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Higher Logic Learning Series - Start a Fire in Your Social Network (05-16-13)
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Higher Logic Learning Series - Start a Fire in Your Social Network (05-16-13)


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Higher Logic™, the leader in social media and collaboration solutions for associations, not-for-profits and member-based organizations worldwide, presented START A FIRE IN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK on …

Higher Logic™, the leader in social media and collaboration solutions for associations, not-for-profits and member-based organizations worldwide, presented START A FIRE IN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK on Thursday, May 16 at 2:00PM Eastern.

Start a fire in your social network…okay, not a literal fire. Instead gather the materials you need to start sparking interest and activity within your membership about this member benefit they all should be using. We all know launching a private social network is much easier than developing an actual community of participants who are connected, active and engaged. SocialFish, a Higher Logic partner, will host a candid conversation about winning community management strategies. Maddie will discuss ways that associations are generating discussion and truly engaging stakeholders in order to create a thriving online community members consider a resource.

In this session, you'll:
• Learn community management strategies that make your community a productive and comfortable place for members to participate.
• See how content can attract members, generate discussion, and keep members active and interested.
• Get a better idea of what success looks like for association communities, and what metrics are worth benchmarking and tracking.

THOUGHT LEADER: Maddie Grant, CAE, Chief Social Media Strategist, of SocialFish/ICF Ironworks

Learn more about this interactive webinar series:

Published in: Social Media

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  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickr
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickr
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickr
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickr
  • Transcript

