Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient
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Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient



The full presentation outlining how we at Headstream view online communities. ...

The full presentation outlining how we at Headstream view online communities.

Outlining the three types; de-centralised, centralised and transient. Looking at what they are, how they behave and how to work alongside them.

Any questions or further thoughts please let us know.




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    Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient Presentation Transcript

    • Understanding Online Communities De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient
    • IntroductionThis presentation outlines our thinkingaround the three different kinds ofcommunities.We view them as de-centralised, centralisedand transient.This document will outline what they are,what value they can add and how to workalongside them.
    • De-centralisedCommunities
    • What is a de-centralised community?! TOPIC!
    • What is a de-centralised community?• The overall online community that exists around a specific topic.• This can include any number of outposts and activity e.g. Twitter posts, fan sites/blogs, forums, Facebook updates & pages etc.• This community is not connected to any official site or activity but may be sharing official content.
    • What value do they add?• With active listening you will be able to find key individuals with whom you could work.• Use community relations to gauge opinion, engage brand ambassadors and answer complaints.• Look for patterns in research data to inform futures campaigns and strategies.• These individuals and separate communities can be unified to form centralised or transient communities.
    • How can you work alongside them?• These individuals and online communities provide the foundations for active listening and outreach campaigns.• With active listening you can get an ideas of what people are thinking around your brand and competitors.• You can then begin to reach out to individuals to involve them in campaigns and ongoing relationships.
    • How can you work alongside them?• It is impossible to think that you will be able to engage with every single individual around a topic.• The de-centralised communities are continuously evolving with new ones popping up and others dying away.• Because of this movement it is important to do regular listening updates to gauge new opinions and insights.
    • CentralisedCommunities
    • What is a centralised community? Site
    • What is a centralised community?• A group of individuals who are brought together through their interest in a certain topic.• These can be found across Owned and Borrowed brand spaces.• Owned includes website and forums that brands/ companies run.• Borrowed will be their Facebook & YouTube pages etc.
    • What is a centralised community?• These centralised communities can also be created via unofficial means.• This includes fan run forums, websites, blogs and Facebook pages etc.• These fan run sites can often be just as influential if not more so, than official ones.• Centralised communities can also be created around a topic within a larger community e.g. news sites
    • What value do they add?• Centralised communities hold a large amount of influence around a topic due to their passionate conversational nature.• Consumer trends and waves of interest often come out of these areas on the web. The most well known internet memes will usually start as a topic of discussion in a centralised community.• Holding a relationship, either through official forum hosting or online consumer relations, with these communities is key.
    • What value do they add?• Strong relationships will ensure that the communities feel valued and part of the topic/ brand that they enjoy so much.
    • How can you work alongside them?• With a strong relationship companies can gauge interest and sentiment around new initiatives, product development, campaigns etc.• When launching a new product a company can give these communities information and gain valuable consumer driven earned media coverage.• As long as they feel valued these groups will spread positive messages around the topic.
    • How can you work alongside them?• Listen to what they are saying and their beliefs before planning any activity.You can gain valuable insight just from listening to these groups.• Get them involved when you are looking for opinion. They are ready made focus groups for new or existing products.• Target them with specialised content relevant to the topic area they love.
    • How can you work alongside them?• Get them to be your brand ambassadors. Provide them with information before it goes out to de- centralised communities, they will help feed it out and get you more earned media.
    • How can you work alongside them?• Create a social community destination around the topic.• Utilise social media tools.• Provide moderation and thought leaderships.• Enable audience to educate and help each other, increasing satisfaction and reducing customer service cost.
    • TransientCommunities
    • What is a transient community? TOPIC
    • What is a transient community?• When a group of people come together around one moment and disperse when the moment has passed.• This moment could be a marketing campaign, new product launch, a fan run event, a news story etc.• These kinds of communities can exist on Owned, Borrowed, Earned and Networked media.
    • What value do they add?• These communities can generate huge word of mouth amplification of messaging in a small period of time.• Social media monitoring can track the most influential people within these sporadic communities.• Even with bad news stories; good community management, messaging and listening can ensure a positive outcome for the brand.
    • What value do they add?• They can often attract those who otherwise may not have been part of the audience. For example when a video goes viral it will attract new people to a movement or campaign.• Transient communities provide a snapshot of opinion and valuable lessons can be learned in a very short space of time.
    • How can you work alongside them?• Brands can plan for a transient community to be formed around key moments in their content calendar.• With organically formed transient communities, being open and working with them quickly can help with positive messaging around a product or company news.• Real-time marketing is key with these communities. Ensuring that you are always listening and able to add relevant and valuable content/ information to these communities is important.
    • How can you work alongside them?• When formed organically it is important to listen to the conversations.• After listening and taking notes of the common themes you can then begin to interact by giving the communities relevant content and joining conversations.• For planned transient communities on Owned or Borrowed media it is important to know in advance what messaging and content you are wanting to put out.
    • How can you work alongside them?• Transient communities can’t really be managed as they can evolve rapidly.• However you can help steer the conversation by adding quality content and reacting in positive ways to the conversations.• With Owned and Borrowed media you can control when a transient community is created and dispersed e.g. the build up to a product launch.• This is not possible on Earned and Networked as the community will decide themselves when to be active.
    • Final Note
    • Final Note• When working with any community it is always good to get a clear understanding of their etiquette and attitude.• Just jumping in and interrupting conversations will not be welcomed by members for obvious reason.• Embracing their attitude and speaking in a friendly manner will allow you to be accepted and seen as a brand that people will want to interact with.
    • Want to find out more?If you are interested in finding out morearound our thinking, ideas and work, or justwant a chat please feel free to tweet us:@headstream@samhilary
    • Thank You!