Oct. panel (l-r): Stephanie Frasco, Tim Mather, Claire Gendel, Ebonique Wool, and Babette Pepaj.

Big thanks to our amazing Oct. panel (l-r): Stephanie Frasco, Tim Mather, Claire Gendel, Ebonique Wool, and Babette Pepaj.

How perfect: A buzzing crowd of social media enthusiasts convened on Oct. 22, which just happened to be the third anniversary of the beer enthusiasts’ community Untappd, to hear founder Tim Mather and an expert line-up of speakers discuss what makes niche communities so successful.

“Niche Communities: Make It Big by Going Small” was SMCLA’s eighth panel of 2013, and it was packed full of insights on the importance of online communities gathered around specific interests.

The panel was led by moderator Babette Pepaj, founder of Bakespace, a community that shares a love of food, recipes, learning, and making friends. Our speakers are equally well-versed in their universes: Claire Gendel from the TV-viewers’ online haven GetGlue; Ebonique Wool, who’s designed a style-savvy community in 1st Class Fashion; and Stephanie Frasco of Convert with Content, who guides global brands on connecting and engaging with targeted communities.

“The future of Internet communities is incredibly targeted,” explained Frasco. And they’re perfect for brands interested in audience engagement because they’re so targeted. Marketers want to know they’re getting ROI for their budgets, and niche communities are ideal.

Pepaj advised brands – and anyone who wants to create their own community space – to research where your target demo goes when they go online. “Where do they play?” she said. “Be there.”

If you’re a marketer, though, be aware that each community has its own rules and norms for interaction. Study these first before jumping in.

Hooray for NextSpace!!

Hooray for NextSpace!!

The audience was also encouraged to support sites that are passionate about making the experience exceptional for the community.

Speaking of making experiences exceptional, the funky downtown Culver City coworking space, NextSpaceLA, made everyone feel welcome and even gave all of our guests a free day pass to use their space. Awesome!

Our Next Panel Talks Delivering Great Customer Service Online

SMCLA's attendees rarin' to get started at the beautiful NextSpaceLA location in Culver City.

SMCLA’s attendees rarin’ to get started at the beautiful NextSpaceLA location in Culver City.

Don’t forget to join us Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m., in the beautiful DIRECTV Conference Center for “Social Customer Service: Creating Customer Experience Online.” We’ve got another fantastic group of leading social media and customer care practitioners from Boingo, Ragan Communications/PR Daily, Shakey’s Pizza, Fresh & Easy, and DIRECTV.

RSVP on Eventbrite: http://socialcustomercare-eorg.eventbrite.com/

One of the best features of SMCLA membership is that you get to attend our monthly panels for FREE. Learn more about membership by visiting: www.socialmediaclub.com/join

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