Community champions within an enterprise can be hard to find. They are far too busy delivering results to wave their own flag. These “intrapreneurs” — the risk takers and shepherds of innovation and organizational change — should be celebrated! We periodically spotlight online community leaders here, so I’m pleased to share a discussion with my friend and colleague Lauren Klein.
Anyone can activate community software and declare victory, but it is another thing entirely to foster online community engagement and…
As social is an emerging trend, many have put down their soapboxes to talk about online communities. Consequently, there is some good (and lots of just OK) advice “out there” on building online customer communities — yielding a great deal of information to sort through and parse. While theory is interesting, there is a practical side to us all – especially when endeavoring to act. And, human nature craves rules; rules to be examined, adapted and applied. Having built award-winning online communities for 20 years, I am boiling my journey down to a simple set of 10 implementable actions for online community best practice in hopes that it accelerates your community successes.
In honor of this week’s Community Manager Appreciation Day — what, you haven’t thanked yours yet? — I’m presenting this Q&A with one of the best community managers I’ve ever worked with: Barbara Steinberg.
Barbara and I worked together managing ComputerWorld’s Executive Suite, in its day a premier B2B online community with a very high-level audience of CIOs, and most recently at WegoHealth, a highly regarded online community for heath advocates. Here are a few things Barbara learned.
Before your marketing department skips off to push information about a webinar or a new product or service out the virtual door, it’s worth taking a moment to ask: Is this information adding value in the social sphere? Would anyone care about this tweet, post or blog? Is it simply self-serving? Does it demonstrate integrity and shepherd a new idea or point-of-view? Does it demonstrate trust and a deep awareness of the audience and business needs it tries to support?
And, simply put, would anyone want to say “thank you” for this information?
Building online communities can be a richly rewarding experience for the organizations that create them and for the members who…
While the tools have evolved, many of the best practice tenets remain the same. Building an online community is like getting a puppy – exciting at first, but hard work thereafter! So the question at hand is how to keep your community alive and thriving. Or, on the flip side, here are the top 15 ways to (inadvertently) to kill an online community:
Not all communities will be victorious in the long run. But, if you can provide a point of connection between your members – focusing on member-to-member collaboration in addition to member-to-company communication, have well defined business goals, features that serve the membership well, and a critical mass of engaged members, you have a powerful recipe for success. And remember, most laboring communities are not d0-it-yourself projects! So, be sure to give us a call – Leader Networks offer an Online Community HealthCheck where we examine your community against good practice, and offer practical, actionable fixes to right your course!
Online communities are of greatest value to a company when they are managed internally as the customer relationships are much too important, especially in the B2B realm, to leave to an outside agency. But, in order to be successful, the act of supporting interactive areas needs to be conducted wisely. In our training workshops where we teach community management skills within companies who manage social sites, we often leave behind a summary of readings so that the community facilitators can continue to have resources at hand when questions arise. While there are plenty of recent resources, it is so important to understand the roots of an industry.
Here are some classics – a canon if you will – for timeless online community building best practices that can be most helpful to both novice and expert community managers alike…