Posts Tagged ‘community management’

Top 5 Tips on Redesigning Your Community #socialmedia

Vienna Service Design Jam 2012

Raise your hand if you have been thru a redesign project? Does it stress you out just thinking about it? Or do you envision the beer bash afterwards where you celebrating a 25% increase in conversions? Either way I’ve been there with you!  It is a long, hard process with lots of opinions however over the years I’ve learned the following tips when it comes to redesigning a community:

1. Always think of your customers

Sounds obvious but sometimes forgotten. You’ve been working on the site for 5 years and you think you know your customers – but wait! You haven’t surveyed them or done any focus groups. I’d highly recommend that and it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Look up who your active contributors are in your community now and give them a call or even better meet in-person.  Ask them what they want to see in a community and why they would engage with it. That can help shape your site, the engagement methods and even your internal community business process.

2. Use Activity Data within Your Design

The worst thing about going to a party is there is no one there that you know or just no one there at all – the same can be said in a community. If it doesn’t look like there is anybody to answer your questions then you might as well just leave the site and go to the competitors. Activity can be shown in many different ways either by latest conversations, # of registered users, # of users online, # of active conversations or perhaps your Twitter conversations, Try and incorporate one of those data points within your design.

3. Feature contributors/active community members

Reach out to the users that are providing great content in the form of answering questions in your boards, active on Twitter or even in the offline world (yes it exists) like conferences/meet-ups/events. This will allow visitors to the community to see who the other members are and at the same time allow your featured members to bring to their networks that they were featured on your site. That last part will hopefully bring you more traffic.

4. Empower your community to share

In 10+ years fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one of the biggest mistakes that I learned is people don’t donate because they aren’t asked!  Don’t assume that people won’t donate and just ask them. Who knows they might be the big $1000 check and will find the next cure for cancer. How does this relate to empowering your community?  Of course, sharing content is all about creating content that is visual, engaging and sparks an emotional connection. If you do all of that you still need the sharing functionality on your blog, discussion boards and wherever on your site to allow community members to share to their favorite network (email or social network).  Look into sharing platforms like addthis or sharethis.  Use the analytics to determine how your content resonates with your community and their community.

5.  Scale your community content throughout your website and emails

The future of community design in my opinion is that it is going to weave into your main website. Most sites now they have a community tab in their main navigation and the sales process is totally separate.  The future (in 1 to 2 years) will change the design of communities and they will be treated as product features within your website. For example, you go to your product page to learn about the product but want would happen if you are given the opportunity to sign-up for the site to get notified when the product comes out (people do this now) but join in a conversation about how excited they are about the product, share it with their friends, find other friends who are else interested in buying or a local meet-up that will be giving a demo in the next month.    This is a fundamental change in philosophy for the web designers and marketers who are usually separate from the community or social media function.  Here are a few simple ideas without breaking the budget (this assumes you have a community now):

  • incorporate RSS feeds of your blog or featured conversations in your product pages or homepage
  • highlight members of the community in your e-newsletter and website
  • add reviews and ratings functionality (ping me if you need vendor recommendations)

Hope this has helped you think about community in a whole different way and make you think how your members or potential ones react to your content. Let me know if you are redesigning your community by taking the poll below and as always ping me if you need help for your specific community.

Randy Ksar
For community strategy consulting, call me at 408.409.9033.

Image courtesy of Flickr user _dChris’

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Speaking at Web 2.0 NYC

Web 2.0 Expo New York 2009

Hey everyone! Join me at Web 2.0 conference in New York City talking about community and social media at the below session.  Remember, to use webny09fos to receive a $100 discount or a FREE Expo Pass.

Real-Time Marketing: Operationalizing The Use of Social Media

Social media isn’t just for community managers anymore. The rise of Web 2.0 content and community is changing marketing operations – making marketers more efficient, customer-centric and prepared to make strategic decisions like product and service enhancements, feature prioritization, pricing and customer segmentation. And, the best part? It’s free and available in real-time so any size company with any size budget can leverage it.

Real-time marketing means understanding and responding to the movements of the market on both individual and strategic levels. This session will show you how to apply the instant, unprompted customer feedback from Web 2.0 to media buying, campaign optimization, creative development, customer community management, CRM, PR and promotions.

Hear from companies that are operationalizing their use of social media feedback as a source of strategic advantage, and walk away with 6 new ways to integrate real-time marketing practices into your organization.

Speakers:

Disney Online, James M Smith, Vice President, Advertising

Advertising effectiveness: Learn how Disney Online is quantifying ROI and effectiveness for its advertisers. James Smith is a pioneer in the fields of online and integrated media. Having launched media properties in the past decade in the US, Europe and Japan, James plays an instrumental role in the development of the Disney.com online strategy. Focusing on all aspects of Disney online, James creates revenue streams outside of standard media through cutting edge branded entertainment products, large scale cross media programs & the development of a newly created ad network at Disney.com. Prior to joining Disney Online, James held executive roles at Nielsen & United Business Media and also spent time driving strategy in the social networking space as an executive at Leverage Software.

Motorola, Randy Ksar, Program Manager

Community management: Randy manages the social media strategy for MOTODEV which is Motorola’s developer program primarily focused on mobile devices and Motorola’s latest Android handsets. He is constantly listening and engaging with the MOTODEV community via blogs, discussion boards, and numerous social networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Previous to Motorola, Randy worked on viral marketing programs for Yahoo! and online marketing roles at Roxio, Handspring, and Sony Electronics. In his spare time, he volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society running marathons, cycling century rides and raising funds to find a cure for blood-related cancers. Tweet @djksar to contact Randy.

Nike, Ricky Engelberg, Director of Digital Marketing

Influencer marketing: Nike has always practiced influencer marketing- the art of finding and cultivating tastemakers (online and offline) that are influential within a community. Web 2.0 technologies and social networks have created new avenues for influence to move along. Hear how Nike is incorporating these phenomena into the design and execution of key marketing campaigns and programs, in the US and beyond.

Undercurrent, Aaron Dignan, Founding Partner

Integrated social media campaign management and measurement: Hear from Aaron how he and the Undercurrent team craft effective social media campaigns for the the world’s best brands and comprehensively measure their success. Aaaron Dignan joined the founding team of Undercurrent from a background in brand strategy and brand experience at Brandplay, a boutique agency he co-founded, and whose clients included Coors and Pepsi. Aaron manages Undercurrent’s New York office, where the team explores the future frontier of social interactive – where consumers rule, and brands aspire to contribute and enable the most connected generation in history. His blog (Surveyvivalist) uses targeted research to explore these same topics and issues. A charismatic speaker (alongside Undercurrent’s Josh Spear) for brands like McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Virgin, Leo Burnett, Columbia College, and the University of Colorado, Aaron’s thinking on the “born digital” consumer is highly sought after.

Moderating: Scout Labs, Jennifer Zeszut, Founder and CEO