Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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’

Networking to Find Storytellers & Content

Here are a few tips to help you find the storytellers and content within your organization. Need more advice? Ping me at or comment below.

Should I buy a Lacoste Shirt Because of their Vine Posting?

I would of never posted anything about Lacoste but now because they are on Vine they all of a sudden are cool – Should I go and buy a Lacoste shirt? Help me decide.

Renee Zellwegger has a #socialmedia PR Opportunity!

Renee Zellwegger has a #socialmedia PR Opportunity!

She looked like a wreck, walked with a limp and might of been on something but could that of been her social media viral hit? Her mentions were pretty non-existent for the past six months and now she, her agent and PR agency have an opportunity to capitalize. I can definitely help her – call me maybe?

She has got to start doing the following:

  • Create a robust, authentic, social content strategy that she is deeply involved
  • Seed content to her influential fans, trade publications and fellow actors
  • Team up with Jonathan Lipnicki for a Jerry McGuire reunion
  • Produce an online series / reality series that focuses on the behind-the-scenes of the Academy Awards

Those are just some ideas but love to hear your comments below.  BTW, the chart was pulled from Lithium social media monitoring – great tool to have when managing communities, search for your brand mentions across all web/social properties, and tracking trending topics such as the Oscars.

Randy – randy.ksar at gmail dot com – 408-409-9033

New Hangout: Social Media Marketing Discussion on Wed Oct 3 Noon PT #socialmedia

Join me and other social strategists for a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday October 3, 2012 at noon pacific.

We’ll cover the below topics and your questions:
-Twitter’s new header images – why are they making a big deal of it? is it worth it?
-LinkedIn Company pages – share your company page and best practices
-Hootsuite’s new internal collaboration tools
-and anything else in the social media world

Watch the Hangout on AIR, join the conversation, and share your social media expertise and/or questions with the panelists at

FYI, if you are interested in being on the panel / Google+ Hangout, ping me at



New Video: How to start & measure an influencer program?

Today, I invited two social media experts – Eric Montoya from Badgeville and Tom Diederich from Plan B Social Media – to talk about influencer programs.  Eric’s most recent background is in gamification for enterprises and Tom on community and social media management for Fortune 500 companies. Here are the questions we answered and always open to your questions so make sure to comment on this blog post:

  • What are influencer programs and why are they beneficial to businesses
  • Why and how to create your own program?
  • What metrics/KPIs do you measure the success of your program?
  • What are some examples of good ones and bad ones?
  • How do you choose your influencers?
  • Do you need to reward them?
  • Who manages influencer programs and where do they sit in the organization?


Using Social Media to Create an Emotional Connection

One of the great things I love about social media is getting people to show their emotion and passion for a certain topic.  If the user can see that in a video or audio podcast then you have sold the audience and they will talk about your brand or topic online or offline to their friends, family and co-workers.  One topic that I’m passionate about is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I met with the Mingus family last month to learn more about their son’s diagnosis and survival with leukemia.  I worked with Heavensent Films and my bro-in-law Justin Adkinson on filming the interview.  I made sure Matt’s mom, Kat, was comfortable with the questions so I just had a causal conversation with her because sometimes the lens can be scary for people. It’s just starring you down and putting pressure on a topic that should be easy for the interviewee to speak about.  So to ease into the video I started chatting “off camera” about how there day was going, the questions we were going to ask, the weather, family, etc..It really helped both of us have a great causal yet emotional conversation for apprx. 2 hours.   Justin with his great camera and video editing skills created a great 4 minute re-cap of the conversation and really focused on the goal which was to spread awareness about the Society and raise crucial dollars for research and patient services.    The video is posted below and Justin did a behind-the-scenes blog post to see how something like this is created.  Comment below and how you use social media content to create an emotional connection.