I grew up skateboarding. We built launch ramps, quarter pipes and threw ourselves against the pavement. While skating around town we’d see people trying tricks and go try them ourselves. Another way we learned about new tricks was the Bones Brigade videos from Powell Peralta.
The cool thing about these videos at the time was that they showed more than skateboarding. I was watching a documentary by Stacy Peralta about the videos and he quoted Craig Stecyk about their ads at the time, which reflected the soul of the videos and everything they did,
“Let the magazines show skateboarding, we show ideas and images.”
This is directly relevant to today’s world of “community management,” or creating and sustaining online communities on behalf of a brand. The core of what Craig did was show what was interesting to the people interested in their product. They showed cool things being done with their products in interesting ways, i.e. new tricks, but didn’t spend all their time saying “BUY THE NEW TONY HAWK SKATEBOARD.”
So, if you are trying to keep people around, or connect with people about your products, show them things they will find interesting, and you’ll find that you don’t have to sell them quite so hard.