Social media are now a major component of customer care, driving revenue, and brand initiatives for enterprise
Professionals understand and use the core skills needed to be successful in person – being relevent, content rich and engaged with the subject matter are critical success factors for most professional roles. The same behaviors that create success in the face-to-face world are similar to those needed online. Reaching out to new people, establishing trust, offering to help others are key behaviors online and offline. But online social media are a new game, with a few new rules. Becoming an effective online professional requires adapting to new ways of engaging and thinking about your interactions, and adopting a new kind of transparency. Connecting, contributing and participating are critical success factors. To make a difference and advance your online community for business benefit, you must become an active participant.
Here you can see a point comparison of the b2c vs b2b community outcomes. The audience size tends to be much larger with B2C community. Also with B2C community, the mission of the community tends to be vague and is largely driven by the user interests. On Oprah.com the community focuses on the topic of being all you can be and this can mean so many different things. Techtarget is a resource for IT decision makers which is certainly pretty broad. The users drive the focus of the community because they choose and direct the conversation and discussions and business follows the interests. Because scale is the key to financial success, it is better to be all things to all people. With B2B community, however, the members share a purpose for being a member and the mission of the community is often very well defined. Jigsaw.com is about getting sales contacts and improving sales process; Inmobile is for executives in wireless to explore trends and issues in the fast moving wireless space, sermo is for accredited doctors to share medical case history. Because of the focused nature of B2B community, they typically need to be high touch. In fact, as the goal of a B2b community is often to get closer to clients and prospects, higher touch and deeper collaboration with clients is the ideal state and outcome for the community! In contract is the B2C model where the goal is to minimize customer care efforts in order to scale more effectively. It is basically the self serve model – the more people a company can get to use the support forums for example, the lower the call center costs.
The B2C community is defined by size and scale of audience whereas the B2B community is defined by audience segmentation. This is one of the larger differences that directly impacts many of the decisions make about the community throughout its strategy and operations plans. Defining who you want in the community and the value the audience segment can bring is key to its success. For example, if you are an association – which often have great success with b2b communities for many reasons, the audience segmentation probably seems pretty clear – members of the association are the members of the community. Perhaps, however, you many want to extend membership to include thought leaders or visionaries? How about students? Now the waters are getting muddier! There is no right or wrong answer to defining the best audience target for the B2B community but it is important to have a plan for the audience composition and be able to justify the value each audience segmentation can bring to the table. Also, it is important for private communities especially inn the B2B space to be able to articulate the membership strategy both internally and externally. The audience acquisition model of B2c and b2b communities are also fundamentally different – advertising, and seo drives member acquisition for b2c community where word of mouth and direct invitations drive B2B community audience adoption because membership is often vetted or based on selection criteria for B2B communities. The longtail is a concept that had direct impact on the seo strategy and can often prove to be quite valuable in terms of delivering an audience. The book is great and definitely a must read by anyone exploring or experimenting with social media. Because B2B communities rely heavily upon the consolidation of a likeminded, segmented audience, one of the critical success factors is creating a well rounded understanding of who you want to attract or invite to your community, what their constituency profile is like and what key business issues keep them up at night. If you endeavor successfully to make their professional pain go away around a particular business topic or business process, word will spread about the value of the network and you will strike the right tone and provide value. Often times with B2C communities, traditional marketing conversion ratios apply. What works with direct mail will typically work with member acquisition for the network or community. Direct advertising, list rentals, blogger engagement are all effective strategies for audience efforts. One of the best practices found in B2b communities is a well crafted invitational experience where a audience segmentation is identified for the community or professional network and then reached out to by the company or sponsoring organization in a personalized way. Viral marketing also plays a large role in member acquisition strategies because trust is a driving factor in user adoption. And member retention strategies differ as well – B2C communities retention is often driven by volume and diversity of content and conversations. Again with the be all things to all people approach where as the B2B retention is based upon creating and sustaining relationships of value to the members. The bar is high and need to evolve and deepen over time.
