Community is a big thing for me. I talk about it a lot. I show my clients the value of community and social equity.
My 12for12k project is all about bringing the global community together for one overreaching goal. Heck, my blog tagline is “Community; Connection; Conversation”.
So, yes, community is a big thing for me.
Why? Why do I concentrate on community, as opposed to other “magical” words like ROI, returns, end percentages, profit margins and endless other affiliations to the normal business world? After all, for many it’s just a fad; another part of the social media hype.
Simple. Community is everything. Community is you. Here’s why.
This past week, the mother of all storms (for where I live, anyway) hit, and hit with a vengeance. Our patio was a pool, our front porch was just as bad, and our basement was flooding like Niagara Falls. But you know what stood out about the whole experience? Community.
On Twitter, people I haven’t met (yet) had heard about the storm and reached out to check in on my welfare. Both Dave Folkens and Shannon Boudjema tweeted and asked if I was alright. Never met either of them physically, but they heard one of their community members was having issues and reached out.
Then there’s my neighbours. I’ve spoken with them a few times since we moved in, but it’s been more pleasant conversation than anything else. But, as soon as the storm hit and my wife went to them to ask for emergency numbers for our property management team, they were right over. Heck, my next door neighbour Chris forgave his beer mood and jumped over the fence in just his shorts to help me pump the flood water out from my water well.
That’s community. That’s sharing experiences. That’s being there for no other reason than someone needs help.
Now. Imagine you’re a business owner. Or a blogger. Or simply someone that needs help to make something happen. Imagine how a community you’ve built around you (or you’re part of) can help you share something you need to expose to a wider audience.
Imagine a blogger evangelizing about you because you’ve made a connection and there’s trust there. Imagine a customer buying your stuff because you communicate with them. Imagine a shareholder sticking with you as opposed to jumping ship, because they’re part of your dream.
That’s community. That’s building something. That’s change right there.
Still think community is just a dirty word for the latest social media fad?