Social media places consumers in control by providing them with the tools to quickly communicate to their "network" what they think. If your company's actions do not match their messaging, your customers will find out quicker than ever -- and they will make that information go viral. Going viral is not always a positive experience. So the importance of authenticity in your brand has never been greater.
Seven points to always keep in mind while building your community:
- A community is like building a relationship; and like all relationships, it is built on trust -- you must be consistent;
- Great communities (like brands) are built through simple, heartfelt ideas -- and a passionate fan base;
- All ideas expressed need to be spoken in a true and honest voice, reflective of the brand personality;
- Embrace your roots (mission/vision/values) to foster open dialogue;
- Engage your community in big, compelling ideas and causes;
- Reward people for their time and thought; and
- Connecting with people is easy, so don't force it.