How to Foster Relationships Beyond the Online Community
The beautiful part about community is how other online communities in the same vein or genre can act as an extension of yours. Sure, competition occurs between brands, but smart community managers see colleagues and collaborators over competitors.
Here’s an analogy for you. People who read blogs don’t read only one blog and call it a day. They have a roster of blogs they like to enjoy on a regular basis, especially blogs with a similar theme.
A writer enjoys reading different writing blogs to discover a variety of tips. Fisherman read different fishing blogs to become aware of the latest techniques and products. Readers may be most loyal to one particular blog, but they still read and comment on other blogs.
Most online communities have similar stories. Their members might like a variety of brands on Facebook or participate in more than one forum. You read more than one book and watch more than one movie, so it only makes sense that you participate in a variety of different communities.
Community managers pinpoint the favorite haunts of their community members and work out promotions and campaigns to bring everyone together and drive cross-promotional traffic.
It may seem as if a community is a single enclave. The truth is, many communities have thousands of members and include other communities. A good manager can harness the energy and power of all these communities and turn his own online community into something truly awesome.