Building a community of one demographic is one thing, but building a community of multiple, various audiences is something completely different.
It takes a different approach, and at times, a completely different set of skills.
Savannah Peterson has built dozens of brands.
She has helped design and build a major Kickstarter project.
And she currently manages the growing community of 3D printing leader, Shapeways.
Shapeways relies heavily on various niche communities, from comic fans to jewelry makers to Bronies (you’ll have to listen to learn about the Bronies).
Savannah enlightened us on Episode 12 of the Social Toolkit podcast on her processes of building community, creating content for various unique audiences, and how she discovers and builds new communities.
Check out the full podcast below or download it on iTunes to listen to later. Savannah truly is a hustler and a hardware nerd, whom we could all learn from.
Listen to the full episode here:
If you have not already subscribed to get the latest episodes of the Social Toolkit podcast, you can do that on iTunes here, or search for the “social toolkit” on the podcast app of your choice.
1. Publish outside your owned community
These days, the evolution of blogging has taken a much simpler approach. The ability to distribute content in a simple, clean succinct fashion, has never been easier.
With the rise of platforms like Medium, you know have the ability to reach various maturities of audiences in an impactful manner.
“With Medium recommendations getting 10x the potency of a Facebook Like or Twitter Favorite, I couldn’t imagine putting Shapeways best writing any where else.” says Peterson
2. Leverage a few simple analytics
It’s easy to look at general trends, —– but when it comes to testing different communities, trends, hashtags, and learning more about about the diverse range of communities you face a real challenge or sorting and gathering that information.
Shapeways deals with one of the more diverse range of individuals and passions I have seen in a company (Listen to the podcast to learn about Bronies), which results in a variety of keywords and hashtags to search and analyze.
“We monitor very specific communities and traction, and with a variety such as ours, you have to break it down per community and i’ve found that Topsy is the best for providing all the information necessary. It allows us to monitor and reach unique and different communities.” says Savannah.
Learn where you community is and learn more about that community.
Twitter Real Time Analytics allow you to stay on top of trends
Within the last 2 months there has been a massive improvement to Twitters Real Time Analytics, along with Real Time Analytics finally becoming available to access on the mobile app. In the first screenshot (above) you will see the “view tweet activity” under the image attached to the tweet. Clicking that link allows you to access the next set of screenshots, right in the mobile app.
Prior to including the “view tweet activity” in the app, the only way to access your real time stats was through the desktop ad tool, and let’s be honest, we rarely checked those unless we were actually running an ad.
The simple integration of the analytics into the tweets themselves will give you the confidence to know whether or not if you are on top of trend and topics or if you need to adjust. The ‘Tweet Activity’ provides you with such information as whether or not followers are clicking, sharing, favoriting, etc.
The best part of Tweet Analytics: You can now see link clicks – important to see who’s taking action beyond engagement just in Twitter.
“I’m not above deleting a tweet and trying again 30 minutes later to wait for more people to be engaged on the platform. The real time analytics allow me the opportunity to know whether I need to do that or not” said Savannah.
3. Stand behind your content
If your content simply isn’t working, don’t be afraid to delete and apologize accordingly, and stand behind what you’re saying.
Savannah operates by a clever 3-5 minutes rule. “If i’m talking about something incredibly relevant and it potentially could news jack the trends and it doesn’t bite at all, then I will come back and rework it, and possibly even try it out on my personal brand to test engagement.”
Try reworking the post with a photo, different content, links, etc.
The key here is to learn something new everyday from your tweets and traction, along with how your audience is consuming your content. As you begin to learn the trends of your community, you will become much more effective at building your community.
Savannah’s Process of building a community
- Ask the questions
- Where is your audience when they are not talking to you?
- Know where the existing communities are
4. Discover where your audiences are
Savannah emphasizes connecting to you audience, not only through keywords, but through physical action.
Bring them together in real life. Spend the time getting to know the type of person that would be attracted to your community. Here are four intelligent items Savannah focuses on at Shapeways when discovering and building the Shapeways community:
1. Feed the niches
After identifying the right core fan community, she then feeds them the necessary tools, products, and materials.
2. Expand your geography
Go on road shows that target a certain group of people, but also cities, and hubs. Touch base with the people using your service, where ever you go and wherever they gather.
3. Become a knowledge provider
Call it an influencer, or a thought leader, but however you identify it, community leaders succeed when they share their expertise and creative enthusiasm.
Knowledge providers freely give of their knowledge, they provide service and resources.
4. Be a permanent facilitator
According to Savannah, this is the link between various passions and ideas. “The more I connect, the better I am doing at my job.”
At the Social Fresh Conferences we have the opportunity to be permanent facilitators. One of the more rewarding opportunities is we hear the stories of people connecting and doing business together, or they start a company, and meeting fellow marketers, or they simply become friends and continue to help each other out in the long run.
The opportunity to facilitate these connections is both rewarding and powerful for the business side because they remember the brand/company that helped them out.