Alex Shebar, Community Director for Yelp London, joined us this week to talk about his favorite topic: building community at a local level.
Alex is a former reporter turned writer, community manager and legendary rock star, but without any of the money, fame or musical talent. He was the first ever Community Manager for Yelp in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently is Yelp’s London Community Director. Alex works with local businesses and people to show everything useful, grand and cool in the city. This job often includes eating and drinking around London, which is tough, but someone has got to do it, and he thinks he’s the man for the job. You can find him on Twitter: @YelpLondon
- “You’re either building for authenticity, or building for cash. Those two things do not go together.”
- “As a community manager, to bring in money, defeats the purpose of building community.”
- “If you’re trying to build a product around a community, instead of for a community, you’re gonna fail right off the bat.”
- “There can be a physical portion to any community, but it’s not always necessary.”
Additionally, you’ll learn:
- Alex’s key strategies for building trust with the businesses he works with
- The worst things you can do when trying to build community at a local level
- How Alex measures success for his work
Alex and I mentioned a variety of apps, events, and other resources during our conversation. You can find links to them below!
- @YelpLondon — Say hi to Alex!
- '#fbpodcast — Tweet questions/ thoughts related to the podcast
- '#CMGRLDN Meetup — Alex & Christie Fidura’s London-based community manager meetup
- Watch This — Alex’s first experience in local community building
- CityMapper — An incredibly helpful app for navigating large cities
- Untappd & HootSuite — Two examples of companies who are doing a great job of building community locally
- So What’s A #HootUp? — Video featured in SPRINT USA conference about HootSuite’s HootUp program
- 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer — Interesting data on the current state of consumer trust
What do you think?
Building community at a local level is much more of a creative art, than a specific science, largely because no two local cultures are exactly the same. What ideas have you seen in the wild that have helped build a sense of community at a local level? What do you think does, and does not work? Share your thoughts with Alex, myself, and the rest of the broader community on Twitter using the #fbpodcast hashtag.