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My formula for creating online community Posted in Branding Online, Digital Strategy, Social Media, Concocted by LouisJvR, 2 comments
Published on 16 November 2009

(*reposted from my personal blog http://www.louisjvr.com)

The term online community is something that’s thrown around a lot these days… and legitimately so.

Creating community isn’t something new.

  • Politicians have been doing so for centuries.
  • Churches in my mind have always lead the way in this regard.
  • Schools rely almost everyday on their communities for support.
  • Brands are constantly trying to engender loyalty.
  • Even the local hair salon depends on its community of customers to keep its doors open.

Not something new.

Enter the Internet, essentially a very flexible mass communication tool, at its core designed to create a network of connections between electronic devices, which behind each device sits a human being.

So, today people can use the Internet to do what they’ve always done before, create communities – only now referred to as online communities.

One thing the Internet did change though was the means and scale to which a person, organization or business can start, manage and grow their community of followers. Have the right message, get the right people to join, align the stars and the opportunity is their today for any community to scale to the likes of which its organizers never imagined. This guy realised this to great success.

To my formula, which to my mind helps a great deal in setting the foundation for planning online community:

Online Community = [Message + Internet(People + Interest + Organization)] x Marketing

(for the mathematicians out there: OC=[Ms + I(P+In+Org)] x M)

Thus, creating online community is a product of:

  1. Crafting a message (e.g. we create profitable websites)
  2. Using tools provided by the Internet (e.g. blogs, social networks, forums etc)
  3. To organize people and their interest in your message, vision, brand or business
  4. All supported by a pervasive marketing drive.

Testing this formula, in any situation if you ignore your Marketing (i.e. M=0), your community will diminish.

I’ve found this formula useful to add to your ROI report-backs as well.

The term online community is something that’s thrown around a lot these days and legitimately so.
Creating community isn’t something new.
Politicians have been doing so for centuries.
Churches in my mind have always lead the way in this regard.
Schools rely almost everyday on their communities for support.
Brands are constantly trying to engender loyalty.
Even the local hair salon depends on its community of customers to keep its doors open.
Not something new.
Enter the Internet, essentially a very flexible mass communication tool, at its core designed to create a network of connections between electronic devices, which behind each device sits a human being.
So, today people can use the Internet to do what they’ve always done before, create communities – only now referred to as online communities.
One thing the Internet did change though was the means and scale to which a person, organization or business can start, manage and grow their community of followers. Have the right message, get the right people to join, align the stars and the opportunity is their today for any community to scale to the likes of which its organizers never imagined. This guy realised this to great success.
To my formula, which to my mind helps a great deal in setting the foundation for planning online community:
Online Community = [Message + Internet(People + Interest + Organization)] x Marketing
(for the mathematicians out there: OC=[Ms + I(P+In+Org)] x M)
Thus, creating online community is a product of:
Crafting a message (e.g. we create profitable websites)
Using tools provided by the Internet (e.g. blogs, social networks, forums etc)
To organize people and their interest in your message, vision, brand or business
All supported by a pervasive marketing drive.
Testing this formula, in any situation if you ignore your Marketing (i.e. M=0), your community will not survive.
I’ve found this formula useful to add to your ROI report-backs as well.

Read more posts by LouisJvR

LouisJvR

Louis is the Johannesburg manager of web marketing firm World Wide Creative. Louis is also known as the ‘Case Study Guy’ with an encyclopaedic knowledge of research resources to support the strategic initiatives he is involved in. In between organising Heavy Chef Sessions in the Gauteng region, Louis happens to have a mean sidestep on the rugby field. With his silky skills, dashing good looks, Colgate smile and cunning wit, Louis is the high school quarterback of the World Wide Creative marketing team.

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  5. Creating New Worlds: Comcast Town

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  1. Clint Pietersen says

    Great article Louis. Could you share a case study where each element of the formula was maximized and how it was achieved?

  2. Jhon says

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.