The complete and original post at www.convinceandconvert.com
What are the defining characteristics of a community? It’s a topic I’ve been pondering more and more lately. Is it about geography, common interests, socio-economic similarities, or similar viewpoints? The list goes on and on.
To get to this point, it becomes necessary to define what a community is. According to dictionary.com, a community is
a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived itself as distinct insome respect from the larger society within which it exists.
As community managers, it’s our job to manage a brand’s online (and offline) presence. It’s a daunting task that requires us to assume a leadership role, channel the company’s voice, create buzz and drive engagement on and offline to achieve specific goals/outcomes. It’s fairly natural to assume that as the leader, you are building and growing a “community.” After all, there’s X amount of likers, followers, subscribers, doers’, doubters, troublemakers and everything in between, who are communicating in the group. However with most brand pages, this environment is actually fostering a false sense of community.
Most Facebook brand pages aren’t actually online communities. They are just glorified marketing channels. Some are done very well, others not so much. Here’s five reasons to explain this seemingly subtle distinction.
Most Facebook fans didn’t decide to “like” a brand’s page because they wanted to be part of an online community. In fact, the two most common reasons to like a brand are if you are a current customer or to receive discounts and/or freebies, according to a study by research firm, Chadwick Martin Bailey. The next most popular reasons are to show support for a brand, to learn more information and to get exclusive content. Couple that with the fact, that more than 75% of Facebook users who like a brand, like fewer than 10 brands total, and you wind up with stiff competition for eyeballs and page “likes.”