    • 1. Start a Fire in Your Social Network Maddie Grant, CAE
    • 2. Agenda for today How do you light the spark of engagement? • With Good Planning • During Launch • Through Content • By Finding Champions © 2013 Private Community Management Certificate Program
    • 3. Spark engagement through good planning 1.
    • 4. Defining PURPOSE WRONG: WE NEED • We need to get more members engaged. • We need to generate non-dues revenue. • We need to draw members to the website. • We need to collect content from members. RIGHT: MEMBERS NEED • Members need a trusted environment to collaborate. • Members need a place to find trusted experts who can help them. • Members need a way to comment on technical information. MEMBER PERSPECTIVE IS CRITICAL. But wait…do they REALLY need that?
    • 5. • Volunteer group collaboration • Upgrade to established listservs or forums • Social learning • Conferences (time limited) • Hybrid events (time limited) EXAMPLES OF PURPOSE-DRIVEN COMMUNITIES BY ASSOCIATIONS
    • 6. • Community for member networking (because members should be posting on our site instead of LinkedIn.) • Community to build more member- generated content (because we’ve had trouble getting members to contribute content in the past.) EXAMPLES OF BUSINESS PURPOSE NOT ALIGNING TO MEMBER PURPOSE
    • 7. What’s the (“member need”) purpose of your community? CHAT IN:
    • 8. Once the planning is done… Did our new board member just say he’s never used the community? PROMOTING YOUR COMMUNITY IS A PROCESS THAT NEVER ENDS.
    • 9. PROMOTION TWO-PRONGED APPROACH TO ONGOING PROMOTION MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING • Membership marketing and new member onboarding • Email newsletters • Features in magazine • Conference marketing and on- site activities • Promotion on website homepage and house ads • Platform email notifications for announcements, digests CHAMPION AND INFLUENCER MARKETING • Training and guidance for volunteer group leaders • Training and guidance for staff • Outreach to champions to keep the site active • Outreach to influencers to brainstorm ways they might like to use the community
    • 10. Spark engagement during launch time 2.
    • 11. SOFT LAUNCH - MEMBERS ARCHETYPES OF USEFUL BETA GROUPS Archetype Size Activity Privacy Example Small and good 10-15 High Private Board, working group, event volunteers Large and social-media- savvy 50-150 Medium Public Technology special interest group, communications special interest group Up and coming 50-150 Medium Public Young professionals or student leaders Content creators 10-15 High Public Bloggers, authors, speakers, volunteer leaders Location- based 50-150 Medium Public An active chapter PICK THE RIGHT PEOPLE, AND MAKE YOUR FIRST MISTAKES AMONG FRIENDS.
    • 12. SOFT LAUNCH - MEMBERS • Tech-savvy volunteer group leaders. • Active listserv users who are asking for updated functionality. • Social members who may not be active in any of the other beta groups you’ve identified. BETA TESTERS WILL FEEL MORE INVESTED. SO WHO DO YOU NEED ON YOUR SIDE?
    • 13. SOFT LAUNCH - MEMBERS • Set expectations low. • Explain the vision for the future. • Be specific about what to test. For example: – Set up a profile with a picture. – Add a colleague and send a message. – Join a group/post to a discussion/comment • Tell them how to share feedback. – Set up a feedback group for beta testers. • Prepare them for technical glitches. SENDING A BASIC INVITE TO YOUR BETA TESTERS ISN’T ENOUGH
    • 14. SOFT LAUNCH – STAFF DEFINITELY YES • Technical staff (working on the community) • Member-facing staff (e.g. volunteer liaisons, member services) • Reps from content-rich departments (e.g. pubs, education, conferences) • Reps from communications and marketing • A rep from executive leadership PROBABLY NOT • Not everyone (except in very small-staff associations.) • Not finance, or other staff with little-to-no member-facing responsibilities. • Not junior staff who have not been cleared to participate by their boss. • Not the entire executive team. (Wait till things are more polished.) WHICH STAFF SHOULD BE INVOLVED EARLY
    • 15. SOFT LAUNCH - STAFF • Have staff beta testers set up their profiles. • Create a private group to serve as the sandbox. • Be specific about what to test. • Use the group to share community-related information with staff. – Updates on technical progress – Launch plans – Staff policies, roles, responsibilities. • Tell them how to share feedback. • Prepare them for tech glitches. BUILD A SANDBOX AND USE IT.
    • 16. SOFT LAUNCH - STAFF 5 APPROACHES TO STAFF INTERACTION. 1. No staff posting. 2. All staff posting funneled through a single community manager. 3. Member-facing staff may post in pre-approved areas, about pre-approved topics. 4. Staff with technical knowledge may post as it relates to their pre-approved area of expertise. 5. All staff may post. Training on posting policies may be required first. FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN TRUST AND CONTROL
    • 17. What’s the tone of staff participation in your community like? Informal and chatty? “Helpdesk” only? Invisible, behind the scenes? CHAT IN:
    • 18. LAUNCHING AROUND A CONFERENCE I got it! Let’s launch at the Annual Meeting…right when everyone is their busiest and most distracted.
