By Andy Sernovitz on March 30th, 2012 | 23721Comment on this postAndy%E2%80%99s+Answers%3A+How+to+start+building+your+fan+community2012-03-30+11%3A33%3A25Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D23721
Fan communities can be incredibly powerful word-of-mouth machines. A fan community brought Harley-Davidson back from the brink of bankruptcy, inspired hundreds of thousands of people to carry Maker’s Mark ambassador cards and got many people talking about what they do with orange-handled scissors.
Building one takes hard work and a long-term commitment. But if you pull it off, you can create amazing, sustainable word of mouth that will carry you through good times and bad.
A few of his big ideas:
- Take time to do the research. Great communities help their customers accomplish something. Yours might help them get a better job, learn something new or simply meet people like them. So do your homework and find the big problem or fantastic goal your community can help people accomplish.
- Be ready to commit. Anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back. There are no shortcuts here — and it’s important to remember that when starting yours.
- Give them something to believe in. Great communities stand for something. They give their fans a rallying cry, a badge of honor and something to believe in. Give them a bigger purpose — something worth fighting for — and they’ll tell the world about the reason they’re a member of your tribe.
Watch Jones’ video.
If you love this, check out our upcoming Word of Mouth Crash Course.
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