Five Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Through Online Communities


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Marketing through online communities can be a goldmine, but it can also be deadly for those who get it wrong. This is a slide of one of the most popular posts on my bog, Online Community Strategist.

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Five Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Through Online Communities

  1. 1. Five Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Through Online Communities Angela Connor Author, “18 Rules of Community Engagement” Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  2. 2. The Opportunity If you have a product or service that you think most people or a large percentage of the people in an online community would find interesting, I think you should delve right in and give it a shot. After all, isn’t one of the goals behind marketing in online communities to essentially capitalize on the sheer numbers and niche topics? If done right, it can be quite effective. If done wrong, as it most often is in my opinion, it can backfire in a way that can turn ugly fast. I’ve seen it time and time again. A well-intentioned individual joins the community and casually starts mentioning their travel site or automotive services complete with links in every post and the promise of a discount. The Common Mistake What often happens next is they receive a slew of comments from the natives about the community not being a place to sell their services and it’s all downhill from there. I once saw a user upload 750 images of wristwatches. Seriously. It was his entire catalog. Need I say what happened to him? I call it the scarlet letter, “S.” it stands for SPAM. It’s a word you don’t want to be associated with in an online community. Trust me. So, before you jump right in to the next community, here are five things you shouldn’t do. Remember, this isn’t the do list, it’s the don’t list. Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  3. 3. DON’T… Add links to your website in every single blog and comment you post. Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  4. 4. DON’T… Write blogs with titles like: “Great deals on travel” and only mention your organization. Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  5. 5. It’s the quickest way to illustrate a lack of genuine interest in the community. DON’T… Start blogging about your product or service the minute you create a profile. It will be noticed Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  6. 6. DON’T… Misrepresent yourself as a satisfied customer just to convince others to get on board. Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  7. 7. DON’T… Disrespect the culture of the community. Take time to see how things work before you jump in and shake things up. For more on growing successful online communities, visit Online Community Strategist or contact Angela Connor, author of “18 Rules of Community Engagement,” Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |
  8. 8. at Copyright, Angela Connor 2009 |