Stronger together: how to use social media to build communities

All the marketing professionals are busy trying to increase the reach and awareness of their brand through social channels, posting new content often daily or at least multiple posts a week. But as social channels are full of high-quality content and often prioritizing the content from our friends, improving the organic reach is getting challenging for brands. Advertising is an obvious solution to the problem, but can be expensive in the long run. Could you build an engaged community and use your audience as brand ambassadors, tapping into their networks? The forward-thinking brands build communities to strenghten their online and offline awareness, and here are three brilliant examples:

1. UEFA #WePlayStrong

Themed Together #WePlayStrong, The European Football Association UEFA launched a comprehensive initiative aimed at inspiring girls between the ages of 13 and 17 to engage in Europe's most popular sport. The purpose of the site is to show that football is a pretty cool sport for girls, too.

The site encourages football teams to create „Sticker Snaps“ and share on social with the #WePlayStrong hashtag. A selection of the best images and videos from Instagram and Twitter are included in the Your Story section of the site: impressive videos of girls kickin' it, selfies of proud girls on the field, and testimonials by famous female footballers and musicians supporting the campaign. What's obvious, these girls don't just enjoy playing football, they also love contributing to the community.

What's special about this campaign: The campaign is a truly international initiative, giving testament to EU sports commissary Tibor Navracsics's conviction: "Football is so much more than just a game. It builds community and connects people across nations, religions and gender barriers." 

The campaign site is available in six languages, and using Flockler-powered social wall to highlight the content from all over the world.

2. Malteser #werkanndersoll

Malteser Hilfsdienst is one of the biggest charities in Germany, providing social services as well as medical aid and education across the country. Their logo, a red crest with a white Maltese cross, is well known to many and a reminder of the organisation's affiliations with the Catholic church. What is less known, however, is that volunteers provide many of the services.

Active volunteers are using the hashtag #werkanndersoll on Instagram and Twitter to share their activities, from organizing blood donation drives to teaching first-aid classes. The campaign theme #werkanndersoll means 'those who are able should participate', a reference to the moral obligation to use one's power for the good of the community. Activities posted on social media are collated and displayed on the social media wall

The purpose of the campaign is to build visibility and reach for the organisation's services and to help recruit new volunteers. It also strengthens the community spirit of the volunteers working in different locations across the region.

What's special about this campaign: Volunteering is built on committed, active individuals who are willing and able to pass on the community spirit and inspire others to become engaged, as well.

3. Emmental Valley Blog #emmentalvalley

Emmental Valley in Switzerland is not just famous for its cheese, but also for its idyllic landscapes.

With their Emmental Blog, the local tourism association is taking a fresh approach to content marketing. Besides offering a host of editorial articles on local craftsmen, tour recommendations, and current events, they ask their visitors to post images of the region on social media using the #emmentalvalley hashtag. The most beautiful images are selected and displayed on the blog, making it a creative and colourful social-powered digital magazine

The site features breathtaking views of landscapes, cows, castles, and sunsets. Most of the images are posted by local businesses, Swiss photographers, and mountain enthusiasts, as well as local sports stars and other tourists.

What's special about this initiative? Emmental Blog offers a simple and informal way for hotel owners, craftsmen, and local businesspeople from the region to help promote the Emmental brand, easily integrating friends and visitors who love and enjoy the beauty of the region. 

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Flockler provides social media aggregation tools for brands to display user-generated content on their websites and other digital services. Displaying the content by your community of customers provides social proof and increases the engagement and dwell time. 

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