If you build it, they will NOT come

I’m getting asked more frequently with each week, “Which white label social network should I use?”, many have seen this list, and have read my posts tagged social networking. I don’t make recommendations on the fly, and I’m not going to give away free advise to non-friends. So the answer depends on “It depends on your community strategy”.

“I want to build a community”
Many an entrepreneur are seeking to create vertical communities, monetize on ad sense, or some other hook. Also, folks from large corporations are hoping to launch these communities, let customers self-support, and attempt to centralize the community in a decentralized world. For 95%, it’s not going to work.

New tools require new strategies
Building the website with all it’s features, profiles, and rating buttons is the easiest thing of all, but maybe the least important. What’s key? It’s having a plan to kick start your community. Secondly, understanding to consider joining the community before building one. Lastly, marketing (and your community) may not even be on your own website or domain, distributive, amorphous, and ubiquitous.

[Just because you build your community website does not mean they will come. The savvy web strategist has a community strategy and distributed social media strategy]

New strategies require new roles
There are a few roles that have started to appear, keep note, as I see them at almost every company, learn about the Community Manager. Remember before there were three major influence groups (Analyst, Press, Media) many large companies have one person on each, or at smaller companies one person covering all. Add yet another influence group, the Social group, or what many of us call Social Media.

How to kick start a community?
I know how to kick start a community, I’ve done it a few times already, and each time it’s been different in the approach, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. I posed this question to the readers of the this blog, be sure to read their ideas on how to get it going.