Expert Interview with Jonha Revesencio on Building a Digital Community

By Cheryl Morgan

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By now, most businesses have probably received the message that building an engaged community surrounding their products and services is critical in the digital age. But it takes more than just inviting people to talk about a product to ensure a brand's success; you want to make sure that community sticks around and grows, too.

How do you do this?

"Keeping the very reason why they joined the community in the first place - engaging conversation and enriching experiences," says Jonha Revesencio, Rebel Wizard for digital publishing platform RebelMouse.

We recently checked in with Jonha to find out how RebelMouse is helping brands build passionate communities, and to get some tips for how to leverage social tools more effectively. Here's what she had to say:
 

Tell us about RebelMouse

RebelMouse is a platform used by companies including GE, Viacom and T-Mobile to produce sites, apps and marketing campaigns that are fully wired for social.
 

What sets RebelMouse apart from other CMS tools out there?

It's a social-first CMS.
 

How did you become so passionate about the power of social media to grow audience and build communities?

It's good to see how technology could bring together people and ideas with similar vision, so I became heavily involved in community-building activities both online and offline.
 

What can brands be doing to build loyal communities beyond sticking social share icons on their pages?

I really like this post - Win Your Audience By Giving Them 15 Seconds of Fame - from Megan Berry, our Head of Social Product and Community at RebelMouse, where she explains that in order for brands to build community, the members need to take the center stage. By doing so, these members become more loyal toward the brand and connect with their fellow members so that brands no longer have the need to keep pushing for engagement; all the magic happens naturally within the community.
 

What are some exciting trends and innovations in social marketing?

I think it's exciting to see more and more technology being built in the form of wearables to support the "sharing generation," where people like to document and share their experience with others. But the most exciting part is how all of these could help improve the human interactive (e.g. Google Glass being used by an airline to enhance and form cohesive customer experiences).
 

How can we use social tools more effectively? What would you like to see brands doing more of?

While tools enable us to become more efficient, it's good to focus on the "heartware" instead of the "hardware."
 

What do you think brands should be doing less of in this area?

There will be more and more tools and trends that will sprout, but it's important for brands to keep that human touch to everything they do - whether they're on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Another one is focusing less on the platform and more on how to really enhance the experience for their consumers and fans. Despite being busy, fans find time to connect with brands online. Making the experience truly worthwhile is the least that brands can do.
 

Which brands do you think offer a great example of the possibilities of integrating social and more traditional web marketing?

I think Coca-Cola does a great job of integrating social and emerging technology with community (literally) as shown in many of their campaigns, one of which is the #CokeDrones by Coca-Cola Singapore & Singapore Kindness Movement where they made use of drones to spread "happiness" -- the classic message of Coke.

Also, at RebelMouse, I've seen many inspiring brands that truly allow their community to connect beyond online. Here are two of my favorites: wutakesmehome.com and wuhomecooked.com.

Connect with Jonha on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

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