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Five Community Love Lessons from Bon Jovi

It’s Valentine’s Day week, and what better way to celebrate than to highlight five love lessons in community management from Jon Bon Jovi. This rock star performer has been doing it for 30 years, and deserves his reputation for putting on one of the best shows out there.

Bon Jovi kicked off its 2013 Because We Can World Tour in Washington, DC — where Vocus Headquarters is located — this past Sunday. We attended, and here are some ways Jon Bon Jovi kept the crowd wrapped around his finger.

1) Smile!

Bon Jovi - Jon Bon Jovi

Whenever Jon Bon Jovi smiled, the audience let up a little murmur. And he smiled a lot. This crooner knows how important it is to have a positive attitude (Have a Nice Day!), but he seems to genuinely enjoy his fans, and lets them know it, flashing his brilliant smile.

Takeaway: Let people see you enjoy your work.

2) Reach Out and Touch Someone

Imagine a rock star who high fives you, lets you touch him, hands out roses at the end of his show, or gives fans a hug. That’s Jon Bon Jovi. And yes, there were a few ladies swooning at the opportunity to touch the crooner. Jon Bon Jovi knows most stars wouldn’t let fans come within twenty yards of them. Like Lady Gaga and her little monsters, Bon Jovi fans have hope that maybe they’ll get acknowledged by the frontman.

Takeaway: Give people hope that their support will be acknowledged.

3) Let People Participate


Obviously a band of this stature has a few hit songs. Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora actively worked the crowd, getting them excited and participating. The crowd noise was deafening during some of the bigger songs like Living on a Prayer. People loved participating in the concert.

Takeaway: Give your community opportunities to participate in your business, even if its just product ideas or on site tours.

4) Wingmen Can Shine

Jon Bon Jovi may be the frontman, but he definitely lets his bandmates get their fair share of billing and screen time. When he speaks, it’s we, not me. It’s clear that he values their participation, and the crowd gets to see the whole team, even the live support bassist and backup guitarist.

Takeaway: In an era of personal brands, go out of your way to show bench strength and play team ball. Communities appreciate depth.

5) Acknowledge, Acknowledge, Acknowledge
Bon Jovi at the Verizon Center

Whether the crowd cheered as loudly as they could or not, DC felt appreciated by Jon Bon Jovi. He was quick to lavish praise on the fans, thanking them, and making sure they were having a good time. When they played new material, he assured fans that the hits were coming. In short, Jon Bon Jovi was attentive, in tune with fans, and humble in his interactions. The consistent acknowledgements kept people engaged.

Takeaway: Keep people involved in the product or service experience process by acknowledging where they are, what comes next, and general expressions of gratitude.

What community love lessons would you share?

Image: viditu (Creative Commons)

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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