Driving Online Community Adoption

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This How-To Guide will provide tips to help you develop an audience, increase usage and craft an action plan with tactics to help you drive adoption for your online community. Learn more @ http://www.demandmetric.com/content/driving-online-community-adoption

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Driving Online Community Adoption

  1. 1. How-To GuideOnline Community AdoptionExecutive SummaryCreating and maintaining an online presence has become a priority for marketers. Today,many businesses are turning to online communities as a way to connect with ideal users oftheir product or service.An online community develops from identifying common interests your audience sharesabout your company, product or service. You can analyze the information you gather fromyour community and use it to inform the business and help make strategic productdecisions. Regardless of how social media evolves, online community management cancontinue to deliver valuable customer interaction experiences for your brand. As manymarketers seek to create online communities and drive participation in them, the initialchallenge is finding the right people to join and promote your online community.This How-To Guide will provide tips to help you develop an audience, increase usage andcraft an action plan with tactics to help you drive adoption for your online community.1 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. How-To GuideDeveloping an Audience  Be Unique o Prospective members need to see how your community can provide more value than another established community. o Provide compelling and original content that members can send around the web to create interest in what your community can provide. o Find something that no one else is doing.  Be Yourself o Ensure that the strategy for managing your online community accurately reflects your message, purpose and its identity. o Stay true to your brand, so you can increase your brand awareness through your online community.  Be Dynamic o Promote your strategy through every channel at your disposal in order to reinforce your position and key messages. o Use a blend of social networks, e-mail lists and press releases to keep your communications mix dynamic.2 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. How-To Guide  Superfans o Superfans have a strong passion for your product. Make sure you know who they are and reach out to them regularly through your online community. o If you provide encouragement, they will spend a lot of time talking about their experiences with your product or service and promoting it to others. o Superfans can act like greeters when new members arrive to your community and can help you guide new members through.Two Ways to Increase Community UsageContent  An important way to increase the usage of an online community is through the content that you share. It is through your content that you keep customers engaged. You can use various types of content to attract members. Examples are blog posts, webinars, guides, e-books, white papers, discussions, podcasts, videos, surveys and polls.  Encourage members to add comments so you can continue to provide the most effective, relevant content to meet members’ needs. The more interactive and creative you are with the content you share, the better you can engage your members. Increase the new member conversion rate by highlighting useful content in your community and encourage members to share it.3 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. How-To GuideEngagement  Online communities provide more opportunities to engage members than other social media networks like Facebook or Twitter. These communities create opportunities to involve members in a two-way conversation. Having your members engaged helps drive your business goals. However, just because people are participating frequently in your community doesn’t necessarily mean that you have high engagement rates. Members must have an emotional connection or attachment to something you are providing, giving them a sense of ownership. Build the ideal level of member engagement through interactive content and positive reinforcement.Action Plan: Tactics to Drive Adoption 1. Registration  Make the registration process is as easy as possible. Don’t discourage potential new members with a registration process that makes them jump through too many hoops to join.  Make newcomers feel special and create a place in the community for new users. Provide some content specifically to help newcomers understand more about the community they just joined. 2. Recruitment  Spread the word to as many friends and colleagues as you can. Ask them to make posts and respond to them right away. This tactic will encourage conversation immediately.4 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. How-To Guide  Go beyond the website; target people for inclusion in your community through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Introduce a community hashtag and encourage its use. 3. Follow-Through  Guide new members through the process of joining your online community.  Nurture them by sending messages, asking if they have any questions or feedback. Helping new members will make them feel engaged right away. 4. Delegation  When your community starts to grow, it may take more than one person to manage it effectively. Staff at the proper level to ensure the success of the community.  Delegate tasks to ensure everything gets completed and all questions are answered promptly. 5. Keep in Touch  Keep in touch with regular users.  Read every comment posted in your community and respond in a timely manner.  Open communication will kick-start the nurturing process and keep the engagement level high. 6. Gamify  Gamification is a process where users are rewarded for being an active member in the community.  Providing rewards and positive reinforcement for those who actively participate builds loyalty.5 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. How-To Guide  Different types of gamification include giving out rewards, badges or points. Consider using a leaderboard to encourage participation. 7. Freebees  Write a free report or white paper that new members can download.  Send out a free invite with every purchase to create a referral system.  Allow members to send out one free invite per month to use.  These freebees will help attract new members and encourage existing members to invite others.Bottom LineTo drive adoption for your online community, it is important to have valuable andinteractive content, engaged members and compelling conversations. If you can providesomething valuable to a member whether it is through content, positive reinforcement orgamification, you can attract new members. Following these steps and keeping it fun willhelp drive new member growth and help retain existing members of your onlinecommunity.6 © 2012 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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