Lithium Get Serious About Online Communities


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When it comes to online branded communities, who’s doing it right? Who are today’s biggest winners and losers? Which brands should your customer community strategy emulate and why?

In this deck, we'll unpack the State of Online Branded Communities 2012, ComBlu’s evaluation of over 92 brands and 200 communities. Learn who is providing the most meaningful member experiences, the most integrated brand strategy, and the best engagement practices.

We’ll take a close look at today’s best and worst performers across three pillars of engagement— feedback, advocacy and community—and give you real-world advice for:

1. using customer communities as trusted content hubs.
2. tapping brand advocates to spread influence.
3. measuring the ROI of community engagement.

Today’s consumers want social experiences from web-based communities where they can find more relevant information, easily interact with peers and learn from other firsthand accounts of brand experiences. Join us and learn how your brand can get serious about customer communities.

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Lithium Get Serious About Online Communities

  1. 1. Get SeriousAbout OnlineCommunitiesJune 25, 2013
  2. 2. today’s speakersKathy BaughmanPresident & Co-FounderComBlu@ComBluJoe CothrelChief Community OfficerLithium@cothrel@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  3. 3. @LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  4. 4. June 2013 @LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  5. 5. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.6Overall Report Stats• Looked at same industries as 2011study• Added a few new brandso United Healthcareo Ciscoo State Farm• Dropped a few this yearo Dreamworkso Sony Entertainmento Anthem BC/BS• Joined fewer communitieso More stringent criteriao Brands sunsetted properties1@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  6. 6. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.7Study “Aha’s”Overall Classification2• Social experimentation jumpedfrom 50 to 55%, whereas thecohesive strategy category droppedfrom 42 to 37%• Perennial top scorers dropped backin the packo Intel, American Express,Discovery• Natural part of maturation processo More community experienceand sophisticated analyticso Jettisoning things that don’twork; introducing a new era ofexperimentationo Expect to see growth spurt incohesive next yearSurge in Experimentation@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  7. 7. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.82012 Top PerformersInteresting Observations• 15 brands scored ≥ 50 points, up from12 in 2011o Six brands new to this category AT&T, IBM, Cisco, Kraft,Sprint, T-Mobile• Telecommunications = first industry forall brands to score ≥503@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  8. 8. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.9• An additional 15 brands scored≤ 50, but high enough to makehigh wattage category• Aetna was the most improvedwith a 30-point jump• Dropping out of high wattagecategory this yearo Appleo Disneyo Southwest Airlineso JetBlueo Ubisofto Best Buyo Bank of America2012 Bright Lights4@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  9. 9. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.10Study “Aha’s”• Big lack of community and socialassimilationo Brands equate community withFacebook presence; measuresuccess by # of fans or shares• “Likes” ≠ “relationship with customer”• Community = “go-to” destinationo Product info, knowledge, sharedinsights, mentorship, brandconnectiono Deeper discussions andinteractions• Optimize and leverage both for bestresultsCommunity vs. Facebook5@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  10. 10. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.11 6ENGAGEMENT: WHAT NOT TO DO@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  11. 11. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.12Worst Practices1 Moderating comments, stories andphotos before posting72 Asking for information at registration andpromising to drive pertinent content…butnever delivering on promise3Leaving up hopelessly outdated content,campaigns and conversations@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  12. 12. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.13Worst Practices45Displaying a “what’s new” banner andnever showing anything newAsking members to submit success storiesbut never disclosing selection or siteinclusion criteria8@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  13. 13. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.14DELIVER ON YOUR COMMUNITYMISSION9@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  14. 14. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.15Great Engagement TacticsUsed community and social to crowdsource a graphic novel thatbecame the basis for creative product launch.Roady Awards: Celebrates high-performing community membersthrough a peer-nominated awards program.Hackathon: Great integration of online and offline events andcommunity.Provides a virtual backstage pass to NBC shows and properties.Great multiscreen community experience.My Sleep Coach offers a six-week, community-based workshop tohelp improve sleep habits.10@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  15. 15. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.16MAKE YOUR COMMUNITY A TRUSTEDCONTENT AND ENGAGEMENT HUB11@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  16. 16. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.17Best Practice Adoption• No significant change in BestPractice adoption rates• Biggest Winners:o User reviews: 27% to 51%o Toolbars/custom widgets:10% to 26%• Community Manager reboundedslightly: 52% is highest level yet• Highest adoption: mission-appropriate engagement andnew/featured content• Biggest Losero Content aggregation: 78%down from 92%12@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  17. 17. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.18Best Practice Adoption: Support31% = Support communities vs. 33% last yearHigh adoption rate of Support Best Practices:• Content Tagging: organizes communitycontent by segment, problem, product orservice• Rewards and Recognition: reinforcescommunity experts and keeps engaged• Leaderboards: spotlights top performersand SMEs• Advocate Program: taps the passion ofknowledgeable customers and keepsengaged as mentors and SMEsFaceted search, featured content, forums andcontent rating were all ≥ 75% adoption ratesRest lagged with advocate programs only at47%15@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  18. 18. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.19AT&T Case Study16EasyNavigationQuick way to interactwith brandReturnMotivatorShows bestcommunitycontentMotivatesmore posts@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  19. 19. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.20Best Practice Adoption: Advocacy84% = Advocacy communities vs. 75% last yearBest Practices associated with brand advocacy:• Rich Media: captures attention and provides ashareable, snackable asset (78%)• Share Features: optimizes amplification (78%)• Social Networking: sparks group conversationsand segments by interests (51%)• Community Manager: builds affinity (47%)• Offline Engagement: integrates real world andvirtual experiences (32%)• Rewards and Recognition: builds continuousengagement and brand involvement (43%)• User Reviews: captures post-purchase VOC(54%)• Advocate or Expert Program: essential forspreading WOM (16%)17@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  20. 20. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.21Home Depot Case Study18Content customizationHome Depot advocacyexamplesLocalizedContent PersonalizesExpertiseQuicklyshows clubbenefitsHow-to contentdrives engagement@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  21. 21. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.22Best Practice Adoptionby Pillar: Feedback15% = Feedback communities vs. 20% last year• Provide insights, ideas and efficiencies inbringing products and services to market• Bring members a way to contribute and feeldeep kinship and brand affinity• SAP, Dell, Starbucks and Verizon all managehigh-performing feedback communitiesBest Practices most associated with Feedback:• Polling/feedback to gain consensus aroundnew ideas• Content rating/ranking to facilitatecrowdsourcing• Forums to facilitate further, deeperdiscussion• Leaderboards to recognize top contributorsand promote top ideas• Personal dashboard to track ideas that arecontributed or added13@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  22. 22. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.23EA Case Study14Content customizationMembers can engage with multiplesocial channels inside the communityAllows community toquickly scan new ideasShows movement@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  23. 23. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.24COMMUNITY EXPANDS ACROSS AROBUST ECOSYSTEM19@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  24. 24. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.25Social Media IntegrationDrop in percentage of communities tightlyintegrated with social.Some great examples of a more sophisticatedmodel:Crowdsourcing engagementactivities using both communityand FacebookFeatures a customer care tab onFacebook that integrates withonline support communityFeature Twitter feeds in supportcommunities and invite membersto respondDeveloped sophisticated Facebookhome page which links to productpages and CRM initiatives20@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  25. 25. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.26Social Media Integration21Sprint FacebookCommunity PageLil Wayne Campaign –social crowdsourcedcommercialCoca-Cola FacebookCommunity Page
  26. 26. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.27Mobile is missing in action• Six of the 15 industries scored have NO mobile apps• Health insurance is the only industry at 50% adoptionrateSome great examples include:Access meal plans built in online community;track progress; access shopping listsAccess saved recipes; search for recipesbased on ingredients; get coupons at POSOffers Journey for Control app for managingdiabetes; integrates with online communityOffers Lipitor app that integrates with onlinecommunity contentIntegrates desktop-to-pad-to-mobileexperience with its Shop Your Waycommunity. Access product reviews; earnand redeem points; download coupons andpromotional codesMobile Integration with Community22@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  27. 27. © COPYRIGHT 2013, COMBLU, Inc.28 23Access meal plan anytimevia My Special K AppAccess Shop Your Wayat home or on the goAbility to manage hearthealth via Lipitor appMobile Integration with Community@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial
  28. 28. questions?Kathy BaughmanPresident & Co-FounderComBlu@ComBluJoe CothrelChief Community OfficerLithium@cothrel@LithiumTech @ComBlu #seriousaboutsocial