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ONLINE COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
by
Siddharth Bhatnagar
i
CONTENTS
Particulars Page No.
Acknowledgement i
Chapter-1: Introduction 1
Chapter-2: Online Community Management 2
Chapter-3: Strategies for Community Management 6
Chapter-4: Advantages and Challenges 8
Chapter-5: Case Study: EA Sports and Community Management 10
Chapter-6: Conclusion 13
References
1
Chapter 1
Introduction
In this day and age, individuals want to connect with each other be it through experiences or
relationships. It is important to build that culture amongst them, the tribe, the fans and that is
key to the success of any brand. Community management is about creating that intimate
experience that connects them to the brand. Finding or starting conversations and growing the
community is a must for lasting businesses, and increases in importance and impact as the
business grows.
Community management presents the brand to the world as a likeable, knowledgeable
personality that others can't help but want to engage with and it surfaces opportunities to fuel
positive discussions about and around the products. Investing in a strong community will
build a loyal fan base that will advocate on behalf of the brand and even come to the rescue
when there’s a need.
Community management has some important elements such as: monitoring, engaging,
moderating and measuring which are described to the details in following parts of the report.
There are some important strategies that a brand needs to adapt in order to perform well in
the online sphere, the importance, significance and the implementation of these strategies can
proves to be very useful for any brand.
Community Management is surely the need of the hour for the organizations who want to
create a new horizon of customer experience and that too virtually and has many advantages
which directly and indirectly affects the concerned organization but there are many
challenges that the organizations can encounter during the implementation of the strategies.
In order to make the concept rigid, a case study on the implementation of Online Community
Management by the gaming giant EA Sports is also analysed very briefly but efficiently. The
challenges, goals, outcomes and takeaways of the case study are put up in a very lucid way.
2
Chapter 2
Online Community Management
‘Community’ might suggest a single location, but in reality the community is spread out all
over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest,
LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, forums, and even the comment sections of articles.
The community consists of the current customers, target audiences, and all the people who
interact with a brand directly and indirectly online.
Community Management brings the brand to life online—like it's a real person with a real
personality behind real interactions.
Brands that don’t have a community management plan miss out on opportunities to:
 Manage customer complaints.
 Turn customers into loyal fans.
 Win over influencers and prospective customers.
 Network with other brands and partner with them.
 Get valuable, raw product feedback.
It’s important to understand the difference between community management and social
media marketing because they each have their own priorities.
Social Media Marketing is the production and distribution of social content to reach new
customers and communicate with the current ones. It is focused on things like reach,
engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to a site.
Community Management is what happens after and beyond the social media publishing. Its
part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being active in discussions that
relate to a brand.
Where social media marketing broadcasts a message from one-to-many, community
management often starts on a smaller, more intimate scale. But it can build a brand's presence
in places both on and outside the social media pages.
3
If there’s a thinking that community management won't have a big impact because it’s
limited to small-scale interactions, that's not the case.
Customer complaints on social media have actually increased by 8 times from 2014. A single
angry customer has a voice that carries to others whether it’s through word-of-mouth, sharing
screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave behind online.
But the same goes for the happy customers, and community management helps to create
more of those.
Community management can be broken down into 4 parts:
 Monitoring: Listening in on and tracking conversations that relate to a brand.
 Engaging: Keeping conversations alive and proactively engaging with customers,
prospects, and influencers.
 Moderating: Weeding out comments and conversations that don’t add value, and
troubleshooting customer complaints.
 Measuring: Analysing how the brand is perceived and getting real, unfiltered
feedback.
Monitoring: Always Be Listening
Community management wouldn't be possible without an ongoing social listening effort:
monitoring the internet for conversations that matter to a brand.
Every once in a while, there could be opportunities as small as turning a customer's complaint
into a public complement or as big as starting a viral hashtag.
Not all relevant mentions will tag the brand directly on social media. Sometimes customers
will mention it in other ways (misspellings, by product, etc.) or in places like blog comments
or forums that aren't as easy to find.
Engaging: Spark and Spur Conversations
Every comment made online leaves a digital footprint. The more positive comments the
community generate, the stronger the brand. That's why it's important to not just start these
4
conversations but keep them alive, especially since many social media algorithms use
engagement signals like comments to determine what to show in our news feeds.
