Building & Supporting Communities

Mat starts us off with a story about a local business that after 30 some years is back. Even after some 30 years they had fans and a community waiting for them and since opening last year have only grown that “family” of supporters.

How are they building this “family” or community? They are doing it online and offline with social media, email, interacting with those that visit their store and in any way they can.

How are You Growing Your Community?

Throughout the episode we talk about growing a community of fans, supporters and really just a family to help you but we also flip it and talk about how businesses should (when they can) look to help those in their community as well.

Some of the places you can create a community:

  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Via Email
  • Via Offline Locally
  • Via Local Groups (charities, business groups, etc.)
  • Your store (if have an offline location)

Community Resources

Think Like a Food Truck

When Food Trucks first came out think about how they had to get the word out of where they were and going to be. They built email lists, Twitter, Instagram and a Community.

Imagine if your location or website changed daily, how would people find you and how would you let people know where you are?

Building a Community Also Means Building Your Entire Community

Supporting your neighbors and others now and always should be part of building a community as much as you can.

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to be here with you, Matt SOPA layer with alongside Dave. Roar. How’s it going dude?

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:15] It is going, sir. It is going

Matt Siltala: [00:00:17] excited to bring you this one because this is one of my favorite topics, uh, that, uh, that I can talk about.

Um, and it is. Why you need a community. Let’s just jump right into it. But

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:30] it’s not technical SEO. That’s why,

Matt Siltala: [00:00:32] yes, technical SEO, you can talk all you want, Dave, but I’m actually like, this is, you know, I look back to, you know, even, um, when I first started getting into this, like some may call it personal branding.

Um, but basically what you’re doing is you’re building up a, a community around you. You’re, you’re building up people around you. You’re building up a following, you’re building up. Um, people that will help you in times of need. And, [00:01:00] um, something that, uh, uh, again, that I think is, is valuable for people to understand is why you need that community behind you.

I don’t care what business that you’re in. Um, I just think about, like with all that’s going on with this, uh, covert 19, uh, right now and how important having a community of people behind you is. And I guess, um, if you’re cool with that, I’ll just jump right into kind of like, uh, you know what I think about when, when do it, when we are right, when, uh, I think of this and I look at, so I’ve been doing a lot of, uh, you know, help with, uh, this restaurant called the original golden scone.

Anyone that follows me on Facebook or anywhere knows, cause they’ve probably been. Sharing their stuff more than I normally would. And it’s just because of this as an interesting time and I’m trying to help them out, but also my son works there. And, uh, you know, these are good people. These are people that have been friends of mine for years before [00:02:00] they even started this business.

And I want it to succeed. And what I realized is that is how valuable this community is. And this’ll be something that I think you find interesting too, Dave. Just how powerful a community is around a product or something. Um. So this place originally started like 40 years ago from this guy’s dad, and they were in business for awhile, and then they’d been out of business for about 30 years.

And, um, just for, you know, family feud and other, you know, issues or, I don’t even know if it was family feud, just family issues. But, um, for whatever reason, they were out of business for about 30 years. And, uh, they started, um, they started it back. And this guy, his dad taught him how to make this a, it’s basically, it’s a scone.

It’s kind of like a fry bread, but, uh, they call it a scone. And, uh, he, they had a huge following back in the day, and they had several stores. And, um, even [00:03:00] even some other places that had branched out that had used their recipe and stuff. But. It’s a very special way that you, that you make this dough and that you, um, get it ready to consume.

Well, fast forward, Tim opening up this last year, and, uh, he had a community of people already rallied behind him, um, ready for this place to open because of that following and people remembering it from 30 years. I like, I remember being there during the opening and there were so many people, like person after person that walked through the door.

That was all. I remember this from, you know, when I was growing up, and I, I just like love, like just story after story about so many people coming through the door, remembering it from the previous years. And, uh, I just thought that that was amazing. I was like, that’s a powerful example of just having this, following, having this community behind you.

And then, so especially, you know, fast forward to this, uh, all that we’re going through with Kobe and, um. [00:04:00] And this virus. And, you know, obviously restaurants being hit hard, not being able to go into them. And, and so these guys are just doing take out and delivery. And, um, and here’s the thing that’s awesome about this is these guys have this community, these guys, um, started to build up their own new following and, um, the people just rallied around him.

You know, people are sharing and talking about supporting local. And I don’t think that that kind of thing happens. I don’t think that, um, they support that kind of business if you don’t do what you can to be a part of your community and build up a community. And let’s be honest, dude. Um, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, but let’s be honest, like in times like this, it takes a community.

It takes. A village, so to speak, to, to get you and to, to, to help you succeed through these rough waters. And [00:05:00] so those are just some initial thoughts on why I feel you need a community. Um, and, uh, I don’t know if you have any other thoughts on that,

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:09] but I think it just depends on what you’re doing. Of course, the firetrucks are going, I don’t know if you can hear in the background so.

