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 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: www.higherlogic.com/resources/learning-series.

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  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkerroll21/2685812748/
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkerroll21/2685812748/
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkerroll21/2685812748/
  • Photo credit: Orange and Green Sand Pails bydowning.amanda on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkerroll21/2685812748/
  • Higher Logic Learning Series - Start a Fire in Your Social Network (05-16-13)

    1. 1. Start a Fire in Your Social Network Maddie Grant, CAE
    2. 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 www.socialfish.org/certificate
    3. 3. Spark engagement through good planning 1.
    4. 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. 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. 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. 7. What’s the (“member need”) purpose of your community? CHAT IN:
    8. 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. 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. 10. Spark engagement during launch time 2.
    11. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 17. What’s the tone of staff participation in your community like? Informal and chatty? “Helpdesk” only? Invisible, behind the scenes? CHAT IN:
    18. 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. 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. 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. 21. Spark engagement through content 3.
    22. 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. 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. 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. 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. 26. TYPES OF ENGAGEMENT Social Technographics Ladder (Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research, 2010.) ENGAGEMENT IS NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.
    27. 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. 28. Where are your members on the engagement ladder? CHAT IN:
    29. 29. COMMUNITY CONTENT IS DIFFERENT STRIKE THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CONTENT AND MEMBER-GENERATED CONTENT TRADITIONAL MEMBER-GENERATED
    30. 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. 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. 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 | http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/)
    33. 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. 34. Spark engagement by finding and rewarding your champions 4.
    35. 35. • Volunteer leaders • Speakers • Writers • Industry influencers (consultants?) • Digital extroverts from other social spaces ENGAGING CHAMPIONS STARTS WITH KNOWING WHO THEY ARE
    36. 36. HAVE YOU ASKED YOUR CHAMPIONS FOR HELP TODAY? WORKING WITH CHAMPIONS 1. ASK DIRECTLY 2. BE SPECIFIC 3. SET A DEADLINE 4. FOLLOW UP
    37. 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. 38. – Game mechanics – Promote content from champions – Create a volunteer role for champions Find ways to reward champion involvement.
    39. 39. How have you rewarded champions in your community? CHAT IN:
    40. 40. And now, a reminder…
    41. 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. 42. PROVIDE CLARITY FOR BOTH STAFF AND MEMBERS How is the private platform any different from what we’re already doing on LinkedIn?
    43. 43. Maddie Grant, CAE Web Strategist at ICF Ironworks maddie.grant@icfi.com Blog: www.socialfish.org www.socialfish.org/certificate Private Community Management Program Sign up for the Wait List:

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