When starting to build an online community, one of the most common questions companies face is what does the community road look like? What are the key milestone and risks?
This timeline offers a birds-eye view of the process. As with anything, risk management is critical – if you know the issues then you can navigate the process of building the community plan. While there are planning risks, operational risks and ongoing risks – awareness of the milestones can serve as a valuable map.
The main lesson here is the importance of starting with the end in mind; know clearly what the business goals are for the community. Is it customer care? Co-creation with clients? Brand awareness? Define the goals clearly from the business perspective. Next, and even more importantly, talk to your customers and prospects to find out clearly what their needs are. What do they want and need from your business? Through customer interviews and surveys you can discover what they consider to be the most important business processes that the community can deliver and support. The intersection of business goals and client needs is the most important part of the strategy. Only after you understand this can the features and function be built to service the needs of the users.
Thank you for reading Building Online Communities for Business by Leader Networks. We are a research and strategy consulting company that helps organizations succeed in social business and B2B online community building.
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