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Debba Haupert talks about Building Online Communities

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You’re a content creator. Yay you! So, now what? Just because you put it out, doesn’t mean people will come to check it out.

NMX speaker Debba Haupert knows the ins and outs of building communities. In this exclusive NMX interview below, Debba shares her advice on how to establish your personal brand, surveying your community, being true to your goals, and the mistakes that online community managers make. Want to hear more from Debba? Check out her session at NMX this January, called “25 Ways to be more Re-Pinnable – Engaging Content and the Power of Pinterest.”

Debba is just one of nearly 200 speakers at NMX this January. Come learn more about new media from some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry by joining us in Las Vegas. Register today!

The Story: Building and Growing Online Communities

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Session: Successful Solutions for Building and Growing an Online Community
Speaker: Debba Haupert

Question: How do you build an online community?

The short answer: two girlfriends were dealing with cancer and I felt helpless. I wanted to know how best to be there for them. I also found myself with a strange, overwhelming need to be close to my girlfriends – those two and others.

That was the genesis of my online community – Girlfriendology.com. Definitely not with the intent, initially, to build an online community, but to address a personal need to express my girlfriend gratitude and a desire to inspire women to be better friends to each other.

I suspect that a driving emotion is most often the beginning of many successful online communities – a need to express our beliefs and passions, a desire to educate or inspire, and a longing to connect with like-minded people.

Whatever the origin or mission of a community, it will eventually weave a unique story. The story threads its way through the community manager, in and out through the communication and content, connecting the members of the community and, in the end, the story creates a ‘fabric’ much stronger because of all those elements.

And, just like any really good story, there are several, distinct, key elements to an online community that build into the story as the community grows. We’ll cover these in my BWELA session on Successful Solutions for Building and Growing a Successful Online Community (Thursday, Nov 3, 2:45 pm):

1. Community Goals and Objectives – From branding to managing expectations, for new communities or those who might need to re-examine their goals and objectives to get back on track.

2. Knowing and Growing our Communities – Who are the citizens in our unique community, and what connects us? We need to take stock of your community as it grows, and continue to provide substance and content that meets our objectives and is valuable for member participation.

3. Using Social Media to Grow our Community – I’ll share a variety of ways in how others have grown their communities using Social Media, as well as defining specific social media tools for managing community connections efficiently and effectively.

4. Managing our Community – Most of us wear multiple hats, from CEO to content creation, from ongoing social media updates to managing a budget. But the one hat that we may struggle with wearing most is that of managing a group of people who have their own goals, objectives and viewpoints. So we’ll share some lessons I’ve learned about managing communities – the good, the bad and the downright painful!

We’ll cover several case studies of a variety of communities, the advice they have to offer and the lessons they learned the hard way. Join us to as we share in the conversation of how to be successful at managing and growing our online communities!

Note: I’d love to hear your community manager/community story! Please fill out this survey and share your community insights. You may be selected as one of our seminar’s case studies. And we’ll note all the communities to thank in our presentation and upcoming eBook on Community Building for Bloggers.

p.s. And wear your best SHOES to the session. (:

Hear what else Debba has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

With over 20 years of corporate marketing, DEBBA HAUPERT now focuses her marketing efforts on social media to help companies reach/build their ‘communities.’ She built the online community of women: GIRLFRIENDOLOGY . Debba has over 24,000 Twitter followers and 20,000 female Facebook Fans – and, keeping with the brand, she deletes (most) guys! She has worked with Biz, Kroger, The UPS Store, Frito-Lay, Healthy Choice, Crystal Light, International Delight and other brands. She teaches/speaks on social media marketing. She/Girlfriendology can also be found at @Girlfriendology and Facebook.com/Girlfriendology .

The BlogWorld Community – Places to Connect Online

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Isn’t the internet a wonderful place? One of the things I love most is the various types of communities around. You’ve got Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so many more! It’s pretty great that you can choose to be part of one, ten, or twenty different communities on any given topic.

That being said, I’d like to introduce to you the BlogWorld & New Media Expo Communities with some official links to get you going. Personally, I’ve got them all bookmarked in a folder on my toolbar, so I can simply select, “Open All in Tabs” and whammo – there they are!

Facebook Page

The BWE Facebook page has (as of my typing this) over 5,000 members. It’s where we push out links to our blog posts and updates, communicate with fans and attendees, have random and not-so-random discussions, and in general is where people interact with each other about various topics, links of interest, and so on. I probably currently spend most of my time here right now.

Facebook Event RSVP Page

This is the page we’d love to see our community use some more! Facebook events are great things, because you can RSVP there and show all your friends and colleagues that you’re planning to attend BlogWorld! You can also use it to invite others to attend as well.

Twitter (official accounts and #bwechat)

When I’m tweeting for BlogWorld (which is all day, every day), you’ll find me on @blogworldexpo, which is the official BlogWorld account, and the place to go if you have any questions or anything like that. Deb Ng, our wonderful Conference Director, also runs a weekly #bwechat there, every Wednesday night at 9pm EST. We often feature special guests like some of our speakers, or active members of the community who have something to share. You never know who may show up, so don’t miss it!

BWE Forum

I’ll be working on the BWE Forum quite a bit in the coming months. Ideally, I’d like to see this community grow to a place where “newbies” and “veterans” can come together to learn, teach, share, and explore. I’m not thinking, “All BlogWorld, All The Time” with this one (*gasp*), but more so for it to become a great place to connect and support each other in our endeavors as bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and content creators, all year round.

LinkedIn Group

Did you know we have a LinkedIn Group for BlogWorld? You can use this tool to network with other attendees and fans, connect on LinkedIn with people you know or would like to get to know, and share thoughts and ideas freely in there! Networking at the conference event is a crucial activity, but with the LinkedIn group, you can keep in touch with those you meet at the events, or find people you’d like to meet at the next one!

Flickr & YouTube

We also have some great places you can check out photos of our events, speaker videos, and more, with our Flickr and YouTube accounts! We’d love to see you share your BWE photos in our Flickr pools too!

So there you have it – all the places you can go online to connect with us, with fellow attendees, and with our speakers. Come join us, hang out, learn and share. See you ’round the interwebz!

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