B2B Community Building - a discussion and roadmap - mesh conference 2010

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B2B Community Building - a discussion and roadmap - mesh conference 2010 …

B2B Community Building - a discussion and roadmap - mesh conference 2010
Note: Much of this workshop revolved around an interactive discussion between community managers and strategists.
I'm @EdenSpodek on Twitter if you'd like to chat more.

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  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • Bill Lee, President of the Customer Strategy Group, Laura Ramos' Blog , Jan. 12, 2010 Forrester, Customer Engagement: Deepen Relationships with Community Marketing http://blogs.forrester.com/laura_ramos/10-01-12-customer_engagement_deepen_relationships_community_marketing
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • Customer insights - otherwise sometimes hard to gain Allow for co-innovation Social web expanding into the workplace, "secret weapon" gives companies a competitive advantage - B2B communities are highly-specialized and may be "closed" Visibility is important – it’s relatively inexpensive to launch but requires a lot of effort to make the member experience enriching - needs to be valuable for customers (members) and community manager(s) How do I work it into my company’s objectives This slide should be the outline for the strategic plan; show process that goes into the planning, user analysis
  • Open communities are easier to recruit because of the lower barrier to entry. Who is your community for? User profiles, audits
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • Do you go to them, let them come to you or both? Where are your members now? Can you go to them? Advantages to having a community on your turf Importance of UX/UE - if you're building your own community site, make it easy for your members to participate low barriers to entry easy sign-ups "like" in addition to comments Needs to be simple, scalable, flexible and usable Will it grow with the community? Consider matching platforms to community manager's skill set
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • How will you engage members with your community? How will you keep them coming back? Develop unique content for your community that members can't receive elsewhere Provide ample opportunity for community members to create and share content Competition helps build comity as it brings out members' passions (contests, voting, etc.) Reward contributions/participation - badges, links, guest posts (also speaks to UE) Encourage them to collaborate and co-create with you Be approachable and appeal to a wide audience Welcome new members directly/privately (email) and encourage participation Pay attention to fans, “superfans” and critics Support “self-appointed” brand ambassadors and support them Be responsive but also members to chime in and help others Continue to surprise and delight Keep an eye on engagement and remember it ebbs and flows (it’s not constant)
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • All employees are brand ambassadors. Find a lynchpin – emotional labour, autonomy, problem-solver, passionate,
  • Be flexible and encourage community members input
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • All employees are brand ambassadors
  • Use a sample measurement dashboard – ask Neil. Define and determine measurement upfront Ensure you have the means in place to collect appropriate data Map measurement to objectives Measure often Pay attention to both “hard” and “soft” measures Content and consumption Engagement Conversation sentiment and tone Use results to inform decision-making and future activity
  • Social media extensions? – password/login credentials, groom others, team approach
  • What should a company do, have in place for departures
  • What should a company do, have in place for departures
  • [Note: if you already know the answer, please hang on for a minute.] If you worked for RIGHTSLEEVE, what would you have done?
