Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on November 25th, 2008

Building Your Brand's Online Community

online_communities_0.jpegCompanies are using social media to build their brands, but it takes more than the effort to make it happen. It was reported recently by CNET that 75% of Fortune 1000 companies will launch a social media campaign this year. 50% of those campaigns are expected to fail. Just because you took the effort to make a pecan pie this year for Thanksgiving, doesn’t automatically mean its going to taste great. There are many recipes out there to make a delicious pecan pie, as well as recipes for your business to be in the fifty percentile of those who have social media success.

It is very important to create a “community” for your business and brand, a place where your customers can ask questions, collect ideas and celebrate your brand. Let your customers market for you. This is also an easy way for your employees to interact with your customers without the constant phone calls and emails. This is a very effective way to use social media without having to get too involved with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or Digg. It is inexpensive to operate and will reduce your company hours and costs on customer service. I must warn you, however, this recipe isn’t all sugar and candy canes. It does take some work to build and seed the micro-site. There is also a chance that your customers can turn on you if your customer support and employee interaction is too slow or unresponsive.

A great example of this recipe working and tasting delicious is Blue Shirt Nation, created by Best Buy’s Gary Koelling and Steve Bendt. It is an internal communications platform that generates thousands of conversations across the company. This resulted in more information, more issues, more solutions, more ideas and more impact on, not only the company’s culture, but their consumer culture as well. Volacci is here to help you create online business solutions through search engine optimization and intelligent business decisions that will maximize your conversion rate and profit margins. Your profit is our passion.