B2B online communities serve their host organizations by offering key business constituencies – customers, partners, suppliers … even other firms in the same industry — a private, gated virtual space where business information can be safely shared with other decision-makers. Most business-to-business companies depend on building relationships with their customers to create sustainable returns and a foundation for long-term growth. Customer satisfaction is essential to generating repeat business, and online communities help B2B companies learn about and respond to current and future customer needs – the key to customer satisfaction.
Treat the creation of online communities as you would any other line of business activity — a community is not just a marketing vehicle.
The enterprise community manager position is sometimes termed a “jack of all trades” role. I know — I’ve said it…
Social snacks are digital tidbits of information, ideas and personal presence which offer a quick taste of an online community’s…
Useful, usable and engaging, these are the qualities that successful online customer communities are made of. But, while all…
Online communities are not neutral. They fundamentally change the nature and way a company does business. All too often, an organization creates a social strategy and thinks nothing will be altered but the tools they will use. And then, the change hits the fan and they are left trying to react to the impact.
Funny thing about customers: unlike staff, you can’t make them stop talking in public about what they like — or don’t like — about your products, services, policies, practices or personnel. But you can respond in public — if you’re careful — and maybe even develop a pro-active customer care strategy that integrates best practice using the social web.
ocial media is all about marketing, right? Wrong. Marketing has been advancing the role of social media in business quite actively for some time, and are likely to have evolved social media use and experimentation ahead of the other lines of business. However, best practice often reveals that the most successful marketing programs offer a blended approach of traditional and social media driven programs. To strike the right balance in a social strategy informed by marketing, consider the following questions as part of the due diligence process:
In order to play a leading role in social business, the IT function can create a purpose-driven social tool kit in support of the business goals of the organization. Factors to consider include:
Does IT management have a seat at the table when it comes to the formation of a social strategy?
Has IT been given the charter to perform due diligence on social tools and create a standardized list of tools approved for use within the organization?
Does the list of approved social tools include an appropriate range of capabilities? Mobile social networks? Video and voice over IP? Location services? Secure communications?
Do the tools support the needs of the the business? How many tools do you have? Do you know the purpose of the tools? Are they current? Has the social tools list been reviewed or revised in the past 6 months?
Is your technical support staff up-to-speed and capable of supporting your social tool users?