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Jen Lopez at SeoMoz just finished talking about Community as Inbound and how to make it happen. Inbound marketing is what a lot of people are talking about this week at MozCon 2012. Here are a few takeaways from Jen’s @jennita presentation.

Social, content marketing, blogging, email, UGC–Community is what makes all of these things take flight. Think about it this way… your community is your brand advocates, your content generators, your content sharers, your link builders, your customers, your searchers, your biggest critics, your biggest fans, your forum participants, even your site uptime monitoring service. Community is IMPORTANT.

So what can you do to develop and grow your community? Here’s what SeoMoz did. They created a taskforce—everyone in the entire company has a stake in their community. They realized that likes/followers/subscribers do not generally happen overnight and it takes time. It’s a constant team effort with everybody thinking of their community. They live by the TAGFEE Code (be transparent, authentic, generous, fun, empathetic, exceptional). One of my favorite lines of Jen’s: Creating community is not easy, but if you can make it a priority, you can get rainbows, unicorns, and cupcakes, aka, Inbound Marketing.

Tips to make it happen:

  • It’s a team sport (if you are making a tech-focused post, ask your developers, “How do I say this in 140 words?”).
  • Test, test, test. They posted a photo of MOZers watching soccer and it was their was most viral FB picture ever–who would’ve thought? They’ve been testing promoted posts and sponsored stories with great success, and they’ve recently changed the timing of their blog posts and tweets as a test.
  • Turn a critic into a fan. Ask your critics questions and get them involved in finding solutions.
  • Delight them.
  • Give a s%&#. Care. Go the extra mile.
  • Be proactive. Identify your target community and engage them, gift them for sharing.
  • Give ‘em props if they’ve written something awesome.
  • Use Google+ Search (if people are talking about your keywords, go there and search them out). Google+ Search is great way to find and reach your community members.
  • Listen and Act (a SeoMoz member requested a feature and they built it and let them know about it).

If you want to increase your inbound, and you want your SEO, Social and Content to be great, the the easiest and best way to do that is by developing, nurturing and sustaining your community.