The Tribal Marketing playbook (+5 infographics)

I am really excited to bring you this compilation of tribal marketing resources from last year. I have put together a list of my most favorite blog posts and infographics on the topic of tribal business and marketing. I hope it will help you mix up your game.

1. What is tribal marketing about, and why is it a great fit for social media?

Contrary to popular belief tribal marketing is not about leading tribes, but serving them. It is often less about building your own tribe, than reaching out to existing ones. Many social media experts stress the opportunity and importance for brands to build relationships with customers in social media. However tribal marketing does this indirectly by focusing on strengthening the bond between people. Tribal marketing is customer-centric, because it’s less about you and more about helping your customers do what they want.

[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Read this blog post[/zilla_button]


2. Why is tribal marketing good for startups, and how can they do it?

Tribal marketing is less about extracting and exploiting, than it is exchanging and sharing. As a startup you want to partner with tribes to share their values, beliefs and experiences.

[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Read this blog post on Swedish Startup Space[/zilla_button]


3. How can we become more fun, relevant and engaging in social media?

You might feel that you have succeeded when you have managed to spread your small ideas in a mass-protocol and top-down fashion, but you have not yet begun to leverage the momentum you have created or the wonderful capabilities of social.


[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Check out this infographic [/zilla_button]

4. What do our tribes share? So that we can share that too?

Tribes should not be treated as exotic trinkets to pimp your strategy, but rather sit at the core of everything you do. Tribes are everywhere and a social reality whether you plan on leveraging them or not. When people share your content they often do it with others that share their interests, and the value they attribute them are defined by their tribal culture. This makes tribes difficult to downplay, because they are the lens people use to judge and appraise your content.


[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Check out this infographic [/zilla_button]

5. Who exercises influence within our tribes? And how?

The 7Cs of tribal influence can help you identify and understand the needs and drivers behind tribal influencers, as well as defining your audiences as entire networks of people that share a lot in common. Influencers is one aspect of your tribal map, but not the only one. To be truly native and successful you should strive to understand and share as much of tribal culture as possible.


[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Check out this infographic [/zilla_button]


6. What are curators and why are they important?

Curators represent a new type of tribal leadership that operates bottom-up and peer to peer. As a member of a tribe, curators will always be more native and relevant than any outsiders will ever be. Within a tribe they are not only appreciated for leveraging their insider skills, but for sustaining and developing their culture.

[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Read this blog post [/zilla_button]


7. Where do our tribes gather?

People gather in tribes around strong passions like fishing, scrapbooking and gaming. Everyone belongs to lots of different tribes, and we move between them with ease. Our tribes gather in many different places to share and celebrate a common sense of belonging. For example the gaming tribe likes to gather on YouTube, but less on Pinterest, and the reverse is true for the scrapbooking tribe.


[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Check out this infographic [/zilla_button]


8. How can we use language to tap in to tribes?

We all carry hundreds of different frequencies, because we all belong to many different tribes. Tribal frequencies are powerful, because they tap in to our need to belong, and make sense of the world. When we open tribal frequencies we connect with people and their passions, whether it’s for golf, startups, vintage or meaningful brands.

[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Read this blog post [/zilla_button]


9. How do we use tribes to express ourselves? (Exemplified by the life logging tribe)


[zilla_button url=”” style=”red” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Read this blog post [/zilla_button]


A sneak-peak at 2014

I have lots of exciting stuff in the pipe, that I hope to be sharing with you soon:



Let’s connect!

If you want to join my cause, or  learn more. Please consider at least one of the following options:

1) Considering sharing some of these resources with friends and colleagues

2) Let’s connect:



Did any of these blog posts inspire you? What do you look forward to reading more about?

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Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

Amazing quality here, Elia. Such inspiring content.

If I get to make a wish for 2014:

I would want to get down and dirty with connecting segmentation with call-to-action. Examination of how different tribes respond to different triggers.

Like, it's different what you can ask from a Red Bull-type adrenalin jock tribe, a renegade political activist group and knowledge-seeking corporate B2B folks.

See what I mean?

It would be awesome to see you examine these connections, maybe by analysing behaviours and triggers between different tribes! 

tribaling moderator

@Jerry Silfwer Thanks for the kind words, that really inspires me to continue

The idea of getting down and dirty and examining how different tribes respond to different triggers is an awesome idea. And challenging. So, yes. I'll see what I can do!

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

@tribaling @Jerry Silfwer Awesome. Yeah, I think the coupling of tribal mechanics and behavioural psychology would be super interesting.

Like, examining specific activists online to see, what a) was their stimuli and b) what action did they take.

Sure, one can never be sure about the causality, even if there seems to be a positive correlation, but the approach could be investigative rather than absolute.

I would also love to see a tribal "wheel" infographic with different types of tribes and what types of CTAs they respond well to. It needs to be super simplified of course, but I think lots of people, including myself, would love it!

tribaling moderator

@Jerry Silfwer Thanks Jerry, those are two amazing ideas to add to the list! Both have their merits and appeal. 

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

@tribaling @Jerry Silfwer Oooh, funny to think about!

For instance, I think a massive checklist would be extremely useful. Like a one a marketing manager would like to print out and put up next to their desks.

It could be relating to "How To Segment ..." because segmenting audiences is complex work. But what if you had a massive checklist that would help you cover all angles.

Then I think it would be awesome if you could like publish a series with "collector cards" depicting known and influential online tribes.

Like "Garbage Pale Kids" style. Demonstrate your insight in the world of tribes, sort of. I think it could be very engaging.

And maybe "release" such a card once every other week or something. The concept could last you for years worth of content. A lot of work of course, but I think it's a fun idea — and you're the exactly right person to do something like this.

That's it for now, maybe someone else reading this has any ideas as well?

tribaling moderator

@Jerry Silfwer Neat, do you have any other ideas for infographics up this avenue? Seeing as we are on a roll here...