3-Minute WOM Lesson: 3 reasons communities work

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A fantastic community can drive long-term word of mouth. And while simply building one doesn’t mean they’ll come, the more you can embrace a few natural human tendencies, the better odds you’ll have of creating something meaningful. What to remember when building yours:

1> People are good
2> People like to help
3> People want to connect

1> People are good

Great communities work because they’re organized around the idea that people are naturally good. You’ll recognize these communities because they allow more control to their members and they feature things like a fantastic welcome process that connects current members to new ones. Sure, there will always be a few idiots — but empowering the good guys means you can drown out the trolls and curmudgeons.

2> People like to help

People spread word of mouth and engage in communities because they like to help others. And while every community has its “lurkers,” they also have potential super-users — with the best communities designed to encourage these talkers. Clorox, for example, has seen significant increases in engagement since adding gaming mechanics to their community, all designed to acknowledge, reward, and support this natural behavior.

3> People want to connect

Humans are social creatures. We’re driven to build connections, to join groups, and to extend our networks of “people like us.” Communities created around specific topics help us find others who share our interests — and that’s where the conversations and word of mouth can really take off.


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  1. Amy

    You couldn’t be more right. Communities work great because they’re a tight group that is passionate about their topic and what matters to them. If you empower the good guys in society then most likely it will drown out the bad guys. People like to follow good examples in real life as well as on the net. If you want to speak intelligently and join the discussion you’ll do more research on the topic and bring a real opinion to the table.

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