With us being stuck in the house. I like music and I can’t go see shows. So I’ve recently found Twitch and instead of, um, you know, every year you and I always share like how many minutes or what we tend to listen to on Spotify. I haven’t listened to Spotify in two months. Yeah. Um, at least at least four weeks.

I know I turned it on twice recently for like. Specific artists that I wanted to hear for a little bit. But otherwise, I haven’t been listening to Spotify and I haven’t been listening to the cloud or YouTube or anything. I’ve been on Twitch, listening to live DJ sets like

Matt Siltala: [00:05:56] all day long.

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:58] Um, but [00:06:00] what’s interesting is like some of them, either no other DJs and there’s all sorts of etiquette around Twitch that I’m learning.

Um, cause I never really. Watch gaming and eSports and stuff on it. But the musicians and DJs is interesting to me. But the other thing is how some of them build communities. Some of them have brought local, so maybe they’re based in Los Angeles or New York or DC or Miami or Helsinki where there’s a DJ I was watching the other day or New Zealand.

Um, they’re building their own little groups and communities for their own little. Themselves, but also each other. Um, some of them can’t make any money as a DJ because you can’t go to a club. They can’t play birthday parties and weddings, so they’re all looking for way to survive. Um, but some of them are really good at building communities and others aren’t.

Um, there isn’t a direct correlation between how many people are [00:07:00] watching one versus the other. But I have seen. The amount of engagement, the number of people consistently that show up for some of them, um, that do or don’t engage, I think is different. But some of them just do a better job at building communities.

And I think companies do too. And without the ability for people to just walk in. If you haven’t built a social following on Instagram, people don’t know or they don’t interact and they don’t see your content. Um, if they haven’t in the past, they’re not going to suddenly know that you know what you’re posting.

If you’re never been active on Facebook or Twitter, suddenly creating that channel and trying to get your message out there and saying, Hey, we’re still open. It’s going to be a lot harder cause you don’t have an audience. If you’re not ranking and you haven’t done anything ever for SEO or paid, you’d never show up for certain searches.

People might not know about you. And if people aren’t really leaving the house and their habit is to order [00:08:00] from this place or to go to this store or to go online to certain places, your opportunity to win them over as much smaller. So if you can’t email people, you have Instagram, but you’ve just started it.

You don’t have anyone on Twitter, you don’t have anyone in Instagram, you have Facebook. Um, you don’t have any other channels and you’ve never built a community and you’ve never been, you know, reached out locally. You’re kind of an Island, and without that ability for people to find you either online or offline, you’re, you really are an Island.

Matt Siltala: [00:08:35] Well, you know, that totally reminds me of a part of that story that I was just sharing with you that, that I forgot to share. You know, you’re speaking of the, that one person or that one, you know, individual that you might not, not reach and, and how powerful that is. Because, you know, looking back, I was thinking, well.

Um, going back to the example that I was sharing about this restaurant, um, they had one [00:09:00] particular person that had gone in and, and, uh, and partaken of their goodness, and they happened to be someone that nominated them to, uh, the Arizona local, I think it is that, that it’s called, but it’s basically this place where one company a month or a week, sorry.

Uh, no, a day one comp, one place a day. Is recommended and spotlighted to this group that has hundreds of thousands of followers. And they basically nominated them and they accepted them. And, um, my friend, he said that he kept track of it for, for, you know, whenever it went live and for that week it accounted for like 30% of his foot traffic.

So again, to what you’re saying, you never know who that one person is that might be in that community and what they can do in getting you in front of their community. Well,

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:51] you never know which channel is going to work. You know, we did the episode recently where we talked about, you know, exploring new channels, [00:10:00] whether that’s Reddit, whether that’s, you know, Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or whatever it is, or just a blog even.

Um, you know, if you’ve never captured emails and you have no, no email list to email. Um, I get breweries all the time saying, Hey, we have a special today. We have food, or you get stuff from restaurants all the time. Lumo noddies you email me every dang day, please. Um, I love your pizza, but good Lord. Um, you know, I have a ton of restaurants, a ton of places emailing me constantly.

Their daily specials. Um, or the, the, when the beer places, you know, open or the sales from everything, we’re getting a ton of email, so I might not see that email, but if I follow them on other channels too, they might catch me on one or two, or they might touch me. Sometimes they catch me on Instagram or sometimes they catch me in an email, um, who knows where they catch me.

But if you don’t have, I don’t wanna say influencers, but if you don’t have fans or a community and people [00:11:00] that support you and recommend you. Then again, you’re an Island, and without that community and different channels or some sort of community, whether they follow you wherever I, especially right now, it’s gotta be really tough.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:15] Yeah. Yeah. I don’t edit. I don’t see how you all, and actually I’ve seen this, I’ve seen the difference and those, you know, you were talking about who are you active on social and all those places that we’ve been visiting or all those places that have normally been. Uh, very social,

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:34] you know, does it stay top of mind?