  • http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=2626259
  • All employees are brand ambassadors

Transcript

  • 1. mesh workshop: BUILDING A B2B COMMUNITY May 19, 2010 Eden Spodek, High Road Communications Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 2. “Social media and B2B were made for each other even though most examples are B2C. Listening & engaging in social media can help you focus quickly on the right people at the right time.” David Alston, VP Marketing and Community, Radian6
  • 3. Why is community important for B2B companies? “According to a recent Forrester Research study* of business buyers, 91% use social technologies and 69% use them for professional purposes. Today, more B2B companies than ever are discovering the potential of branded online communities – but be careful – branding should always take a backseat.” *Deepen B2B Tech Customer Engagement With Community Marketing Forrester - December 9, 2009
  • 4. Agenda • What is a B2B community? • Developing a B2B community strategy • Measuring success • Insights and practices from Canadian B2B communities • Questions Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 5. What is a B2B community? • “…Community marketing is about using marketing to engage prospects, current customers, industry insiders, and partners in dialog that transparently and collectively improves the probability of creating effective solutions to the most pressing business problems... • ... supports better business outcomes... •.. new ways, to innovate collaborate, and partner that create more productive business operations.“ Bill Lee, President Customer Strategy Group, Jan. 12, 2010 Photo credit: andycaster on flickr from PAB 2008
  • 6. Delivering value “No brainer: offer value. ...listen actively and intently to what your nascent community actually wants and needs. Sometimes, that's not obvious: people won't (often can't) necessarily tell you flat out what they want. It requires a lot of insight, interpretation and questioning.” Michael O‟Connor Clarke, VP Marketing Communications, FreshBooks
  • 7. What are the rewards? • Cultivate brand ambassadors • Generate sales • Gain customer insights • Early awareness of issues • Collaborate with customers, partners and suppliers. • Director customer contact • New customer service channel
  • 8. Objectives “Different communities will have different goals. If the goal is sales of a product or customer acquisition then there is the metric to measure. If your goal is PR or conversations then measure that. Basically, know your goals at the beginning and work towards accomplishing them.” Saul Colt, Lead Evangelist, Rogers Ventures
  • 9. How does community building fit into your organization's objectives?  Develop a strategy with a clear vision of your goals and target audience  How does community building fit into your organization's objectives?  Understanding the objective(s) of community members  Choosing an appropriate platform  Cultivating and creating content  Role of the community manager and brand ambassadors  Governance  Measuring success  Marketing, visibility, brand awareness, customer loyalty, relationship-building
  • 10. Understanding the objective of the community • Who is your community for? • Remember, its for them, not for you • Content and relationships build your brand, not creative • How will you provide value? • Where are the current gaps and how can the community fill them? • What tools can you provide to make their jobs easier? • The “gift system”* • How will you define it‟s members? * Seth Godin, Lynchpin, 2010
  • 11. Understanding the objective of the community (con‟t) • Relationships first, business second • Find your audience – online audits, participating in other communities, events • Give 25 times more than you expect to receive* • Model for community management (individual or a team) • Who will you allow to join - open or closed community? • Clients/prospects, partners, suppliers and/or industry thought leaders/players • Open - increases web traffic via SEO, word of mouth • Closed - gain intimacy and control (preferable for co-creation and market research) *Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com/
  • 12. User Profiles Connie Mark Jen Motivation: Motivation: Motivation: E.g. Sharing knowledge and E.g. Working smarter by saving E.g. Collaborate with other information time and cutting costs. entrepreneurs. Quote: Quote: Quote: E.g. “I hope my experiences E.g. “My workforce has been cut E.g. “I’ve gone out on my own can help my readers.” by 20% while my workload and I’d like to network with increased..” other small biz owners.”
  • 13. Choosing an appropriate platform “Don’t just go to (insert favourite large social site). Let your target audience, content and conversational nurture flow guide your tech choices.” Peter Hartl, Community Manager, www.telustalksbusiness.com
  • 14. Choosing an appropriate platform “Remember that everyone is busy and only has so much time to spend... Make it as easy as possible for people to interact with you from other places they hang out (Twitter, Ping.fm, etc) - that's something we're working on.” Erin Bury, Community Manager, Sprouter
  • 15. Choosing an appropriate platform • Do you go to them, let them come to you or both? • Importance of user experience – if you're building a community site, make it easy for members to participate • Needs to be simple, scalable, flexible, functional and usable
