Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Casting the Social Networking Net

Napoleon Bonaparte once said that only fear and interest unite men. Well, I have about a million customers with very common interests and now I’m tasked with bringing them together.

You may remember a couple of weeks back when I wrote about Business 2.0’s struggle to stay alive and the revelation that they had a thriving, active community of people willing to band together to save the site from impending doom. As remarkable as it was, it surprised and concerned me that they had such a healthy community that never actually interacted.

I started thinking about the very question I asked 'do you have a secret community that needs to be unleashed?' The answer for me is yes. We have a program with over 20,000 members who are only able to communicate with each other once a year at an event that we host for them. The $64,000 question of course is: what else should be doing? How do we tactfully and effectively encourage interaction amongst this community? Try to talk them all into joining our Facebook page? Probably not.

The Business 2.0 situation is somewhat unique. Their users were compelled to pull together and take action to serve a common self interest. So, short of faking a business closure, what compelling events could unite a bunch of users whose only common interest is my product?

1 comment:

Lori & Jeff said...

Create your own social networking site or forum so your customers can interact about your product.

If they attend an event and network, they would surely have experiences with your product to share with each other and exchange ideas.

We've started a blog to talk about Web 2.0, social networking, blogging and such and have some lively discussion going about the definition of Web 2.0, what marketers think of it and other fun topics.

You can check it out at