Pure fan v/s official brand communities

Had this interesting conversation with @annkur and @unitechy about brand communities. I don't remember exactly how it started but basically I was differentiating between pure fan communities and brand managed communities.

It all starts since I became a part of this Wheel of Time community Its really rich with interactions and discussions. People are coming up with theories about the story and making graphic images of what characters might look like, even short movies. In short its like a brands 'wanted' social media presence, except that it is a fan community. TOR books or even the author don't really own it. Some time back when the 13th book got released there was this amazing offline-online game where people had to collect some clues left by the author which would open out chapter names of the upcoming book. Totally cool! So this is where there was an official representation of the brand integrating with the pure fan community. So it made me think about how social media approach would differ when working with these brands who already have established serious fan communities.

This would be applicable to brands which have serious, passionate fans like for eg: DC comics. So when movies are being released Iron Man, Thor and so on the brand can consider serious integrations with pure fan communities which are already present.

You can check out the discussion we guys had on twitter here, I think there was more to it but this is how much has been pulled out by the app,

Its a pretty fascinating area of thought. One aspect of social media is to Build communities, but when there is a serious community like this already live then it would be a different sort of ball game to bring about integrations and to align the brands official community such that both communities can go hand in hand.

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