Social media has aided the development of social networks – online communities that connect users and their interests on a global scale. Social media has consumed society to the point that it has become a necessity, not only in communication, but to the success of almost every organization and business endeavor; so much so that brands are relying on fostering community through social media in order to build brand loyalty.

Brands are taking to social media to not only engage their consumers, but to build communities of individuals that are invested in the brand, with the hope that they will forge stronger relationships that will lead to advocacy.

A brand that is expertly leveraging social community is Cake by Courtney. Courtney, a self-taught baker who claims to be obsessed with cake, has created a lucrative business out of her cake baking and decorating classes, amassing 422,000 Instagram followers who are in search of the perfect cake recipe and cake baking techniques.

Let Them Eat Cake

Courtney’s success on Instagram has led to her being featured on local and network television segments, as well as her work being published in magazines. But perhaps the greatest success has come in the form of her virtual and in-person baking classes. Why? Because it has resulted in a growing exclusive network of bakers and potential bakers that are willing to pay for a class and purchase Courtney’s baking tools, for the chance of being added to a secret Facebook group for those who have purchased a cake course.

The Facebook group, intended to serve as a companion to Courtney’s baking course, provides additional resources to the group members, as well as the opportunity to receive individual feedback from Courtney herself. While the group is exclusive of a good majority of Courtney’s online following, the idea of community-building, identification with the brand, and connection to a respected expert in the field, keeps enticing people to purchase a baking course and continue to grow Courtney’s business.

Taking Care of Business

Through word of mouth marketing and testimonials, Cake by Courtney has benefited, not only financially, but in brand equity, thanks to her fostering of brand community.

Do you know of other businesses that have benefited from a great social community-building strategy? Head over to my Instagram account and let me know!

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