How to Build Community: Extraordinary Measures Quilt

Want to know how to build community for your business? Here’s a great example. Check out the website for the movie Extraordinary Measures. And go to their “Quilt” page. Here you will see all kinds of submissions of home movies about charitable causes. I was directed here from a link posted to a friend’s Facebook status. A friend of that friend has a son with a deadly genetic disorder and posted a video in the contest. The video with the most votes wins $10,000 for their cause.

Why do I think this is great?

First, I had no knowledge of the movie before being directed here. Even after landing here, I simply watched a couple of videos and could pretty much guess that the movie was about a family fighting to save their kids. The nature of the contest was inline with the theme of the movie. It completely supported the plot. And, even better, it attracted the kind of people who are likely to want to watch the movie; people who know people who are living under extraordinary circumstances.

Can you see the viral effect? All you have to do is notify a couple of charities about the contest and it spreads like wildfire. They notify everyone in their organization, who notify all their friends and family, who notify theirs. Who wouldn’t want to win some money for the cause they are championing? Who wouldn’t want to support their friends in contributing to their cause? Of course we are going to spread the word.

It also helps that the site makes it easy to spread the word. They integrate Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools right into the site to make it easy for people to spread the word.

This is a great way to build community because it engages your customers, gets them involved in a way that supports the product. It attracts their ideal customer to them and creates awareness virally. People are committed to the movie because they are committed to their cause (or that of their friends). If they make a video or vote for a video there is a part of them that wants to act consistently with that choice and actually see the movie. The movie is supporting them, why shouldn’t they support the movie?

There is a lot of goodwill generated with this contest. You get a warm, fuzzy feeling from the movie because they are supporting their customers. Here is where the psychological trigger of reciprocity kicks in. They do something to help us, so we want to do something to help them.

So, take a look at the Extraordinary Matters Quilt and let me know what you think. What do you like or dislike about it as a method of building community? What other examples of great community building would you like to share?

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

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