Why is “Community” so Important in Today’s Influencer World?

April 16, 2014
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Written by Holly Pavlika and Brandi Riley 

Companies, organizations and brands everywhere are working for influencers. These influencers are typically a reflection of their target audience or a niche the brand wants to expand their reach to. They will be leveraged for market research, ideation and the creation of content or the amplification of a brand’s content.

There are plenty of places brands can turn to to leverage a blogger’s influence. Many boast hundreds of thousands of bloggers signed, sealed and all ready to cherry pick from a database. But that’s just it…it’s a database and numbers alone won’t reveal everything a brand needs to know about a blogger.

Today it’s all about engagement and social action, which is driven by influence. And influence comes from tribes. Tribes are communities of people who share similar passions: food, technology, beauty, fashion and more. Whatever your passion, you look for others who share your love and enthusiasm. Those passions are the fuel for conversation, the sharing of ideas and growth of that community or tribe. They come with a built-in syndication aspect: friends share their friend’s content and comment on each other’s content. And that conversation is an invitation to bring others into the tribe.

There is so much more content to wade through today.

Do you know what a zettabyte is? It’s trillions of gigabytes of information and according to the International Data Corporation, we filled 57.5 billion 32GB iPads worth of zettabytes in 2012 alone–an unbelievable amount of information. More than any of us could consume in a lifetime.

But influencers talk to other influencers and their social circles. One well-placed tweet can set off a firestorm of sharing from community to community. And friends within communities tend to share their friend’s content in support of each other. The validation of a piece of content can make one piece rise above rather than drown in zettabytes of information being uploaded every day. It’s natural syndication.

A community fosters relationships and results in the whole community benefiting.

We hear it all the time from our community: a community is motivating and gives a sense of purpose as well as bringing out a bit of a competitive streak. There’s a forum for asking questions and access to others who are in the know which has a positive impact on influence and audience growth.

Social platforms aren’t what they used to be.

Social platforms have evolved over the years, and sometimes overnight. The ability to keep up with the technology and the people who use the technology can be a struggle for many who are without the benefit of community. Today, it’s much more likely for influencers to focus their energy on a particular social platform, rather than bounce from one to another. Their audience, in turn, follows suit.

Influencers, with their community building skills, then become teachers and evangelists. They educate the other members of their tribe on how to effectively use each social platform. As they become experts in engagement and learn how to keep up with the people (and the brands) that matter the most to them, they share what they know, bringing groups of other influentials with them.

When you couple the ever-changing algorithms of Facebook, with the overcrowding of Twitter, and dozens of new platforms launching all of the time, community becomes paramount to social success. Unlike social platforms, community is constant. When community is managed properly, it doesn’t matter what changes the social platforms go through. The audience will follow.

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