Matt Siltala: [00:11:37] Exactly. And, and the one that’s, you know, the, the ones that I feel bad for, the ones that aren’t really on top of that kind of stuff. And then I remember it and then I have to struggle and I look around and be like, are they even open right now? And then, you know, these are people that haven’t really done a good job of updating their Google plate.

You know, the Google my businesses and things like that. And then you feel bad for them because you know that they’re struggling compared to. [00:12:00] Some of these other ones and what they’re doing in like the top of mine, because, you know, it makes me think of just like, I like how this one, um, you know, a lot of these, uh, that I’m talking about seem to be food themed.

Um, it’s really all that we have during this time. But, um, I think of of how he, how he, um, reacts or how he, uh, addresses, that’s more of a better word, I guess, how he addresses his. Has a community. He calls it his family. Like every time he post something, he’s like, Hey fam. And uh, it’s this, uh, it’s called REM muscle cuisine and you know, just do soul food and, and the most amazing, uh, chicken and waffles that you’ve ever had to do these red velvet waffles.

And anyway, he’s always sharing like, cause he’s got a food truck and all the different areas where they’re going to be. And I just love it because every time it’s like, Hey fam, we’re going to be. Here and here and, or anytime he has like an ask of the community, he’s [00:13:00] like, Hey family, I’m like really grateful for you guys.

And so, I don’t know, I just thought that was a nice, unique way to, you know, to address your community and let them know that, uh, let their specialty, you know, so think of something like that as well, Dave.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:14] Well, and if you’re looking for an examples, I was just thinking, that sounds like a food truck.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:18] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:19] Yeah. So, I mean, food trucks. It was it was it four years ago now, five years ago, when they just started getting big, maybe even a little bit longer than that, where there was like all sorts of sites popping up with maps and stuff. But I mean, if you were a food truck, the only way you had to build a community, you had to build an email list.

You had to build an Instagram usually, um, maybe Twitter and you would announce like when I was still working downtown, you know, there was certain places I would go to or a certain. Ones that would pop up and there was always one or two, and it’s like, Oh, which, which days do they show up? You know, down in the loop when I’m down there, maybe I’ll schedule my, my visit to the city that day.

Um, [00:14:00] but they had to build communities because that was their only way. They didn’t have reliable location. And maybe if people thought, you know. If you, if you thought more like a food truck and said, okay, what if we did move around every day and we had to notify people that we are going to be moving from this address to this address every single day?

Matt Siltala: [00:14:20] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:21] If you don’t have a way to reach people through email, social, you know, any, any, any way, um, or even talking to them, if you’re not talking to them somewhere, they won’t know. If they don’t know, how can they find you? And if they can’t find you, how can they buy anything from you or support your business or, you know, donate or whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do.

Matt Siltala: [00:14:44] Well, and I, I even think that, you know, kind of turning the tables a little bit back to the, the, the, uh. Business itself and supporting the community that they’re a part of and that they’ve built. I’ve seen some amazing things done from some local businesses here too. You know, where they [00:15:00] may not be getting as much of the traffic in, but they see that there’s a need that the community has, for example, for milk or bread or eggs, for example.

When all this first started, when they were, you know, people were being stupid and buying it all out from the store before they put restrictions on it. You know, they were stepping it up to their community and being like, Hey, look, we got plenty of eggs. We’ve got plenty of bread. We got plenty of milk.

We’ll sell this to you. And so, you know, other ways of just bringing people in. And I thought that that was a fantastic part. It’s just like, it goes to the whole saying of this like, you know, we, we’ve survived this as a community and everybody survives us as a community. I look at, you know, um, the, the. The neighborhood that I’m a part of and some of the amazing parents and kids that come in and out of my house every day.

And, um, just the good, the good people they are. And I, and I think about that saying, you know, it takes a village and, you know, that’s basically what this is, you know, we’re going to survive this people, we’re, we’ll [00:16:00] survive. Uh, based on that community, you know, um, I, I look back at avalanche in the community and the following that the, that we have, you know, I spent many years speaking everywhere and, uh, we built up a pretty good following and, and, uh, you know, we built up an image and a brand.

And I look at, um, you know, we lost a lot of people love us for the Yetis and we have this big Getty wall on our, on our, uh, in our office. And a lot of people come in and anytime they visit, they gotta get pictures taken by the Yeti wall. They got to go and see someone. Anyway, it’s just, there’s lots of different things that people can do.

And again, that’s just our community. And there’s other people that have even done a more fantastic job with that in our industry. Um, but those are just some ideas. And we all survive because of this group around us. And, uh, you know, even even when there’s not a pandemic going on, the only way that we’re going to survive is if we have a group of people around us.

