10 years in the trenches- Best Practices for Your B2B Community

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Our presentation from Ragan Communications conference "B2B Social Media for Communicators" on maximizing the results from your B2B online community.

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  • Discuss timing of movements from low to middle to high maturity. Multiple variables play a role in this including outreach, content rotation, sponsoring company involvement, user interface, platforms chosen, moderation techniques, etc.
  • 10 years in the trenches- Best Practices for Your B2B Community

    1. 1. Ten Years in the Trenches: Best Practices for Your B2B Community<br />Mike Rowland, President<br />May 4, 2011<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    2. 2. Our Experience<br />Our Clients include:<br />Other organizations we’ve helped while at Participate.com:<br />2<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />Global Experience: Where We’ve Launched Projects<br />
    3. 3. You’ve Come a Long Way Baby…<br />3<br />2000<br />2011<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    4. 4. The Evolution of Community Value<br />“We have seen an overall lower churn rate among our customers, which really points to the power of community to enhance customer loyalty and retain customers.” – Ed Plaskon, ATT 2002<br />“We realized an ROI of over 100% from our online community.” – Helen Lechner, Cisco 2002<br />“It’s a cost avoidance argument. The savings total is in the low six figures every quarter, and over $1,000,000 in the past two years. Support site visitors have more than tripled while calls to support engineers have actually declined.” – Patrick Saeger, Mercury 2003<br />4<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    5. 5. Today, Value is Beyond Support Cases<br />From our recent Value Analysis with NetApp:<br />Active members using our community to interact and engage with us controlled hundreds of millions of dollars in sales revenue over a 6 month period<br />Active partners of NetApp engaging in the community delivered over half a billion dollars in partner owned sales revenue over the same time period<br />So, how do you achieve this type of success with your community?<br />It’s in the details…<br />5<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    6. 6. Our Agenda<br />6<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    7. 7. Who “Owns” Community?<br />Big Question in communities about communities and LinkedIn groups is:<br />“What group controls communities in an organization?”<br />Answer:Whoever controls the content for the community’s members should control the community.<br />7<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    8. 8. Focus on Goals First…<br />What will audience gain from a business perspective by joining and participating in your community?<br />What will your company gain by offering the community from a business perspective?<br />Sample Goals:<br />Support: Deliver cost effective support solutions to our customers within one business day of engagement<br />Marketing: Provide 24/7 interactive access to product/services information to help generate/nurture contacts/leads<br />Developer: Build strong external team of members who utilize our code and expertise to extend our product base for their organizations<br />8<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    9. 9. Then Develop Key Performance Indicators<br />Conversion<br />Percent of New Registered Members / First Time Visitors<br />Engagement<br />Percent of Active Members / Total Unique Visitors<br />Percent of Total Downloads/ Total Registered Members <br />Value<br />Number of discussions rated answered by initial member <br />Number of customer organizations represented by community registration data<br />Number of contact us submissions from community members<br />9<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    10. 10. Organizational Structure Directly Impacts Success or Failure <br />10<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    11. 11. Organizational Structure<br />The single most important team member for your success is an Executive Sponsor who understands the power of communities<br />Obtains/defends budget<br />High level evangelization<br />Executive voice of the community (blog, welcome message, etc.)<br />Organization follows the goals you are trying to achieve but requires a few roles to succeed…<br />11<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    12. 12. The Executive Sponsor<br />12<br />Our Community will deliver unique opportunities for our members that reward our company.<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    13. 13. The Content Manager<br />13<br />Content is King. Exclusive, targeted content helps communities to grow.<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    14. 14. The Community Manager<br />14<br />We must gain internal resources to build our results.<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    15. 15. The Analyst<br />15<br />We must look beyond basic traffic metrics to uncover value!<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    16. 16. The Technology Manager<br />16<br />99.9% uptime folks. That’s what I’m talking about.<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    17. 17. The Facilitator<br />17<br />Pictures courtesy of AMCTV.com (http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cast/ )<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    18. 18. Efficiency is the Result of Process Planning<br />18<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    19. 19. Our Agenda<br />19<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    20. 20. Our Agenda<br />20<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    21. 21. So, You Have Your Goals, KPIs, and Team. Now What?<br />Build Your Tactics!<br />21<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    22. 22. Tactical Approach to Deliver Strategic Results<br />Your tactics should deliver the metrics you need to measure and achieve your KPIs<br />Tactics include:<br />Content focus and placement (type of content, feature to use)<br />Content delivery (video, blog, whitepaper, seed posts, etc.)<br />Events (online and offline)<br />Online/Digital Marketing (Promotion)<br />Outreach (MORE PROMOTION!)<br />Yes, this includes social media, email, newsletters, etc.<br />Member recognition (external and internal)<br />22<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    23. 