There are significant design difference between B2B and B2C community. Fundamentally B2B community design needs to be simpler and much more intuitive than B2C communities. While B2B community members are just as astute typically as consumers, the context for their community use is different and those differences need to be reflected in the look and usability of the site. A B2B user generally visits a community as an extension of his or her professional learning. He may be seeking to solve a real and urgent business problem or may be looking to connect and engage with a peer in a working group style. All these use cases are driven by the need to make a business point of pain go away. Their reason for visiting the community is to interact and learn and not likely to browse and explore. Therefore the design need to make it easy for the member to find what or who they are looking for without a great deal of distraction or superhero technical know-how to achieve their goals. If a professional can’t use the community while having the phone ring and conducting a conversation in his office it is too difficult. With B2C communities, the goal is to attract many different and diverse users, and there is a need to showcase many different kinds of content, topics, and interactions with the hopes that something will pull in the user more deeply. Because there is no registration information about the users, the community production team can not make as many assumptions about what the users many be looking for from a demographic perspective. While there are many new tools available to data mining and site log analysis for B2C communities, there is still nothing more powerful than knowing your member’s name is Joe, he is the CIO of a retail company in the DC area and has bought the following products from your company as is the case with B2B community.
There are also a number of information or content differences between B2C and B2C community. I often say that people come for Content and stay for Community and this is definitely true. While it may seem counter-intuitive, B2B communities require less information to be displayed on the site. Yes – Less information and also what information is featured must be of higher quality or value than that which could be gotten elsewhere. The great analogy I like to use is the Neiman Marcus model.. That great store offers a high touch valuable experience. I enjoy shopping there because they have done a great deal of the work for me. They don’t give me 500 styles of gloves or shoes to choose from all piled up in a bin like that of the famous Filenes Basement. Instead, they have pre-selected a set number of items to choose from – each one beautiful and unique in some way. I cant go wrong with how I spend my time or money. Effective B2B communities need to serve as the concierge of interactions and information for the members. Each piece of content or interaction needs to be present for a reason. Even User Generated Content is well served by putting it through a voluntary editing process to help the members writing be as powerful as possible. Again with the high touch model of supporting members and helping them succeed! We often recommend that a B2B community plan out an topically driven editorial calendar which could drive about 40% of each month’s content and conversation leaving the rest to natural selection. This creates an effective framework for driving a business purpose and exploring a business topic on the community is a thoughtful and engaging way. (next slide)
Overview: INMobile.org is the most influential community of wireless executives worldwide. Business Case: The founding organization is a leading executive recruitment firm in the wireless space. They wanted to extend their relationships with key executives, create IP and be thought leaders via a revenue generating community. Results: A vibrant, powerful online community and professional marketplace featuring active forums, UGC, focused research groups, and events. Featured in Business Week and the Wall Street Journal and one of the top elite networks.
Mis-aligning business goals and user needs; mis-matching features & functions Picking the right interactive model The who dictates the how and why
Transition to review strawmodel
Not integrating the community into broader organizational operations Leverage what you learn across sales, marketing and practice leads
Enterprise Communities: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Enterprise Communities: Best Practices and Lessons Learned Vanessa DiMauro CEO, Leader Networks & SNCR Fellow @vdimauro NewComm Forum April, 2009
Guiding Factors for Enterprise Communities <ul><li>Integrating interactivity into the enterprise business model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies need to think more about ways to bring online participation into their business models in ways that serve the business and the customer goals alike. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People’s expectations are changing.. They no longer want to be passive recipients of information and experiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The human process & trust factor </li></ul><ul><li> – what works in the face world will work in an online environment – but broken process in real life can’t be fixed by putting a tool atop. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need clear definition about what are the behaviors the business wants to support before launching a tool to support it. </li></ul></ul>
The Palladium Group Execution Premium Community Welcome to the XPC Conference attendees continue the discussion and networking on XPC. [read more] The Premier Community for Practitioners Seeking to Achieve an Execution Premium . Takehiko Nagumo Senior Vice President, Union Bank of California Patricia Bush Welcome to the XPC Mohammed Al Dhaheri Etihad Airways MaryCarrera State Street Bank Jim Rodgers Boeing Ralph Simon Vivendi Before taking this position, he was VP of Corporate Planning Division in NY both at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ . Takehiko has successfully implemented the BSC twice… Lucia Fortini Frank Del Rio Lessons in how to manage through today’s downturn from companies that made it through the last one. [read more] In Association With:
Enterprise Community is NOT Marketing <ul><li>Community members provide valuable information, content & feedback to marketing/membership. </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing/membership provides value added services and products to members in exchange for interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies and sells the community to prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Hands the new members over to the Community team </li></ul>Hand Over <ul><li>Manage the member lifecycle </li></ul><ul><li>Create value for members </li></ul><ul><li>Establish trust </li></ul><ul><li>Create Leaders and “Most Valued </li></ul><ul><li>Members” </li></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities for Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>to interact with the membership </li></ul>Community Team Marketing & Membership