Home SocialMinds Insights Building Communities at Scale with American Express GBT & MOB
  • Melissa Harvey
  • 34 min

Building Communities at Scale with American Express GBT & MOB

As brands are constantly trying to stay relevant, they’re chasing something that’s more than a follow. They want one-to-one connection, not unlike that which creators have with their audiences.    

But communities are hard earned. It takes work and dedication for a brand to be able to not just say, but prove that it has a community and not just customers. Yet somewhere down the line, these two worlds have become blurred to mean one and the same. 

Leah Silverlock, global director of social media at American Express Global Business Travel, says the emergence of TikTok has forced brands to reevaluate their relationship with their followers. “How we use the internet has changed. We’ve invested in customer service over community management because there was more demand for the former, but now community management has fallen by the wayside.” 

“It’s a lost art form that we need to be celebrating again,” adds SocialChain’s executive creator director Tom Bellamy.  

One brand who has all the power of a community behind them with none of the fluff is MOB. As Gen Z’s go-to recipe platform and food content publisher, they’ve been crafting a close relationship with their audience for years, through seven books, a premium subscription offering and even a MOB truck tour.  

“One of the powerful things about engaging in a community is mobilisation, whether that’s lobbying or discussing important relevant issues. That’s the power of community – having a voice behind your brand and getting them to take action.” 

-Leah Silverlock, Global Director of Social Media, American Express Global Business Travel

What’s the trick to getting people to naturally engage? MOB’s head of content Jake Gauntlett says before you can even start to build a community, people need a clear-cut reason to follow you, leave a comment, or share your latest Reel. That comes down to knowing your brand purpose, tone of voice, and values inside out, as well as your position within your industry. It’s a saturated world out there, so the goal isn’t to appeal to all – it’s to find your people.  

“You can’t enter this conversation thinking, ‘it’s all about me’. It’s a value exchange. Are you giving back just as much or more than you’re taking? And are you prepared to do that on a consistent basis?” asks Tom.  

“MOB means family, and we want our audience to be part of it,” says Jake. “Make followers and your teams feel like they’re invested. We’re constantly surveying our community for their opinions on our products and the content they want to see – and we’re agile when it comes to delivering on the feedback.”  

But how should brands know when to show up and when to sit a conversation out? And how do you scale your community while continuing to represent the people who’ve been there from the start?  

For our first panel of our SocialMinds LIVE event Building Connections in the Age of the Disconnect, Jake, Leah and Tom took to the stage to dissect marketers’ favourite buzzword, and help you reach, build and sustain a community of your own. 

Watch the panel now and find out: 

  • The secret to starting conversations your community actually wants to be a part of 
  • How to organically make brand ambassadors out of followers 
  • The differences between B2B and B2C community building, and successful tactics for each

Download our key takeaways report from SocialMinds LIVE now.

Building Communities at Scale
Building Communities at Scale May 2024 (35 min)