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About Rich

  • Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard is also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. Richard's clients have included Google, AutoDesk, United Nations, Novartis, Wikipedia, Oracle, The World Bank, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Fidelity Investments, and many more. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

    e-mail: richard@feverbee.com
    T:+44 (0)7763 831931

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Comments

Will England

Just used this post in our social strategy meeting at our Fortune 50 telecom company.

Thanks - great timing!

edward boches

Not sure what you're smoking, but you should study up on Adidas, Vic Secret, Tide, Panera and a host of other brands that are defying your premise. In fact for Olympus we launched a product and sold out nationwide by building community and using social to spread the word. You are doing a dis service to marketing and the medium by talking in generalities like this.

Jason Peck

I agree with most of these here, except for #1. Well maybe you shouldn't start a community for the sole reason for attracting new customers but it definitely can be a good by-product. When you encourage your customers to invite their friends and family to join something and they join, this an incredibly low-cost, high quality form of acquisition. Your best customers are your current customers...your next best customers are their friends and family. This can be a nice way to get new people into a company's database.

Jason Peck

But I do agree that focus should be on retention/deepening relationships with existing customers. As others have said, "retention is the new acquisition."

Richard Millington

Edward: Have you got the links of both your community and those you mentioned? Would be interesting to see how they achieve any of the effects listed in the post.

Jason: I think you agreed with this post there with "maybe you shouldn't start a community". It's a good point. As I mentioned you can invite customers to invite friends. But it's not the best way to reach new customers.

Paul Beaulieu

I disagree a little with the SEO. It depends how competitive the segment you are in is. If you are in a highly competitive segment, no amount of organic SEO will get you the rankings you desire. With Google and others using real-time search results, social media can be an cost-effective ways to boost visibility and search rankings.

Richard Millington

Social media and online communities are different though. If your sole reason for launching an online community is to boosy your SEO, you're going to be disappointed.

Katie Moreno

I believe these are some valid points. Richard what kinds of brands have you worked with that give you this take? I'd be curious to see how small or large they are. A community for Victoria Secret is definitely going to be successful no matter the type of data you are analyzing because the brand is that well known. @Edward it'd be great if we could get those links from you, and tone down the hostility a bit. Richard is a generous contributor and we should be thankful for the time and effort he puts into being a thought leader for us in this industry.

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