How To

Building a community where everybody knows your name

by Jo Crellin |

An Englishman an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar…. a week ago, they would have been watching rugby full of machismo and shouting friendly abuse at each other but today, it’s more likely that they’re drowning their sorrows in some kind of craft ale. United in grief, united in their penchant for gastro lager, united in their hate towards citizens of the southern hemisphere. Funny how that works isn’t it?

For centuries, the British pub has mastered the expertise of building a community and this is exactly what brands are looking for when they come to spottydog saying “we want to build a community on social media”.  So here’s how we do it, without any smoke and mirrors, we believe a community manager is just like a pub landlord, their job is to give the regulars what they want.  Our anti-motto is “if you build it, they will come” because we think this is 100% a route to failure.

So here are my Rovers Return Inn tips on building a Sizzling community on social networks:

  • Find Advocates – Make friends with the chatty man that can’t stop talking about his girlfriend, dog, football team, tv shows…whatever. Don’t worry, he’ll tell his friends about you.
  • Find people who are active – The darts team organiser, pub crawl aficionado, charity bake sale organiser, Sunday League player. Make friends with them. They’re organised and influential so whatever they say about you will be heard by many.
  • Give people a reason to get involved – What makes people emotional? Rugby, Beer, Football, Mates, Music. Understand what makes your community argue, cry, jump for joy, protest. Give them this and they’ll get involved. It’s guaranteed.
  • Be a person not a brand – The pub landlord can be a confidante, much like a priest or a doctor. This is how your brand should be on social media. Listen, give advice, answer their queries with a real voice, share honest opinions and they’ll trust you with their secrets.
  • Answer questions – Don’t ignore their messages and texts or they won’t bother with you again.
  • Be unique – Whether it’s Betty’s hotpot or Liz McDonald’s unbeatable style, the Rovers Return is definitely the place to be. Same goes for your social media community, make sure it offers something you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Play social networks by the rules – Let’s take Facebook (because it’s hard to name a big consumer brand that doesn’t want to be there) you’ll know it’s no longer an easy place to make new ‘customer’ friends. At 11 years old, Facebook is an established corporate so you need play the game if you’re going to win. This means great content, tactical advertising and staying abreast of its latest developments. They’re doing great work with live streaming with Facebook Mentions, Facebook Notes for blogging and improving video and jumping on these new roll-outs can put you ahead of the game.