  It has also allowed companies to utilise ‘evangelists’ to promote their products and services at a cost far lower than those associated with traditional advertising.

One such example is Will It Blend.  This producer of high end blenders and food processors launched a campaign of blending various items.  The entire web series is comprised of one man and a blender, and the results of ‘blending’ various items.

The campaign has had incredible results, showing an increase in sales of approximately 600% in the first year.  After a very successful launch on YouTube, fans of the series began suggesting items to blend.  Blendtec, the company behind willitblend, embraced those suggestions and successfully blended such items as an iPhone, a Guitar Hero controller, an iPod and a copy of Mario Cart.  One of the most successful viral marketing campaigns to date, Blendtec continues to enjoy the success that this low cost campaign brought them.

Popular social media platforms are

  • Digg
  • YouTube
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Flickr
  • DeviantArt

While these are the most popular, you can be certain that there’s a platform to suit whatever your personal interests are from photography, to the fine arts, to adorable photos of animals. A successful Social Media campaign can help you build trust with customers, gaining their loyalty and business for years to come.

Are you interested in creating a social media campaign to market your product or service?  Talk to a consultant at Webacom for more information on a viral marketing campaign that can help you get the exposure you want and deserve.