Community, Connection, and Economy – Back to Basics

The economy sucks. On this, we can all agree. Though a crappy economy cannot always be blamed for down sales, for a disconnect between social media follower stats and revenue, or for outright failure. Sometime…people just aren’t feeling the pressure to spring for your offer. A lot of this has to do with a lack of community around your product, release, or event. If your friends are going to something, you’re more likely to want to go to. If they aren’t; if it doesn’t feel like anyone’s talking about it…chances are that will influence a potential buyer’s decision as well. This is basic stuff; I’m not revealing any hidden truths here.

However, there is one aspect of community that I don’t think is discussed nearly enough. If your product or event exists more fulfillingly in the real world (read, I am NOT talking about Zynga games, World of Warcraft, or other developed and lucrative communities that functionally exist online only), your community MUST translate offline. Even if you have a million twitter followers and four million facebook fans (no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination), if you expect a fraction of those people to lay down their hard earned cash for your product, you better hope that their “real world” community is talking about your event or product as well, which means…local is important. Even a national brand, on a national scale, better have a local angle and marketing plan to develop and interact with their followers (and non-online followers) in the offline world, or their product or service is more likely to remain remote and theoretical, than exist as a potential purchase by fans. People want to feel like their friends are into the same things they are…even the hipster mavericks, and that means something that reaches them in their daily lives, away from the computer. That’s going to be the difference between people who plunk their money down and buy, and the people who watch and follow…or follow and forget, which is significantly more likely.

Local is relevant, and relevance leads to conversion.

This is not new, nor groundbreaking…but I thought it worthwhile to bring it up. Niche is not only tastes and likes, but location as well, and those who succeed are wise not to ignore it.

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