Like, I think about. You know, when I was starting this and, [00:17:00] and getting going and just a few key players that I had on my team, so to speak, um, these guys accounted for probably 70% of the referrals that helped us get to where we were. And I look at to this very day, a lot of these people that I made these relationships with, they still account for a good majority of the referrals that we get.

And I’m sure you have similar stories to that day, people that you’ve taken care of. Uh, for years and people that are on in your quote unquote community, um, that are helping you know, that, that, that feeds you business, that feeds you, leads, things like that. So, um, thoughts?

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:41] Yeah, I was just thinking like, will Reynolds and sear is a really good example as well as far as an agency and like, they’re always doing stuff.

I know a bunch of people that have worked at Salesforce and they get, um. Money and donations. Um, who is it that just left? Uh, Dropbox? [00:18:00] Someone, Jackie Chu, I think she was talking about how, um, they match a certain percentage of donations. So for her yearly, before she just left that role, she made sure that she maxed out her donations to the local food bank inside her company within, and also match helping her local community because that’s what the company does is they have things internally set up either for.

Reaching out to community, working with them, helping nonprofits, helping other businesses. And there’s a lot of different ways. I’ve seen a lot of stories about, um, restaurants that can open. So what they’ve done is they’re taking donations and they’re cooking food for either homeless or people that just don’t have access or any money, um, or musicians and artists and different types of people, um, groups of people that just can’t make money right now.

Um, all different ways to work with your community, to be part of the community in different, you know, not just your own reaching out, but I think there’s a lot of different things [00:19:00] that around community, local and national and world, that depending on the size of the company, should be something to look at.

Matt Siltala: [00:19:09] Well, and the other, the other side benefit to this while you’re talking about that, that I thought of is, you know, um, I, and I’ve seen this like we’ve done that we put together this local. Uh, for our lunch, you know, for the local community, the Utah crowd and whatnot. Um, here’s your, here’s your local guide to staying in business during this coven.

And, um, it was picked up by, uh, news sites and news articles and, and we were featured in a ton of places. And so, um, that’s one of those side benefits. You do something like this, getting involved with the community. And again, we’re not doing, it’s, you know, specifically for this, let’s have good intentions, but you know, the.

The benefit of it is what I’m saying. That kind of stuff can happen. Cause can be some really good PR. So that leads me to my final thought on this. Dave is, uh, my daughter works for this. Uh. Company that [00:20:00] prints a cookie cutters and they, you know, they have access to LA. You know, both of our, a mutual friend of ours, Mike Benner, and they have access to lots of three D printers.

I mean, his, he’s got

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:12] lots is an understatement. I don’t even know. I haven’t seen it in the last year, but last time I saw how many he had, it was a, yeah, just a few.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:20] So he turned that into a PPE, uh, personal printing station. You know, for the personal protective gear type stuff and made feet, face shields and mask and whatnot for, um, and he worked with tons of community, uh, places and hospitals and different, you know, around the, around the area locally.

Well, the news saw that they were picking it up and the, the benefit to that is there have been people that have donated to help him get these masks, sprinted out and help the community and help these nurses, doctors or whatnot. But the side benefit to that. And, and, and he didn’t even, he actually told Attica side [00:21:00] conversation with me about it, you know, worried because he was hoping that people didn’t think that they were doing it for this reason.

Cause, and they weren’t. He’s got an amazing heart. They were doing this for the right reason, but the side benefit to their company is people would donate and then they’d go and buy a bunch of ’em. The cookie cutters and support the local business too. And so things have been going really well for them.

And again, that’s just the side benefit to having this amazing, you know, first of all, be an awesome person and then good things will happen to you and that that’s the moral of the story here. And so anyway, that’s the benefit of a community as far as I see it. And those are just a couple of my final thoughts.

Final thoughts, Dave? Nope.

Dave Rohrer: [00:21:38] I think there’s community for yourself to support yourself, to grow your business, but then there’s also community. Of supporting those around you and those that you can help when you can. I mean, not every business is in a position to help everyone, obviously. At least not right now.

Especially not right now, but when you can, that’s usually what we’re kind of talking about.

[00:22:00] Matt Siltala: [00:21:59] Awesome. Okay, well guys, thank you for joining us. Appreciate it. As always, um, just a reminder, we’re on iTunes. Go ahead and give us a five star review. You don’t even have to waste your time and. Write up anything, just hit that five star and I fell you love us and we’ll be ever grateful for it.

So, uh, for Dave, roar with Northside metrics, I met social with avalanche media and uh, thank you guys. Appreciate you just listening to us. We’ll talk to you later.

E149 – Why Every Business Needs a Community Hosts:

The Business of Digital © 2021