Managing Online Communities: Getting Your Message to the Masses


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This was presented by Angela Connor at the National Home Furnishing Association's High Point Market Seminars in April of 2008.

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Managing Online Communities: Getting Your Message to the Masses

  1. 1. GOLO Getting YOUR Message to the Masses Angela Connor Managing Online Communities
  2. 2. Traditional Online Advertising <ul><li>Cost effective </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable results </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous creative options </li></ul>
  3. 3. Display Ads and Leaderboard Ads Leaderboard and Display Ads- Leaderboard and Display Ad Impressions may rotate through all sections of, (ROS), or may be targeted to only specific sections of such as News. All local ads are given above the fold placement whenever possible.
  4. 4. Can You Reach YOUR Customer Online? <ul><li>Is your geographic region “online friendly”? </li></ul><ul><li>Will I reach my top customer prospects by advertising online? </li></ul><ul><li>Online websites are dominated by teenagers (definition: NO $) – or so I hear! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Did You Know? <ul><li>According to 2008 reports: </li></ul><ul><li>Raleigh is ranked #1 For Business and Careers </li></ul><ul><li>Raleigh is ranked #3 For Best Places To Flip A Home </li></ul><ul><li>Raleigh is ranked #3 For America’s Most Wired Cities </li></ul><ul><li>Raleigh is ranked #6 For Best U.S Housing Markets </li></ul>
  6. 6. has the Highest Market Reach in the USA for a Local News Website Source: The Media Audit, May 07. *The % based on Adults 18+ in the metro area 36.1% (Omaha World – Herald) 35.6% (Virginian – Pilot) 45.8% 35.9% (Charlotte Observer) 36.0% [net] (Cincinnati Enquirer) 37.4% (San Antonio Express) (Capital Times) Local News Websites with the Highest Market Reach in the USA 41.1% 43.9% % of Adults 18+ who visited the website in the past month*
  7. 7. Do Online Users Have Money? Of those Adults 18+ in the Metro area who have liquid assets of $250,000+, 42% of them visited during the past 30 days
  8. 8. Should my business, dare I say it… <ul><li>BLOG!? </li></ul><ul><li>Oh, what is Social Interactive Marketing? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why Social Interactive Marketing? <ul><li>Social applications in particular, such as communities and social networking sites, are cost-effective and have a measurable impact on prospects' decisions in the consideration stage, which will be important to companies under recessionary pressures. Interactive marketers should stop toe-dipping and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies For Interactive Marketing In A Recession Josh Bernoff </li></ul><ul><li>February 6, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  10. 10. What People DO in Online Communities <ul><li>Share Stories and Exchange Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Seek Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Argue and Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Make Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Interact </li></ul><ul><li>Vent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic Woes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor customer service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Movie Reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share Secrets </li></ul>
  11. 11. What People DO in Online Communities <ul><li>Brag </li></ul><ul><li>Share Image Galleries </li></ul><ul><li>Discover shared interests </li></ul><ul><li>Offer Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Help Others </li></ul><ul><li>Give Purchasing Tips </li></ul><ul><li>Seek Purchasing Tips </li></ul>
  12. 12. What People Want From Online Communities. <ul><li>Knowledge and New Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance and Approval </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy/Support </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing Tips </li></ul><ul><li>Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Useful Tips </li></ul>
  13. 13. How Do I Start? <ul><li>Study the site and community </li></ul><ul><li>Learn what people are talking about </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what YOU want from the community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New customers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word of mouth referrals? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find people who may be interested in your business/product </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce Yourself to the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Spend Time Interacting with members </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to all feedback. (Positive and Negative) </li></ul><ul><li>Write interesting Blogs </li></ul>
  14. 14. Engage as a member Share information about yourself. Don’t be afraid of the “personal approach.”
  15. 15. Engage as a member Establish yourself as an “expert” in your area, share your intentions and tell the community what you have to offer.
  16. 16. Create Interesting Blogs
  17. 17. What is “Interesting” <ul><li>Helpful Information – Quick Tips </li></ul><ul><li>New Ideas on an Old Topic </li></ul><ul><li>Unique “How-To” Blogs and Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Stories about a Product </li></ul>
  18. 18. Blogging Tips <ul><li>Get ideas from other bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Write eye-catching Headlines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ten things you never knew about your grandmother’s Vintage Rocking Chair.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to redecorate a room with one new item” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is Your Oriental Rug Authentic?“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not everything is “Made in China.” Some things are made right here in NC.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Promise more content. Tell us What’s Next. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Good Intentions Gone Bad? User Comments “ This would be a very informative blog if it weren't for the web address at the bottom.” “ And BTW, this site &quot;; is selling fakes!” “ this is a no-no!” “ SPAM!
  20. 20. Behaviors to AVOID! <ul><li>Blatant Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Inserting TOO Many Links to Your website </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting without useful Content </li></ul><ul><li>Pushing Your Product EVERY time you post </li></ul>
  21. 21. Another Option | Create a Group “ Groups” typically cater to a specific audience with shared interests. This is a more “targeted” approach.
  22. 22. Individual Profile vs. Group Profile
  23. 23. Benefits of “Groups” <ul><li>Create and grow your own community within a community </li></ul><ul><li>Shared interests, niche </li></ul><ul><li>Start a Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Easily Promoted on your website </li></ul>
  24. 24. What Should I Do Now? <ul><li>Do Your Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where Is My Audience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What communities cater to my industry? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peruse Before You Join </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine level of commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Define an acceptable outcome </li></ul>
  25. 25. Major Takeaways <ul><li>Respect the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Move in slowly </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Blatant Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Interact and Respond to Members </li></ul><ul><li>Seek Ideas in other Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>People WANT to hear from you. You’re an Expert! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Contact information <ul><li>Angela Connor </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Editor/User-Generated Content </li></ul><ul><li> | </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>919-821-8545 </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contact information <ul><li>Angela Connor </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Editor/User-Generated Content </li></ul><ul><li> | </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>919-821-8545 </li></ul>
  28. 28. Contact information <ul><li>Andy Lancaster </li></ul><ul><li>Online Specialist & Account Executive </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>919-821-8661 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Tips from a Blogger <ul><li>“ In order to blog successfully you have to have a BURNING desire to get your message out to the public.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Blogging helps me to fine-tune ideas that I have for my business. I can see which ideas resonate, stir controversy and fall &quot;flat&quot;.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ DON'T SELL!! Blogging is not selling. Blogging is informing and building a community. However, with that being said, you have to have a goal in mind.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Find the right community to achieve your goal and then be reciprocal in the blogging community. People don't care about what you have to say until they know you care...” </li></ul><ul><li>Angela Connor, Managing Editor/User-Generated Content </li></ul><ul><li> | </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>