*Video* How Do You Engage With Communities As A Business?

engaging-online-communitiesEngaging A Community

Lorraine Twohill, Google’s VP of Global Marketing, said recently in video that “it’s absolutely imperative that businesses engage their communities.”

You can view Ms. Twohill’s video commentary on “Engaging A Community” below.

The word “community” these days is becoming more and more associate with the web, and how businesses react to that can literally make or break them.  From Ms. Twohill’s perspective, it’s not even an option – you MUST be engaging your online communities as a business.

But how does a business go about engaging their online communities?

Just Showing Up

There is a huge disparity forming on the web today between those who are active, and those who are not active.

For a business to engage their online communities – and please, I don’t mean to water down the impact here – sometimes all you (the business) has to do is show up!

I know that sounds too simple to be true.

But consider this – when you look across your competition, how many are active in places like Facebook, blogging, and Twitter?

Perhaps there is one main leader that dominates your market, but besides them, the number of competitors who are active is probably quite small.

So by you, as a business, showing up on with a Facebook Fan Page, creating a blog, and becoming active on the web can – in most cases – take you quickly to the forefront in your industry or market space.

How To Engage Your Community

1)  Start a Facebook Fan page

A Facebook Fan Page is, in my opinion, going to prove itself to be one of the most effective marketing channels the business world has ever seen.

They are free, they are interactive, and they deliver a powerful “permission based” platform for businesses to broadcast their marketing message.

Simultaneously, a Facebook Fan Page allows businesses to engage communities with real time conversations, interactions, and sharing of valuable information.

2)  Start Blogging

I write constantly about the value of blogging for a business.  An active blog can easily build a community all its own.

As people comment on a blog, and the blog owners interact and comment back, engagement is occurring.  And over time, this process starts to yield a substantial return on the businesses’ efforts in both reputation, word of mouth marketing, and exposure in search engines.

3)  Create A Twitter Profile

This is honestly my least favorite for engaging a community because you don’t really have the ability to interact and “engage” people.

Twitter is more about broadcast messaging from me to you – not necessarily interacting and engaging in great online conversations.

The Take A Way

Engaging your community is critically important in today’s business environment.

More than ever, your customers are on the web talking to friends and family about their likes and dislikes.

Getting your business engaged on the web is sometimes as easy as just showing up!

So get out there, start a blog and build a Facebook Fan Page for your brand, and start producing valuable content for your customers.

Soon you’ll find your business at the head of your online market space, and ultimately your phone will be ringing more than your competitions!

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