This weeks blog focuses on helping the groundswell support itself. At Telus World of Science, we participate online by talking with the groundswell on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, however to my knowledge, we do not have an online community that supports itself. According to Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, a properly managed online community can make your customers happier, save money, and generate insights. Managing an online community requires a great deal of effort on behalf of the company. First the firm must examine the following three things:
- What problem you will solve.This step involves asking questions like why will people participate in our online community? A good way to respond to this is to think about it from a consumers perspective. Find out what your customers biggest issues are and support a community based on the key issue. Huge brands can form a community based more broadly on their brand; however smaller companies most likely don’t have enough brand enthusiasts online to do this.
- How you will participate. To get others to participate, your support community needs activity, people are not likely to follow a community that is inactive. According to Li and Bernoff, “activity creates content, which creates traffic and links, which boosts search engine placement, which drives more traffic, and so on” ( Li & Bernoff, 2011). Firms should expect no more than 1 to 5 percent of their consumers to participate in an online community, this percentage is affected by your consumers Social Technographics Profile and how committed they are to your brand. At Telus World of Science, our Social Technographics Profile consists of many joiners and spectators, however that does not mean they would all follow us if we created an online support community. An important thing to remember is that the firms participation in the beginning of an online community is crucial to get things going and get others participating.
- Whether you should create a support community or join an existing one. Finally a firm should check to see if there is already an exisiting online community for their consumers; why build it if you can join it? A successful way TiVo communicated with their consumers through an existing online support community was to support their subscribers, listen to how people use their products, and talk to their community members that can spread the word about improvements.
Source: Carver-Media. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.carver-media.com/category/communitybuilding/
Carver-Media. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.carver-media.com/category/communitybuilding/
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.