  • 16. Cultivating and creating content “I think the best way to keep people engaged is to continually provide value. We try to do that through our Sprouter Weekly startup newsletter, our offline events, and our blog.” Erin Bury, Community Manager, Sprouter
  • 17. Cultivating and creating content “For us, it's all about making our community look great (example - we have photo contests on Twitter where we give prizes to ppl who take shots of themselves using our gear. This is a great community bldg exercise and it also highlights what we do in a fun and non sales-y way.” Mark Graham, President, RIGHTSLEEVE
  • 18. Cultivating and creating content • How will you engage members with your community? • How will you keep them coming back? • Develop unique content members can't receive elsewhere • Be approachable and appeal to a wide audience • Keep an eye on engagement – it ebbs and flows (it‟s not constant)
  • 19. Role of the community manager “Engaging in the community is important but more then that you need to empower the people in your community to speak for you and find new participants for your group to grown and survive.” Saul Colt, Lead Evangelist, Rogers Ventures
  • 20. Role of the community manager • Defining roles • Single or multiple community managers? • Personality and passion • What‟s in it for them? • Internal support and autonomy • Succession planning
  • 21. Governance  Define strategic direction and review periodically  Develop content and publishing guidelines  Commenting policies  User guidelines and code of conduct  Monitoring and measurement  Support community manager(s) – internal integration  Succession planning
  • 22. Measuring success “There are a lot of methods and tools to measure community success, but first you need to decide what success means for you and set benchmarks. However, too much focus on a number can make you lose sight of the effect you’re having on your community.” Rayanne Langdon, Queen of Hearts, Everywhere
  • 23. Measuring success “...Communities are like wine, after uncorking they need time to breathe before being assessed.” Peter Hartl, Community Manager, www.telustalksbusiness.com
  • 24. Measuring success
  • 25. What are the Challenges? • Loss of information control • Challenge in balancing transparency with knowledge sharing • Lack of integration with other business units • Low engagement, sustaining content • Staffing changes • Inability to scale • Trolls, negative comments
  • 26. Challenge: Managing with limited resources • How to do you balance the business' evolving needs with the community manager‟s role when the business is a start-up? • How do you add new functions to a community manger‟s role, when there‟s only one and you have limited resources? • How does a community manger stay creative and engaged when you feel like you‟re a one-person team, having to support your own work, ideas and creativity independently? Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 27. PostRank‟s Solution „It's ongoing as the company grows. Communication with management and development's important – helps answer “what are we going to do next, and what does the team need from me to make it happen?”” Melanie Baker Community Manager, PostRank Inc. Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 28. FreshBooks Solution Find ways to incorporate what you do with other departments in the organization and play off the strengths you lack that others have. Also, realize why and that you‟re wanted. My Advice: Be real. Pretending to connect with people won‟t be bought. You will only be successful gathering people about your business by loving what you do and the people you do this for. Recognize and thank the people who really believe in your business, product, etc. Make them feel special. Rayanne Langdon Account Executive, High Road Communications former Queen of Hearts at FreshBooks Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 29. Challenge 2: Succession planning • What happens when a community manager or evangelist leaves the company? • How to you recover when the departing community manager has a strong personal brand interwoven with the company‟s brand? Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 30. Wisdom from the Head of Magic Just as you should treat your community with respect and class you should do the same for your employer. This is all common sense but once you have decided that you want to leave you should be training someone to do what you do...and this can be done without them even realizing you are training/teaching them. I was fortunate at FreshBooks because I had an amazing person who I was able to do this so the company was not left in a lurch but this is only half of the solution. .../2 Saul Colt Lead Evangelist at Rogers Ventures Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 31. Wisdom from the Head of Magic (con‟t) The best way to move between a community is to not actually move at all but rather join another community and never leave the old one. If you are in a community because you enjoy being there and participating then why would you leave? I am still very active in the creative communities that I participated in while at FreshBooks because I was there out of actual interest and not just to sell people FreshBooks. Just because I am not at FreshBooks is no reason to abandon the friends and people I met along my journey into their communities and in a lot of ways my commitment to these people smoothed the transition for FreshBooks as I acted as an unpaid ambassador for them and still do. This speaks more to the personality of the individual person but this way of transitioning