The Ning Point of View: How Small Businesses Can Create Their Own Communities

The parts of the country where Ning sites are in good company. Courtesy of Ning.

New data from Ning, a leader in custom social sites, reveals patterns from the emerging social ecosystem that all communities can apply to spark change with as few as 20 people. Why work so hard for hundreds of likes on Facebook, when with Ning, just 20 dedicated “fans” creates the community you are looking for?

“Social network is a limiting concept,” said Anne Driscoll, Vice President of Business Operations. “Ning provides a truly social web experience.

Because Ning communities incorporate all the tools from other social sites into visually stunning and unique online communities, Ning has a singular insight into the particular power of custom social sites to change the world, and how you can change the world of your small business. Ning is the leading online platform for the world’s organizers, activists and influencers to create their own social network. Design a custom social experience in under 30 seconds giving you the power to mobilize, organize and inspire.

“On Ning, you control the overall brand experience without needing to call a developer or know everything about social media,” Driscoll said. “It’s something that evolves as the market evolves.”

The Business and Brands category is the second most popular category on Ning, demonstrating the power and profitability for businesses that build strong communities with their customers. Businesses on Ning can mobilize fans to be their ambassadors, create private customer communities, collect product feedback, and make their message viral.

“People get caught up in the numbers, but what is the action,” Driscoll said. “Twenty is a great number that gets things going.”

The Ning report found that it only takes 20 people to bring an online community to a significant level of activity and connectivity – when members spend an increasing amount of time on the site, and visit more regularly. Driscoll said that this number is great for small businesses as it’s just enough to build an “influential customer base with deep relationships.”

“[Ning is] a salable and low-cost way to build a relationships,” she said. “With 20 people, you can have an amazing conversation.”

Ning is not a free service, but their cheapest plan is $2.95/month, it’s certainly affordable for small businesses.

“The challenge for small businesses is that they are resource constrained in time, people and money,” Driscoll said. “This is another thing to do to scale operations with people who care.”


About Allison Midori Reilly

Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as, American City & County,, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.