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Build an Online Community with Principles from LEGO

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Like most kids, Deirdre Walsh, Jive's Director of Social and Community Marketing, loved LEGO. She would spend hours building everything from a space shuttle to a house for my chihuahua (true story). …

Like most kids, Deirdre Walsh, Jive's Director of Social and Community Marketing, loved LEGO. She would spend hours building everything from a space shuttle to a house for my chihuahua (true story).

As an adult, building a community has that same sense of "everything is awesome" for her.

Here are the 7 lessons learned from LEGO about how-to build a successful online community.

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  • 1. By: Deirdre Walsh 2014 How to Build Your Online Community with Lessons from LEGO
  • 2. Like most kids, I loved LEGO. I would spend hours building everything from a space shuttle to a house for my chihuahua (true story). As an adult, building a community has that same sense of "everything is awesome." (Sorry...is that song now stuck in your head?!?) Here are the 7 principles LEGO taught me about building successful online communities.
  • 3. Accessible • You can find LEGO building blocks anywhere (especially stuffed between the couch cushions at my cousin's house). • Social business needs to be the same. A strong enterprise community should span internally and externally, across departments, geographies, and devices.
  • 4. Usable • Unlike Ikea furniture, anybody can pick up a few LEGO blocks, stick them together, and build something amazing. • A good community should make it easy for members to go from a newbie to expert in record time, with engaging tutorials and introductory tours.
  • 5. Fun • LEGO allows people spend hours being creative. • Enterprise communities should engage users. • With recent improvements in areas like gamficiation, this becomes a lot easier.
  • 6. Beneficial • LEGOs are more than just an entertaining toy. By playing with LEGOs, kids learn things like simple mechanics. • The same should ring true for your community - members should learn through building and sharing.
  • 7. Next Generational • LEGO has evolved its product offerings. In a previous role, I got to help launch the LEGO Mindstorms NXT. This flavor of LEGO allows you to build and program robots - a far advancement from the standard building blocks. • A good community will also adopt next-generation technologies.
  • 8. Versatile • With a single set of LEGOs you can make several different creations. One day, you'll build Hogwarts for Harry Potter and the next you’ll be in space. • Building a community is similar. With an investment in one strong platform, you can build a variety of vibrant communities for areas like customer support, sales and marketing, and communications. • Of course, my favorite platform is Jive (disclaimer: I’m a customer-turned-employee.)
  • 9. People-Powered • Every box of LEGOs comes with one of those cool plastic people. • Like those guys, it's key to have a community manager who can serve as the front- man. • Jeremiah Owyang studied community manager job descriptions and found four key elements: • community advocacy • brand evangelism • savvy communication skills • liaising between internal decision makers and community members.
  • 10. Summary: While building a community might not feel like child's play, it is fun and rewarding! Now, if I can only get my hair to stay as perfect as the LEGO girl's....
  • 11. Stay Connected Deirdre Walsh linkedin.com/in/deirdrewalsh Jive Software jivesoftware.com