worked for me and didn't harm anyone in the process. Saul Colt Lead Evangelist at Rogers Ventures Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 32. Advice from the Queen of Hearts There‟s a fine line between being your company‟s brand and being your own brand when nurturing communities. The part of yourself you bring in is a huge reason people will connect with your organization. But don’t forget what your role is and who you’re building a community for. At the same time, there wouldn‟t be a community if the brand, product, etc. wasn‟t loved – a community manager simply enhances this. If a community builder moves on and is replaced, just replace him or her with someone equally excited about the company. The community will see this, get excited about it and continue to be really into your company. Rayanne Langdon Account Executive, High Road Communications former Queen of Hearts at FreshBooks Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 33. Challenge 3: Balancing the needs of the community with business requirements • As a community manager, how do you balance the “wants” of the community members with the business requirements? Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 34. RIM‟s Resolution The BlackBerry Support Community Forums (supportforums.blackberry.com) are a peer-to- peer community for BlackBerry users. Our members include customers (example IT administrators of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server), Support customers, and partners (carriers for example, or developers) and end users (use BlackBerry for business or pleasure). We have open conversations both on and offline with our members. We have found that acknowledging their needs, and at the same time explaining to them any challenges or difficulty we have in accomplishing it – goes a long way to build strong relationships in the community. Michelle Kostya Community Manager Blackberry Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 35. Challenge 4: Dealing with negative comments • RIGHTSLEEVE, a long-term sponsor of mesh, included magnets as part of the swag bags. Attendees (comprised of existing and prospective customers for RIGHTSLEEVE) were concerned the magnets would wipe out the data on their Blackberries and other devices. Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 36. RIGHTSLEEVE‟s resolution Turning a PR disaster around in a big way (you'll remember from mesh last year with the magnet debacle. People were out for blood and were not so kind online about it. I ventured online immediately and apologized, took responsibility, offered to collect magnets from concerned attendees and then shot a YouTube video proving the magnets were harmless. People loved it and I was able to turn around a terrible situation (this also led to a story in the Post.) Mark Graham, President RIGHTSLEEVE Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 37. “We are connecting to hearts and minds, not just eyeballs and ears.” David Alston, VP Marketing and Community, Radian6
  • 38. QUESTIONS & FURTHER DISCUSSION Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 39. MESH WORKSHOP: BUILDING A B2B COMMUNITY Eden Spodek Account Director High Road Communications http://www.highroad.com Email: eden.spodek@highroad.com Main: 416.598.8061 Direct: 416.644.2265 Mobile: 416.318.0456 Blog: http://bargainista.ca Twitter: @EdenSpodek LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/en/EdenSpodek Copyright 2010 High Road Communications - www.highroad.com
  • 40. Props to the community pros Thanks to this lovely group of community pros who generously shared their knowledge and insights: • Amanda Laird, Communications Specialist, CNW Group • Amber Naslund, Director of Community, Radian6 • David Alston | VP Marketing & Community, Radian6 • Erin Bury, Community Manager, Sprouter • Mark Graham, President, RIGHTSLEEVE • Melanie Baker, Community Manager, PostRank Inc. • Michelle Kostya, Community Manager, RIM BB • Michael O’Connor Clarke, VP Marketing Communications, FreshBooks • Peter Hartl, Community Manager, www.telustalksbusiness.com • Rayanne Langdon, Account Supervisor, High Road Communications, former Queen of Hearts at FreshBooks • Ryan Holmes, CEO, HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard • Saul Colt, Lead Evangelist at Rogers Ventures and former Head of Magic, FreshBooks, He also wanted you to know his preferred title is ``Hugable and Kissable`` • Simon Chen, Senior Consultant, Ramius Corporation
  • 41. References Planning an Online B2B Community by Nancy Strauss, Marketing Profs http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2009/3279/planning-an-online-b2b-community Chris Brogan , http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ Seth Godin, Lynchpin 4 C's of B2B Marketing , Buzz Marketing for Technology by Paul Dunay http://pauldunay.com/4-cs-of-b2-marketing/ Customer Engagement: Deepen Relationships with Community Marketing , Laura Ramos' Blog , Jan. 12, 2010 - Forrester, http://blogs.forrester.com/laura_ramos/10-01-12-customer_engagement_deepen_relationships_community_marketing Forrester - December 9, 2009 Deepen B2B Tech Customer Engagement With Community Marketing, by Laura Ramos with Peter Burris, Zachary Reiss-Davis
  • 42. Promoting your community from the outside • E-mail signatures • E-newsletters (helps build customer database) • Attend tradeshows and conferences • Look for public speaking opportunities • Present community events such as webinars and twebinars, • Don‟t ignore print touchpoints including ads and invoice inserts