23. Technology Comes Second to Audience Needs<br />23<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    24. 24. Internal Selling – A Critical Component of Adoption<br />24<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    25. 25. 3 C’s - CONTENT<br />25<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    26. 26. Outreach is Crucial to Success (And Never Stops)<br />26<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    27. 27. The Role of Rewards and Incentives<br />27<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    28. 28. Membership Recognition Programs<br />Recognition is one of the most powerful tools in a community, yet it is often overlooked<br />Don’t rely on out of the box features like stars ratings to recognize your top members  Community is about relationships, so build them with your members through contact not technology<br />Featured members provide visual incentive to newer members to contribute while rewarding your faithful or stronger members<br />Early on, at Cisco’s NetPro community we interviewed our top members then posted their responses as blogs in the community<br />Now, you can do so much more<br />Longer term, beware point systems as they provide a disincentive for newer members to contribute<br />How does a new member ever catch up to a member with six years of points? <br />Instead remove the friction by creating a Hall of Fame or MVP program which de-emphasizes points and rewards the strength of the information provided by members<br />28<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    29. 29. Using Social Media To Increase Your Results<br />29<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    30. 30. Members as Moderators<br />30<br />* Actual content reported on a unique basis meaning that the same post reported ten times counts as a single reported instance<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    31. 31. Our Agenda<br />31<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    32. 32. Simplify Your Measurement Categories<br />This is your base line information (counts)<br />Traffic – How many?<br />Visitors, Visits, Page views, Referrers, Posts, Uploads, etc.<br />Behavior – What did they do? Who are they?<br />Page views/Visit, Posts/Visitor, New Registrations/First Time Visitors, Repeat Visitors, Subscriptions, % Customers, etc. <br />Value – What did we gain by using this?<br />Revenue, Leads, Lower Support Costs, Brand Awareness, Purchase Influence, Insight<br />This is what Day to Day Management should focus upon<br />This is what Sr. Management cares about<br />Traffic & Behavior DO NOT EQUAL VALUE (but they do help drive it)<br />32<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    33. 33. Community Life Cycle Determines Where to Focus Measurement<br />Low Maturity<br />Middle Maturity<br />High Maturity<br /><ul><li>Member to member interactions are slow to take place
    34. 34. Over-reliance on host company personnel to answer questions, create Tweets, etc. Minimal blog comments or ratings on content
    35. 35. Member to member interactions are inconsistent
    36. 36. Host company SMEs play role, but external SMEs role is growing. Content being Tweeted and used in 3rd party blogs, comments are sporadic on blogs.
    37. 37. Member to member interactions are the majority rather than minority
    38. 38. External SMEs help drive future enhancements to community (ready for major recognition program)</li></ul>It is not traffic that determines the maturity of an offering, but the behavior of members interacting with each other<br />33<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    39. 39. Traffic Metrics<br />For a new B2B Community project the initial reporting should focus on traffic – Unique Metrics are best!<br />Traffic metrics are the main focus until the visitors begin to interact more fully with your offering, meaning multiple members adding content and interacting with each other (maturity of audience starts to improve)<br />Key metrics to follow:<br />Visits, Visitors, Page Views, Registrations, Referring Sites, Geographic Location of Visits, Top Pages, Top Entry Pages, Top Exit Pages, # of Followers/Friends<br />What traffic tells you:<br />How effective your outreach and third party social media efforts are in driving visits to your main site<br />How effective your content is in meeting member needs<br />What content is popular with visitors and what is not<br />34<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    40. 40. Behavior Metrics<br />Behavior reports on what visitors do once you get them to your site – Looking for more maturity from your audience in terms of how they use your offering<br />Key metrics to measure are in ratios, not simple counts<br />Page views per visit, Page views per visitor, new registrations per total visitors, new content added per visitor, repeat visitors, new discussions, posts, rate of reply, retweets, Mentions (+/-), Comments added per entry, etc.<br />Behavior metrics tell you:<br />How effective your offering is in converting visitors to registered members (conversion)<br />How interesting is your content (consumption)<br />Are members building your site into their routine (engagement)<br />How healthy is your community (engagement)<br />35<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    41. 41. Value Metrics<br />Value equals economic value in terms that make sense for the business<br />Value is extremely difficult to measure until your members start interacting with each other and the site on a regular basis<br />Analysis is difficult if you base it on community/site metrics alone – Be Creative and Build Relationships!<br />The best value analysis comes from comparing community and social media member behaviors against CRM data <br />Examples of Value Metrics<br />Purchase frequency of active member vs average customer<br />Purchase amount of active member vs average customer<br />Cost of lead generated through social media vs traditional direct mail or tele-marketing efforts<br />36<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    42. 42.
    43. 43. Our Agenda<br />38<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    44. 44. Our Agenda<br />39<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />
    45. 45. Questions for Our Panel<br />40<br />Mike Rowland<br />Navneet Grewal<br />Robert Dell'Immagine<br />Laura Douglas<br />©2011 JTS Online Holdings Inc. dba Impact Interactions. All Rights Reserved.<br />

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