    • 19. PROS • High-touch face-to-face opportunity for training • Opportunities to integrate marketing • Signage and branding opportunities • Organic content and champion engagement around the conference CONS • Messages competing with other messaging around the event • Audience is (generally) limited to those attending • Glitches with mobile/tablet use of community or sketchy wifi on-site. • Staff is stretched to the max. LAUNCHING AROUND A CONFERENCE
    • 20. TIMING THE BIG LAUNCH ALTERNATIVE LAUNCH TIMING 1. AROUND YOUR MEMBER’S SCHEDULE For example, tax professionals might find a new community most useful in the quarter prior to tax season. 2. AROUND YOUR STAFF’S SCHEDULE Launch during a quieter period for staff, and let the community slowly build. CONFERENCES AREN’T THE ONLY OPTION!
    • 21. Spark engagement through content 3.
    • 22. NO ONE CARES • Have your own profile. • Add colleagues. • Post blogs/discussions/comme nts. • Access the resource library. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TOOLS. IT’S ABOUT WHAT MEMBERS CAN BUILD WITH THEM.
    • 23. EVERYONE CARES • Showcase your accomplishments. (profile) • Connect with people who are solving the same challenges you face. (Or connect with your next employer, if they’re in transition.) (Add colleagues) • Get specific advice from industry experts who can answer your questions. (post blogs/discussions/comments.) • Share your perspectives on the latest (standards/regulations/effective practices) that are impacting the way you do business. (access the resource library). MESSAGING SHOULD FOCUS ON WIIFM (WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME) Look what you can build!
    • 24. • Focus on easy tasks in the right order. • Initial tasks: login for the first time and create a profile. • Follow up tasks: join a group, connect with colleagues. – Even better: suggest which groups or colleagues! • Follow up tasks: Read and comment on a recent discussion. – Even better: suggest active discussions to comment on. WHEN IT COMES TO INVITATIONS, KEEP IT SIMPLE
    • 25. WHY ENGAGEMENT? • Support member retention? • Support commerce and revenue goals? • Recruit potential volunteer leaders and content creators? • Capture member knowledge? ENGAGEMENT IS A MEANS TO AN END. WHAT DO YOUR STAKEHOLDERS REALLY WANT?
    • 26. TYPES OF ENGAGEMENT Social Technographics Ladder (Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research, 2010.) ENGAGEMENT IS NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.
    • 27. TYPE WHAT TO MEASURE Creator Post blogs, discussions, documents Conver- sationalist Post discussions, comments; send messages Critic Comment, rate/review Collector Add contacts, bookmark Joiner Join groups Spectator Sign in regularly, spend time on the site Inactive Sign in rarely or never MEASURE DIFFERENT ENGAGEMENT TYPES
    • 28. Where are your members on the engagement ladder? CHAT IN:
    • 30. DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR COMMUNITY Build a team • SMEs (staff and members) • Group leaders • Marketing/communications • Education/conferences (staff and speakers) • Government relations • Owners and volunteers for other programs STOP DEVELOPING CONTENT—START DEVELOPING CONTENT CREATORS.
    • 31. DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR COMMUNITY Work with your team to constantly refine. • How might you present the content to generate an active discussion? • How might you build community activity around education content or a conference? • How might you help groups use the community to talk amongst themselves? • What’s coming up (not finished yet) that warrants asking the community a question? ACT AS ADVISOR, EDITOR, AND CURATOR
    • 32. CURATING CONTENT Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. (Beth Kanter, Content Curation Primer, Beth’s Blog |
    • 33. THREE UNIQUE WAYS COMMUNITY MANAGERS CURATE CURATING CONTENT 1. CURATE IN CONTEXT Enrich peer-to-peer discussions. 2. CURATE FOR GROUPS Target content to groups based on special interests. 3. CURATE FOR ENGAGEMENT Leave no question unanswered.
    • 34. Spark engagement by finding and rewarding your champions 4.
    • 35. • Volunteer leaders • Speakers • Writers • Industry influencers (consultants?) • Digital extroverts from other social spaces ENGAGING CHAMPIONS STARTS WITH KNOWING WHO THEY ARE
    • 37. THREE IDEAS FOR GETTING CHAMPIONS TO CONTRIBUTE WORKING WITH CHAMPIONS 1. Make them the leader of a group. 2. Reply to unanswered questions. – Send a link to the specific unanswered thread when you need their help. 3. Write about a hot topic. – Do an email “interview” then ask them to post their reply.
    • 38. – Game mechanics – Promote content from champions – Create a volunteer role for champions Find ways to reward champion involvement.
    • 39. How have you rewarded champions in your community? CHAT IN:
    • 40. And now, a reminder…
    • 41. • Public social media sites are important because that’s where your people already spend time. • A private community is never a replacement for public social media platforms and a strategy for using them. REMEMBER THIS: A COMMUNITY IS DEFINED BY PEOPLE, NOT PLATFORM. And…people win by a landslide!
    • 42. PROVIDE CLARITY FOR BOTH STAFF AND MEMBERS How is the private platform any different from what we’re already doing on LinkedIn?
    • 43. Maddie Grant, CAE Web Strategist at ICF Ironworks Blog: Private Community Management Program Sign up for the Wait List: