Posts Tagged ‘fan engagement’

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’

Interview with Beth Rogozinski, Co-founder of #socialgaming

I’m just loving the blending of gamification into all verticals these days. In the past social media marketing hangouts I’ve talked with the folks from Badgeville and they’ve provided some great insight into enterprise adoption (watch this episode). In the most recent episode of our social media marketing hangout we chatted with a new startup in San Francisco called and their CEO Beth Rogozinski. Their platform provides a way for brands to engage with their fans/influencers by playing a game to determine their preferences and then recommending a solution which for brand’s is a call to action (e.g. coupon, purchase link, etc..). Watch the interview below to learn more.


0:00 -2:11 Intro to Beth and her background in filmmaking, gaming and digital marketing

2:11 – 4:16 Definition of Social Gaming and what the latest trends are

4:16 – 5:40 Why would businesses want to incorporate social gaming?

5:40 – 15:55 What is and how it helps brands increase fan engagement

15:55 – 22:30 What is Transmedia?

22:30 – 25:45 Measuring Social Gamification Campaigns

25:45 – 28:00 Transmedia SF meetup info including Nov. 27th Producer’s Guide to the Galaxy & January 18 Transmedia Startup weekend

29:00 – 30:52 What are the next steps for businesses to add social gamification into their user experience

31:36 – 33:00 Demo of iOS Transmedia & Social Game called Lost Spells

33:01 – 34:31 What do you think of Zynga’s predicament

34:32 – 36:40 What is the better business model – subscription vs. freemium?

36:55 – 38:24 What is the target audience / demographic of social gaming consumers?

38:24 – 41:02 Contact Info and Next Social Hangout topic: Kickstarter Campaigns