How to Build, Manage and Market your Online Community
By Michael Silverman
Founder & CEO Duo Consulting
About the Book
By participating in online business communities you break through the media clutter and engage your target market on a personal level. Or you can build a tangible business asset by creating the community.
In his book, Capturing Community, Duo Consulting CEO Michael Silverman shares the keys to successful communities and the wisdom learned from social media marketers. Learn about the tools & techniques to create effective communities online such as:
- How your organization can benefit from creating or participating in online communities.
- Best practices for creating a sticky, engaging online community from the most successful community managers.
- Case stories about different communities, and how they achieved success – creating communities with many thousands of loyal members.
- What it takes to effectively manage the community, from technology to promotional channels.
Free Chapter and Companion e-Book!
|Here is a PDF version of the foreword by Jay Batson and chapter three of “Capturing Community“. Enjoy and share!||Visit Duo Consulting’s page for Capturing Community for a free companion e-book!|
Who Should Read this Book?
This book is for marketers, managers, and entrepreneurs looking to drive marketing on user-generated content, while creating long-term value online.
About the Author
Michael Silverman, founder and CEO of Duo Consulting, has been building online communities for more than 15 years. A student of business for nearly 30 years, Michael has experience as an entrepreneur, executive, and innovator.
Michael created his first community, RehabCentral.com, in 1997 before founding Duo Consulting. Since 1999, Michael has participated in the development of dozens of marketing-focused websites and communities for a variety of organizations.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiology from Southern Illinois University and a master’s in Management from Northwestern Kellogg. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife Arlene, sons Noah and Benjamin, and their designer dog Alex.
About Duo Consulting
Chicago based Duo Consulting creates content-rich websites accessible through desktop and mobile devices using the Drupal open-source platform. Since 1999, Duo’s user focus has created award-winning sites for professional service firms, nonprofits, and small business nationwide.
Michael Silverman, CEO
Q & A with Michael Silverman – Capturing Community
Why should content marketers invest the time in this book? What will they learn here that they won’t learn anywhere else?
Books have been published on building web communities. In addition to providing an up-to-date perspective, Capturing Community was written from the perspective of a content marketer. As a result, the book frames web communities in light of content marketing — specifically, how user-generated content can save resources and light the wick on an explosive content marketing campaign.
Creating content is one thing. Leading your audience into a valuable dialogue through that content is another. Content marketers looking for a powerful way to engage the audience will find unique, effective ways to encourage readers to take ownership of the conversation. Giving the audience a stake in the content leads to a more valuable information exchange and greater sense of loyalty to the website, creating better conditions for business opportunities.
Why did you decide to write this book? What was missing from other books that you are addressing?
My experience building communities with Duo Consulting led to an internal dialogue about defining exactly what online communities are. At Duo, we strive to be as introspective as possible so we can strengthen our marketing with tangible value propositions. This spiralled into hundreds of hours of interviews, months of research and a deep look at our own community projects.
One of the first things that other books failed to address was the difference between social networks and online communities. Everyone’s talking about how to use Facebook for marketing, but no one has tried to put the social networking site into perspective when compared to a community where conversation focuses on a specific topic.
We also felt that other books targeted anyone who wanted to build a community. Of course, they wanted to write books catering to a wider audience. But we wanted to speak authentically to people we understood: digital marketers. That’s where we believe the opportunity is. And that’s the audience we believe has a more limited grasp on the benefits than they rightfully should.
What are the key takeaways for content marketers?
- Ways to increase audience engagement
- Communication tools you can use to turn a blog into a community
- Benchmarks for success
- Inexpensive ways to get started
- Tips for uniting business goals with community goals
- Pros and cons of developing a brand-sponsored community versus an unaffiliated community
- A full breakout of benefits to help justify costs and time commitments to executives
Do you provide any templates, worksheets, checklists, step-by-step guides, or case studies that will help content marketers? If so, briefly explain what kind of tools you provide.
The book includes checklists and step-by-step guides to help marketers through the process from end-to-end. Each chapter includes a handful of both.
The case studies in the book have been sourced from dozens of first-hand interviews, as well as deep research. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll see how successful (and unsuccessful) communities got where they are today.
What was one of your favorite things you learned while writing this book?
I think, for Duo Consulting as a company, we learned that our strategic partner Acquia was spending a great deal of time pushing the same concepts we were outlining in the book. They recently developed Drupal Commons, which is basically a prebuilt community-building toolbox that leverages open source software.
We knew that Drupal made perfect sense for building communities. After all, Drupal is a community. Every facet of the software was created on the strength of Drupal’s members. But it was still great validation to see other companies in Drupal recognizing just how much potential the software has. As a result, we’ve worked to align our community development with our core technology and other companies that are driving the same message forward.
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