Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in Bad Branding, Branding, Community, Consumer, content, Corporate, Featured, Solution | 0 comments

So those who know me know I have taken the summer off to write and plan my next big business endeavors and expose some small accomplishments in the next couple weeks. I’ve tended to working with elite group of clients and taking on a few preselected clients. Regaining a solid platform and setting sights on some new goals. With several new community and content sites launching in the Fall and Yup! I’m excited! Taking time this summer has been gratifying to step back from the front line and observe the deficiencies of other attempting to jump into the online sphere. I haven’t gone anywhere just observing and calculating my next move. Thank you to the many fans who have emailed looking for me:) You guys are great!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m always looking for metrics and algorithms that work and formulas that complement the long term results in the social business model. I enjoyed from a mechanical perspective determining why your online efforts are failing and how we can fix them or emphasize what being done to reach your objectives.

Going into year 15 of my online marketing career, I’ve seen hundreds of companies in several different industries. Some are still in business and some have failed. I never have I seen such a perfect era to make your business explode through online strategy and so many individuals wrecking havoc from a state of ignorance. Long-term objectives and goals should be a year out and not three months according to your social media strategist. Please look to hire individuals that have been in the industry for more than five years and understand marketing fundamentals. 

Let’s Ask The Question: Why are some online communities successful while other companies fall way behind the eight ball?

What Rises To The Top?

Structure Dictates Form, Form Follows Function, Give Your Visitors A Brand To Believe In.

The object in the above picture is an actual real beehive created by an artist Hilary Berseth. He uses a predetermined set form for the bee community to build their hive off of. The shapes have strength but are made stronger by the be community that envelopes the structure and builds its hive into the weaves and tangles of Hillary’s structure. 

The relevance is the form of the beehive supports a whole colony even when constructed off Hillary’s form a non-conventional or traditional beehive shape. Your business, your brand needs to structure for your community to build a healthy business ecosystem that will generate long-term lead generating results. Most relevant to your community online is it cannot thrive without content that is relevant, important, educational and its value to people visiting your site. Keeping it fresh and new is also important. Here’s the clincher: most community managers don’t know how to use content marketing. Some community managers may get the gist of content marketing and why it’s important but managing a community is completely different from content marketing.

Wikipedia: Form follows function is a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose.

How To Figure Out If Your Community Is Living up to Its Potential?

Pull Your Analytics and Metrics. What is the percentage of leads generated by your site that manifested into a sale? Evaluate percentage of leads from a year ago generated by your site up to today. 

So you build his brand spanking new community and the traffic is hot hot hot! If you don’t see an increase in click-thrus to buy your product and your bounce rate is high your content is irrelevant to your user. Content marketing and UI design go beyond the pretty and to the value of your messaging. What your company messaging dictates may not embrace your user. You may alienate early on.

Content Marketing gets you out beyond you local efforts on your site. Content marketing uses social media and value to attract the right visitor to your site. You need a marriage between your community management and content marketer. It is great to management but content marketing gets you exposure, opportunity and adds value to your brand.

Examples of communities (Programmed Hives) that are making it happen: and

Repeat after me: Structure Dictates Form, Form Follows Function, Give Your Visitors A Brand To Believe In.



Photo Credit


Elizabeth Hannan is a seasoned Digital Business Strategist recognized by Inc. Magazine, CBS, Business Journals and others. At Blue Blazing Media she serves as Chief Digital Strategy and User Experience Designer consultant. In 2013, her first book Naked Experience will publish. When not creating content you can find her speaking.

Elizabeth is also the founder of WhenToZen, a community of traveling women entrepreneurs and executives finding healthy life balance and adventure offline.

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