Word of Mouth Tip #38: Support existing fan communities

If you’re lucky enough to have fans building their own active, vibrant communities, sometimes your job as a word of mouth marketer is simply to not screw it up.

Support these existing communities by reaching out to group leaders, offering support, and exploring ways to help them continue what is already working so well.

How a word of mouth supergenius does it:

When Facebook approached Coca-Cola about a user-created fan page with more than 3 million members, they offered ownership of the group to Coke.

But instead of taking over the reins (and ruining the consumer–driven momentum), Coke flew co-creators Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski to their headquarters in Atlanta to thank them for their work, give them a tour of the facilities, and ask how Coke could help them continue to run the group in a more official capacity.

Today, with help from Coca-Cola, Dusty and Michael continue to administrate the community that now connects 5 million fans on Facebook.

Check out this video telling the story of Dusty and Michael’s original meeting with Coke:

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