everything I know about social marketing I learned from my taekwondo master.

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Grandmaster Kim may not tweet or post his favorite kicks on Facebook. But he has mastered Social Media and, in the process, built an internationally recognized school, Jae H. Kim Taekwondo Institute.

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Build Community

The school, a stone’s throw from Fenway Park, plays host to Korean surgeons, clerks from Ethiopia, French chefs, and students from Boston University. But, in uniforms and bare feet, we’re members of the same tribe, thanks to the community that Mr. Kim has built.

He hosts an annual holiday luncheon, expects every black belt to teach other students, and encourages us to visit sister schools around the world. Jet-lagged in Singapore, I still found a home and welcoming instructors at the JHK dojang.

This year Master Kim is throwing a Hanmadang to celebrate the school’s 35th anniversary. Visitors from the other schools will come for a day of competition, showmanship, demonstrations, songs, and, yes, eating.

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Think about the communities in your company. Are they welcoming? Passionate? Open and well organized?

Tell your story

A beautifully hand-painted scroll, a gift to Mr. Kim from the founder of Taekwon Do,  General Choi, greets everyone who enters the dojang.

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In the visitor’s area, next to the cushy sofas, are booklets packed with moments from the school’s history. Events like the “Friday Night Fights” and the showdown between Mr. Kim and his top 3 students against a competing school, are told with full relish.

The message is clear to every member, you’re part of something great.

Story fills your brand up with meaning. It lets consumers know they’re part of something more than a business transaction. So, what’s your story?

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Keep talking and tinkering

Every week Master Kim sends emails updating members on the school. He’s not a chatty guy; every email is an enclosure and written formally. Mr. Kim changes up class schedules and shifts the focus every year to reflect student input. He takes risks on a daily basis.

Embracing change every day in your business may seem overwhelming. But, just like a turning sidekick, exercise those muscles and it becomes fluid.

Black-BeltAre you ready to kick your social marketing up a level. What are great examples in your own life?

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