In Maslow’s 1943 paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow described the needs every human has in order to survive. Some of these requirements are easily identified such as the need for breathing, shelter etc. However, some of the needs are more ambiguous but just as vital if not more vital, such as the need to be belong. In modern society there are many different communities to which we belong: family and friends, church, school, work and online communities. Online communities range widely in terms of general interest. Anything from gardening forums to Star Trek forums allow members to interact with each other and find a sense of belonging to these groups. Did you know Facebook©: * “Has more than 400 million active users * 50% of active users log on to Facebook on any given day * Average user has 130 friends * People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook,” (Facebook, 2010) Social media is not just some phenomenon or passing craze. It is literally helping people fulfill their own personal hierarchy of needs by helping them feel that they belong. This is proven by the fact that the average Facebook user has over 130 friends and the average Twitter user has at least 25 followers. Its not that people really want you to know what they had for lunch or where they are going this weekend, they are looking for approval, and a sense of belonging. Customer interaction is an important part of marketing. An obviously easy way to foster this interaction is to create an online community for customers. Providing them a place to learn more about the company on a personal level, its products and its news is a good way to get started. Corporate blogs give good information not just about the company itself but also about the industry in general. The blog also provides a way for the customer to provide feedback to the information given. Customer forums provide a place for customers to interact with each other and discuss different aspects of the company as well. Part of creating a community for customers is making it easy for them to access the community. The best way to do this is to go where they already are. Social networking sites make it easy to build a community and to find customer there. They are already interacting in other communities and social networks there so it’s easy for them to just add one more without having to go outside of their comfort zone. Aside from the psychological benefits to the customer, there are benefits of creating an online community for the business as well. It allows the company to monitor the feedback of its customers and to answer questions on a community-wide basis. Rather than taking the time to respond to each question and comment individually, the company can find the most frequently asked questions and answer those on the website to anyone who wants to see it. The readily available customer feedback aids the company in making adjustments to ensure customer satisfaction. As entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring social media capitalists it is important to remember that if you understand the psychology behind the shifts in social media you can literally “capitalize” on them. Building communities for your customers is beneficial to both parties and fosters a sense of loyalty in the customers. Enable your customers to interact with you and start finding news ways to satisfy their needs.