Best Practice

Online Communities Part One: Starting a Community

By DJ Waldow,

This report is part of the Online Communities bundle.


About this report

Passion takes time and care to grow, but building goodwill and a culture of support around a brand can ultimately cost little to maintain, and recoup huge benefits. Having or lacking a strong community of supporters can make or break a company. How can marketers be sure that their brand will have friends when it needs them?

This 16-page guide is a practical introduction to community building, written by marketer, social community manager and frequent blog author DJ Waldow. He draws on his experience building communities for clients in a variety of industries including retail, travel & tourism, and not-for profit.

It includes sections that can help marketers to understand:

  • A look at what communities are, and how they work
  • Ways that communities can be helpful to customers
  • How communities can be useful to companies
  • What the differences are between the three big digital community sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+
  • Best practices for the early stages of building a community on those sites

Future reports in this series will dig more deeply into ways to engage, grow, and leverage your community. Readers will learn the best ways to conduct conversations across multiple platforms, come to understand the utility of email marketing, detail how to gather feedback, offer support, and, finally, convert community members into buyers.

Table of contents

  1. Starting a Community: Why, Where and How
    1. Starting a Community: Why?
      1. Why Do Online Communities Exist? (Customer Perspective)
      2. Why Do Online Communities Exist? (Company Perspective)
    2. Starting a Community: Where?
      1. Facebook Communities: Pages
      2. Facebook Communities: Groups
      3. Twitter Communities: Chats
      4. LinkedIn Communities: Groups
      5. Google+ Communities: Circles
      6. Google+ Communities: Hangouts
      7. Other Online Communities
    3. Starting a Community: How
      1. Starting vs. Joining a Community
      2. Starting Your Own Community: Build or Use Existing?
      3. Starting Your Own Community: Hybrid
  2. Starting a Community - Summary


  • Pdf Disabled Online Communities: Part One - Starting a Community (723 KB PDF)

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