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Introduction – What is an Online Community?

Social networks are booming – and not just Facebook! Thousands of niche communities have been created over the past few years, filling up the holes that Mark Zuckerberg's all-encompassing giant has created. While over a billion people are speaking to everyone they've met about everything they do, many are looking for focus. They want to connect with other like-minded individuals around the particular passions that inspire them, without all the extra “noise” that Facebook generates.

online community

Affordable social networking applications, allow users to create that niche social network easily, and thousands of people are doing it right now.

Online communities are being built by artists and schools, by thought leaders and by local communities. They're being set up by individuals and by groups and by anyone who wants to bring together people who share an interest and a passion.

Businesses, too, are building brands, creating loyalty and discovering valuable intelligence on what customers want and expect. And they're earning from it. When a company gives space to its customers to gather and talk, it stops being a place where people go when they need to make a purchase. It becomes a pillar of the community, the only place where people go when they want to buy something related to their interests.

And today, building those online communities is easier than ever.

The Internet means that anyone can now create their own community.

They can build a website that gives their customers all the tools they need to easily hold discussions, meet like-minded people and form strong bonds.

They keep people coming back day after day, month after month, providing a virtual and valuable forum for people who share an interest.

Built right and maintained properly, a community website hugs customers close, strengthens a business and advances an activity.

But having the right kind of software to create that community isn't enough.

You also need the right strategy to make your community grow steadily and organically, without spending millions.

This book will cover everything you need to know to create a successful online community, from the essential first steps to proven strategies for growth and engagement. Once you finish reading, you will have a clear understanding of what you should — and shouldn't — be doing to get your social network moving in the right direction.

We'll look at the right way to build an online community, but not just any community; a community that remains active and thriving. A community whose members don't register, look and leave but one whose members come back again and again, post comments and contribute to discussions.

A community that people don't just want to join but want to be a part of.

Building that kind of community may mean taking steps that can feel counterintuitive. We'll explain why you should be taking those steps anyway.

We'll start by talking you through the process of launching a community.

This can feel like the worst time for a new social site. There are few members, few discussions and little reaction to the content that’s being posted — not that there’s much content either. We'll explain how to find those all-important first members and discuss why it's better to engage a small number of highly dedicated early users than attract a large number of users who don’t return.

We’ll then talk about building on that foundation. We’ll discuss the importance of forming a group identity and show you how you to do it. We'll talk you through the role of the community manager; and describe the best strategies you should be using to increase participation.

Finally, we'll talk metrics and money.

Although communities don't have the same monetizing process as other forms of online marketing it is possible to turn a community into cash and online communities do generate figures.

You should know how to find those figures, how to read them and what to do with them.

While so many businesses and community leaders focus on building their Facebook pages or fret about their Twitter content, others are having a ball discussing their favorite topics with people who genuinely care about them and who return day after day to their website to see what’s new.

Building that website is easy. Building that community is a little harder but with a little effort, it's an option available to any business owner and any community leader.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

Inbound Marketing is about Sharing as much as Original Content

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How can you outrun your competition on Social Media Networks?

How much do you share on Social Media?  I am of the firm belief that you should share more than you create original content on Social Networks.

Why do I think that this is a correct strategy?  If the purpose of social networks is to engage your audience and gain likes, shares and follows, the indicators of engagement, then both methods of sharing and original content creation should definitely be used.

The reasons for this are two-fold.

  1. No one is, or can be an expert in everything. Every marketer has their own area(s) of expertise.  No matter how much experience and knowledge you think you may have accumulated, there will probably always be someone more knowledgeable than you are.  This is just a fact of life.  It is important to acknowledge those “experts” and your blog will gain additional legitimacy and authority from their informed point of view.
  2. There is never one and one only solution to marketing and promotion problems. If there were a single solution that worked for everyone all the time, every company would be doing the same thing and gaining similar results.  Marketing problems usually take a multi-faceted solution and gain from a multi-pronged strategy.  This takes a diversity of viewpoints that merge into a cohesive solution

If there is a diversity of viewpoints and recommendations, on your social media networks, this can greatly benefit your readers and help them to consider the widest possible array of solutions to their particular problems.  It is naive to think that a single magic bullet will solve all of your marketing problems, so an openness to creative problem solving is very helpful in the process.

It is also impossible to provide a simple ratio of shared content to original content that will work for everyone. It depends on the goals of your social media marketing campaign as well as your particular niche.  Let me just say that I see far too many companies that have much too much original content relative to sharing on the social networks.  In most cases, they goals of their campaigns would be better served by reversing the ratio of original content creation and shared content.

