Tribe? Or Community?

>> Sunday, November 21, 2010

“Man is by nature a political animal.” – Aristotle

Cavemen wrote on cave walls, today we write on Facebook walls. At its core, social networking fulfills our human need to make a connection - it is the modern iteration of tribal behavior.

Tribes are active, mobile, made up of passionate influencers who drive behavior; these are the opinion leaders and the most important targets for a social media campaign. The problem is, many brands think they're creating online tribes when in fact they're simply collecting a community of passive admirers.

What does this mean for wellness brands?

According to Walgreens' president and CEO Greg Wasson, "as patients gain greater access to health care information…they are increasingly becoming shoppers of health care."

Translation: it’s more important than ever to have a clear strategy for engaging with tribal leaders in social media.

Here are 5 ways I've been thinking about to leverage the power of tribes:

  1. Identify your influencers- they will lead you to your tribes!
  2. Map the points where tribal influencers intersect—these are your best points of engagement (i.e. blog, groups, etc.)
  3. Develop key messages that resonate with the tribe
  4. Engage and listen. Tribes will often tell you how to market to them
  5. Repeat

Hope this finds you well!

Sharon Mandler
Senior Digital Strategist


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