Embracing the Community Conversation

The conversations that drive and define Social Media require an authentic and participatory approach. Social Media is about sociology not technology.
The future of communications introduces sociology into the marketing strategy. Technology is just that, technology. The tools will change. The networks will evolve. Mediums for distributing content will grow. The tools will change, but in most cases, people don't.

This new conversation is about the transformation of business and communities through ideas, design, technology, integrated media.

Right now there seems to be a lot of confusion between social media and the definition of community.

Community as data hub, the new pulse of conversation.

Communities have the following characteristics:
- They are continuous, not temporal - this is not to say that people don't drop in and out but there is a core membership that interacts together over a long period of time.
- Communities gather around a concept or common goal not around a collection of content (although content does plays a major role, it is not the impetus for the community).

Social Media is driving the communication evolution with VERY active global participation that needs to be LISTENED to.

The difference is that by listening, reading, and participating, corporate marketing will be smarter and more approachable than ever before. In this listening economy, the lines disappear.
By listening we humanize brands and form communities, create loyalty, and earn customer’s trust and business. To build a dynamic and conversational community that increases participation and response, make results open to the community, and cross platform.

To engage in community, you have to move in, not just visit. You don’t build your community; you need to find your community. Community built around consumption is fairly transitory. This is about person to-person activity. Not about speaking as “the company”, but as a person. Most companies don’t know how to do this, and it takes a lot of practice and experimentation to find that voice and feel comfortable with it. MAKE IT PERSONAL, community centric and multi- channel.

In the era of the attention deficit and social network fatigue, it is critical that we step back to realize that we are the communication bridge between companies and people.

However, we also must realize that in the era of social media, people also have amplified voices and are now a powerful channel of peer-to-peer influence. Transforming a company might take one person at a time.

Be collaborative. It’s time to shift from a mindset of monitoring and mining to one of collaboration, leadership, and justified adaptation.

And especially…give them something to talk about…"It's not what you say that matters… it's what they say that counts."




  1. Tamora – great overview of the driving forces behind this major transition in how we relate to one another in terms of personal,professional, and business/business-to-consumer relationships.

    Lots to think about here. I love the idea of communities being built around concepts or common goals vs. content. I think that’s true – we are drawn to various “tribes” (to use Godin’s term) because of commonalities in beliefs, goals, or both. THOSE are the communities that last, because they are already part of who we are … our involvement is completely natural and authentic and self-motivated.

    Thanks for sharing the link. Enjoyed the piece!

  2. moving in is different than visiting a comunity in the same way the being a pilgirm is differnt than being a tourist…you are able to leave you past/culture behind and soak up the new culture and see things from a totally different perspective.

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