When you build a brand, one of the most important aspects of being successful is building a community of brand loyalists who will listen to your words, read your posts, show up at your events, purchase your offerings and connect with like minded individuals. According to Sarah Robinson, author of the book Fierce Loyalty, if you want your community to be fiercely loyal, you have to love the community, like a mother loves her children.
It makes sense that if you want to build a community that comes back to support your brand time and time again, you have to come from a place of love.
Loyalty comes from a feeling of connection.
It comes from feeling wanted and needed within the community. When the leader/facilitator/creator of the community does not come from a place of WE, the community can feel it. Conversely, when the facilitator of the community is thoughtful about making the community about the group and not their own need for a “flock”, the group will respond to the space that the community leader creates for each member of the community to flourish.
Another important aspect of building a fiercely loyal community in the age of social media is to make sure that there are opportunities for the community members to connect with each other online and off. It is a beautiful thing that we can connect with people from all over the world in an instant on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc, but to meet face to face and connect in person brings the relationship to another level. A level of loyalty that simply cannot exist when only online.
In this Google Hangout, Sarah and I discuss the DNA and ROI of a fiercely loyal community and Sarah shares some really powerful information for anyone who is looking to build a fiercely loyal community around your brand. Do you have any thoughts about building fierce loyalty around a community? Have you seen brands that have done an exceptional job (like Sarah’s fave, Harley Davidson) or brands that have missed the mark? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
PS: If you want to hear more about this topic, here is a link to Sarah’s book and I will be speaking on a panel about building community around your blog with Jessica Northey and Amy Vernon at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas in January! Join us!