Communities around Ball Bearings, Underwear or Drano

In a post last week, Aaron Strout and Bill Fanning asked “Would you Join a Toothpaste Community?” The implication was that some things might not lend themselves to community online. In the comments, I engaged with Adam Cohen over whether Medical Device Manufacturers should target patients in addition to hospital purchasing agents and doctors regarding their products.

This week, Aaron is back with a discussion of the things learned from that previous post and comments, including information on a Ball Bearing community. Definitely worth the read.

3 thoughts on “Communities around Ball Bearings, Underwear or Drano”

  1. Howard – thanks for the link love. Much appreciated! Your points in the original post were fantastic and I really enjoyed watching the conversation between you and Adam in the comments.

    Happy New Year
    Aaron | @astrout

  2. In the end, Howard, whether it's virtual communities or simply old fashioned PR, some things do NOT change even as everything changes. By that I mean that the ball-bearing community solution still came down to one tried-and-true lesson: targeting your message (or conversation or story) to an audience (or customers or community) that cares about it because they can relate to it.

    Whether it's the old model of reaching broad sector consumers or niche trade influencers via the media by convincing a third party editor that your pitch is actually a story angle their readers/viewers will find interesting, or the new model of starting conversations that matter enough to engage a community in ongoing discussions, it's still all about relevance.

    With that in mind, I don't think there's a single product or service or sector that cannot succeed with a properly-executed social media program aimed at specific communities. If I'm not a mass consumer play and I only get 30 customers to engage instead of 3,000,000, what do I care if it's the RIGHT 30 customers?

    The media platforms, tools and protocols have changed dramatically; the art and skill of finding the relevant story in the brand or product or sector hasn't.

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