Before the business world discovered “community mobilisation” as highly relevant and effective for business success a decade or so ago, the concept had largely been applied in the humanitarian and developmental context.It refers to the process of building social relationships, facilitating active community participation in pursuit of common community interests. A renowned example that successfully mobilised communities and brought about impactful social change is the NAAM Movement in Burkina Faso, West Africa that has been working since the 60s to make villages responsible for their own development. The aim of NAAM is to set up autonomous communities that are self-sufficient in food, labour and finance. Due to its ability in gathering local power, NAAM is able to support local farmers and village communities in the form of targeted assistance such as customised training, education and work programmes. NAAM is currently one of the largest farmers’ organisations in West Africa, involving 85 national and 11 international unions with over 650,000 members. Its model has been adopted across many African countries. Fast forward to 2015, when social media has become an indispensable part of our life, it is obvious for businesses that the online social platforms offer additional channels to reach out to their customers. Let’s look at some of the triggers that drive companies from startups to Fortune 500 around the world to build their “brand communities” or start to invest in their “community marketing strategies”: Lower marketing expenses Community is the best place for word-of-mouth promotion. Think of community-based reviews of Airbnb, the majority of the hotel booking sites, electronic gadgets review websites, etc. Community reviews have become a trustworthy place for people seeking unbiased purchasing advice. Very often it is only a fraction of the marketing budget, and with it you get the most updated market info, trends and purchasing patterns.
Read more on community reviews:
- How retailers can use reviews to bounce back from the summer slump
- UK businesses blighted by online trolls costing them up to £30,000
- Honesty is the best policy: Brand review service Trustpilot wins $73.5m investment
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