I see far too many companies with too much original content relative to shared content on their social networks.  In most cases, they goals of their campaigns would be better served by reversing the ratio of shared content to original content.

If your current ratio of shared content is currently 70% original content and 30% shared, I would turn that ratio upside down, and try 70% shared content and 30% original content.  Not only will it lekely be more effective, it could also result in significant savings of time and money.

It takes only a fraction of the amount of time to find effective content to share as it does to create original content. Shared content also is something that could possibly be automated to a certain extent.  It is difficult if not nearly impossible to automate original content creation.

Most attempts to generate content automatically are at risk for Google penalties. Techniques such as content spinning and other creation manipulation methods should be avoided at all cost, and should be considered “black hat” unapproved methods.

Content sharing, or content syndication as it is sometimes called, is an approved method on social networks, and can reduce savings of time and money anywhere from 50-90%.

This is a strategy that is long overdue at most companies using social networking in their marketing and promotion methods.

Here is a list of 30 of the most popular blogs on entrepreneurship that offer a rich cornucopia of posts and recent news on entrepreneurship.  They are listed in order of highest traffic.  (lowest Alexa ranking – lower number means more traffic)

http://entrepreneur.com/  – a daily source of entrepreneur articles and news.  Alexa 1,510
http://tech.co/   Alexa 27,280
http://blog.rebel.com/  Alexa 109,411
http://yfsmagazine.com/  Alexa 147,771
https://yec.co/  Alexa 341,817
https://pjrvs.com/  Alexa 346,862
http://epodcastnetwork.com/  Alexa 1,064,851

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Another reason why LinkedIn Rocks!

 

If you have held the opinion that LinkedIn is one of the best social networks to find new leads and contacts to develop your business, here is yet another reason.  From recent research, it seems that LinkedIn can send more traffic to your blog than other networks.  Another reason to like LinkedIn, right?

It seems from this particular post that there are best times to post on LinkedIn.  It is good to avoid the evenings and weekends.  I have found that invitations are responded to at all times of day, but post reading may very well follow the workday pattern as the post suggests.

One very attractive possibility exists on Pulse.  There are certain posts that LinkedIn will promote.  If you are an industry “influencer”, that helps a great deal, but also those with large networks on LinkedIn are favored as well.  It is possible for your post to be seen hundreds of thousands of times if it is promoted on Pulse. Another reason to grow a large network on LinkedIn

7 Essential LinkedIn Marketing Stats

Other relevant content sites.

MarketHive

Goldfinch Digital Marketing

Characteristics of a social entrepreneur

A social entrepreneur is someone who has decided to undertake a venture that is aimed at tackling societies most pressing problems, like famine and climate change. A social enterprise could be a nonprofit or profit business model. Two people often associated with social entrepreneurship are Blake Mycoskie, CEO of Tom’s shoes who provide a pair of shoes for a child in need for every shoe purchased and Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, providing microfinance to the impoverished.

social media, business startup, markethive, entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurs embody most of the characteristics as other types of entrepreneur. However, there are certain traits that distinguish them.

Healthy Impatience

A social entrepreneur shows a healthy impatience with the way things are, according to Duke University, in a report by its Centre for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. CASE notes that socially minded entrepreneurs want to change things right away, know it can be done, and are often frustrated that bureaucracy and the lack of political will, impede on social changes that could benefit the masses.

Commitment to Improve Social Welfare

Social entrepreneurs are socially committed first and foremost. But what differentiates them from, a company engaging in CSR, is their ability to fully devote their time, energy and limited resources to make ensure they implement positive change. A business can use corporate social responsibility (CSR)  –  which entails everything from charitable donations to community work  –  to improve social welfare, but critics also point out that some for-profit entities use CSR as a public-relations tool.

Philanthropic

A social entrepreneur generally has a philanthropic predisposition. They also tend to distribute whatever profits are made to the socially disadvantaged, or reinvest the profit in the organisation. The idea is to grow the entity by enlisting more people, so more people can be positively affected, more lives can be saved, and much more social value can be created in the long term.

Lack of Megalomania

Social entrepreneurs don’t tend to have a megalomaniac personality. Their cause comes first, not their fame or finance. These entrepreneurs don’t have a problem letting others shine, especially their team members or others involved in local projects.

Reliance on people

Although most early stage businesses have pressures to conserve cash, this is even more true of social enterprises. Social entrepreneurship revolves around the concept of crowdsourcing, tapping into a team of faithful workers along with volunteers scattered around the world to solve the greatest problems of humanity.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


John Lombaerde

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Stars : Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace.

Light years from Earth, 26 years after being abducted, Peter Quill finds himself the prime target of a manhunt after discovering an orb wanted by Ronan the Accuser.

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