With the unveling of the new Localism BETA version, one of the biggest concerns expressed by our members is how the sponsorship of communities and neighborhoods is going to work.
First, it should be made clear that sponsorship of a particular neighborhood or community won't exclude other members from contributing good, relevant content, photos, videos, listings, market data, etc., to that particular neighborhood/community. Your Localism posts will still show up on the community page. And, if you're a consistent contributor, you can also be displayed as a 'Top Neighbor."
Community sponsorship will afford added visibility to the sponsor. They will be granted a 'static' portion of the community page where they will be asked to author a valued descriptive content on the respective neighborhood/community. Their profile picture and three links will also be provided.
Secondly, the sponsored communities that achieve the greatest amount of success/participation will be the ones where the sponsor champions development and involvement from within the community at large. As I shared in my previous post, "What is Localism?," the whole concept behind Localism is to create micro-social networks where local residents and merchants make meaningful connections and share information relevant to their communities. An effective sponsor would be someone who would aggressively promote and encourage active participation from neighbors and businesses, and solicit their collective contribution of good local content.
How does sponsorship make sense to me and benefit my business?
Imagine if you've been farming a particular development. You may even live there, and be active in the Homeowners Association. What better way to be the chief authority of that development than to create a community on Localism for that specific development. Send out a mailer and solicit involvment on the site for all the residents. Have it become the local community bulletin board to share upcoming events, advertise garage sales, school events, whatever. And guess what? There you are right in the middle of it all!..
It could be a residential development, a downtown condo project, or an older upscale resurgent neighborhood. Perhaps even a commercial development could be created?...the possibilities are virtually limitless!
Some members have argued that their cities or towns aren't large enough to support sponsorship of specific developments and communities. In those instances, it makes more sense to simply sponsor the particular town or city. We have allowed sponsorship of these smaller cities and towns that have a census population size of 40,000 or less.
Again, realize that sponsorship isn't a requirement for your continued involvement and contribution to Localism. As always, there are still plenty of excellent opportunities for you to gain excellent search results and ranking by consistently posting good, relevant articles/information, just as you have in the past.
Community/Neighborhood sponsorship is simply one more optional tool that we've made available to help provide you with more exposure and marketing opportunities for your business.
Here's a few additional helpful links: