Creating a community around content


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Mithu Lucraft, PR Manager at SAGE, presented at the ALPSP one day conference 'Making Sense of Social Media'. The presentation looks at how to create a community around content

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  • Social networks for everything and everyone
  • Social networks within industry What all have in common is two-way engagement Community = two-way engagement For you: learn more about your stakeholders; for them: build awareness, trust, advocacy, potential conversion Presentation = low barrier entry into community
  • Easy entry via 3 rd party space Continuum of engagement: broadcast - Twitter: 175m – “2 nd largest search engine” – is it a network? Youtube: 2bn views daily Both above options you can only do one thing More functionality: FB: 700m users, LinkedIn: 100m
  • Content is where the user is already Benefit of using these as outposts even if your network is elsewhere
  • Restricts what functionality Can’t get the data Risky for long-term Who owns the content? How can you solve these issues? Build your own
  • Bespoke = £££, and lot
  • Cheap & cheerful route in Still some restriction but large range of options Ning- previously free, now low fee WP: free but more complex – benefit is greater flexibility on membership levels and functions
  • Do you really want to do this? As hard as launching a new publication
  • Questions to ask is who do you want to reach with this content and why? Where are they? Do you need to create a community? Or engage where it exists already?
  • Example: Education audience. If the audience you want are already elsewhere, why should they come to your new community? In some cases it’s better to engage in existing space
  • Create buzz (increase dialogue) Increase membership Retain membership Drive traffic to your business/brand Market specific event/resource
  • SAGE case study: Research methods: Cross-disciplinary, No geographical boundaries, No single space to get access to information across all types of research methods Research: we knew from and listserv activity that it would have a community
  • Proposal developed. Our objectives: Embed profile of SAGE as the leading methods publisher Data acquisition (new customers and authors) Increase book sales and journal usage Market research opportunities for creation of new online product SAGE Research Methods Online – promote the forthcoming online product
  • Think through user pathways – this will impact on your design and what information you provide, down to tagline Research: EJCPR community research: cardio community: ‘dating service’ to aid face to face networking, membership: peer recommendation Methodspace e.g. I am a researcher. I want to: Make connections with peers with the same interests as me Build a profile so others will know what I’m working on and what my interests are Discuss methodology issues with peers See what events in methods are coming up Share research I am working on, and link to research findings Upload presentations or other materials I have written/given
  • Clear calls to action Clear engagement cues
  • If you build it they will come? Needs to be something to engage with in the first place Should match user journeys
  • Six months talking to partner orgs, building lists of relevant content, buildling list of contributors Scheduling content for each week
  • Forrester Technographics ladder: not many people will be content creators – lot of ground work required
  • Resourcing: Methodspace – student leads; SSS-site editor; or community manager Front line for the community, Encourage participation, Control the editorial calendar, Engage in social listening, Organize in-person events
  • SPAM – why it’s a problem MUST engage and monitor: Spam Make time! Talk about monitoring and guidelines - Rules of engagement: how to participate
  • Facebook or the facebook of cupcakes: Passion for a subject and the ability to bring them together. Make goals realistic Size/Quality of environment – biggest measure of success is engagement, and community feedback. Measuring that: no. comments/posts, growth, member surveys, buzz volume (WOM): RTs etc: monitoring of the online space is important, industry recognition
  • Business buy-in New sites rolled out, others planned Industry feedback Member feedback Community growth
  • Be willing to re-set goals Purpose: create a focal point for the social science community online (Richard Horton at ALPSP 2010 conf on role of publishers in support of community) Measures of success: bring on board 100 world leading orgs in SS in 3 months (43), 5000 visits in first 6 months (33,000), buzz (350), 500 uploads in first 6 months (reached 300) Resourcing/effort: Editor, plus internal support for marketing/commissioning, rewards for contributors Outposts, marketing, multichannel comms Feedback Continuous development – e.g. member functionality
  • Best sites have simplest goals: clear goals will feed through to site design and functionality – e.g. doc2doc Targets – should be regularly updated Plan your content: the content won’t just happen Time: your time – lots of it to get it going, and time to grow – won’t happen overnight. Future?
  • Creating a community around content

    1. 1. Creating a community around content Mithu Lucraft, PR Manager, SAGE
    2. 2. Image source:
    3. 4. Joining existing communities
    4. 5. Existing communities – pro’s <ul><li>Quick and easy set up </li></ul><ul><li>Low/no cost </li></ul><ul><li>Low effort for users </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity for users </li></ul>
    5. 7. 3 rd party communities – con’s <ul><li>‘ Rented’: not your data </li></ul><ul><li>Inflexible </li></ul><ul><li>Be wary of the T&C’s! </li></ul>
    6. 8. Build your own social network <ul><li>Choose your functionality </li></ul><ul><li>No brand dilution </li></ul><ul><li>Member data </li></ul><ul><li>Content ownership </li></ul>
    7. 9. Bespoke <ul><li>Complete control! </li></ul><ul><li>£££££ </li></ul>
    8. 10. White label networks <ul><li>Cheaper option </li></ul><ul><li>Ning, wordpress, pluck, socialgo…etc… </li></ul>
    9. 12. Should you build a community at all? <ul><li>Who do you want to reach? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is everyone? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you really need to create a community? </li></ul>?
    10. 13. Should you build a community at all?
    11. 15. Step 1 – define objectives <ul><li>What do you want to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>What do your users want? </li></ul>
    12. 16. <ul><li>Site Visits (to May 08) – 5,302 (81% found MCUK via a search engine) </li></ul><ul><li>4.15 page views per visit </li></ul><ul><li>2 minutes per visit </li></ul><ul><li>Google Ad Words drove 42% of site traffic. </li></ul>
    13. 17. Our idea… Own the online space for research methods
    14. 19. Step 2 – define user stories
    15. 21. Step 3 – PLAN YOUR CONTENT!
    16. 23. 4 – Engage your members! Creators (24%) Conversationalists (33%) Critics (37%) Collectors (20%) Joiners (59%) Spectators (70%) Inactives (17%)
    17. 24. The community manager
    18. 26. Other tips for engagement <ul><li>Regular contact </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrade commentors </li></ul></ul>
    19. 27. Step 5 – cross channel marketing <ul><li>No silos – joined up marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Participation on other sites </li></ul><ul><li>Online/offline bridge </li></ul>
    20. 28. Measures of success?
    21. 31. Some closing tips… <ul><li>Keep your objectives clear & simple </li></ul><ul><li>Set targets, but keep realistic (and flexible) </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your content! </li></ul><ul><li>Give it time (lots) </li></ul><ul><li>Join up your marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Horizon scanning? </li></ul>
    22. 32. Thanks for your time @mithulucraft