It might be tempting to automate the engagement on social networks with a bot that likes and
comments on behalf, but it'll get to a point where it starts to do more harm than good for the
brand. In today's internet that's just saturated with automation, there’s a need to prove that
there's a thinking and feeling human behind a brand to actually connect with customers.
Monitor the social channels daily and find opportunities to address complaints, thank happy
customers, and talk to people who might like the products. Be human. Avoid copying and
pasting responses all the time, and allow conversations to happen organically.
If the channel gives an access to a large audience or speaking to someone with a sizeable
following, it might even be worth it to go the extra mile.
Be proactive about engaging with the community, not just reactive. Incorporate community
engagement posts into the social media publishing—content, contests, challenges, or
questions that encourage people to leave comments.
Moderating: Protect the Reputation
Another important function of community management is managing the reputation online.
This involves keeping the social profiles clean from spam and ensuring that any negative
feedback is addressed.
To start with, hide spam that detracts from the quality of the comment section. Avoid hiding
or deleting sensitive comments because that could be misinterpreted as censorship or
deception, and cause a much bigger problem for how the brand is perceived.
Customer complaints are almost unavoidable, and people tend to vent their frustrations
online, which can be both good and bad for brands.
If it's a common question that can be quickly address, keep the answer public so others with
similar concerns can see it but if the complaint is personal or the following conversation is
complicated, take it over to a private chat, but try to keep it to the same channel.
5
For example, if the complaint is aired on Facebook, take it to Facebook Messenger. If it's on
Twitter, invite the person to direct message with details. What some brands will do is ask to
email them or call support when the complaint was aired on social media. This just makes it
even more frustrating for an already-unhappy customer.
Measuring: Get Feedback from the Community
Through all the actions that are covered so far, there can be sense of how the community
perceives a brand, where brands can improve, and even products.
Conversations can happen anywhere online, companies need to figure out which channels the
community is the most active on and where it is most likely to satisfy the main objectives,
whether it's to build brand awareness, drive traffic, or maintain the reputation. Those are the
channels that should be prioritized.
Sentiment analysis can also be conducted to see how people generally feel about the brand.
Importance of Community Management
Adding the marketing component (e.g. through the use of social media) to the community
management efforts is nowadays becoming a popular strategy in organizations because
having a larger and engaged audience is the key to making their marketing efforts successful.
Community management, however, is beneficial even without such marketing component:
 Retention of existing customers: Community management plays a significant role in
the retention of existing customers who then likely to be involved in repeated brand
interactions.
 Attracting new customers: One of the major characteristics of communities is that it
helps information flow fast. Therefore, effective community management can help in
cultivating new members through positive word of mouth.
 Enhanced brand reputation: Instead of focusing on the short-term benefits and
increasing sales, community management focuses on strengthening the position of the
brand in the long-term by building a reputation.
6
Chapter 3
Strategies for Online Community Management
To help you devise a successful community management strategy, it’s important to have a
well-defined goal. The 5 key strategies for social media community management are:
1. Acquisition & Content Validity
Often marketers don’t think of community management as part of their acquisition model.
That shouldn’t be the only case. Think of the community being at the core of the campaigns;
they can help elevate awareness for the brand, and earn media space.
From brand awareness and consideration to conversion, marketers can have a ready strategy
in place to accompany their acquisition marketing flow with community management.
2. Social Customer Care
More than ever, companies realize the potential of using social media channels for consumer-
brand interactions. Now there’s the ability to listen, monitor, and analyse audience behaviour,
gain consumer feedback, and improve existing relationships. Having seen Facebook dominate
over Google in search and referrals to reach new communities. Now is the time to foster
customer loyalty at every stage.
3. Crisis Management
One aspect of community management that requires strategic planning is crisis management.
If an issue arises and spreads across social media, it can cause immense damage to a brand’s
reputation if it is not handled in a timely and strategic manner. Problems can stem from in
store promotions to TV campaigns, unanswered social mentions to delivery issues.
7
4. Retention
As social communities grow, brands face new challenges of creating content that keeps their
audience engaged. Not to mention, there is so much competition for attention on the
Facebook News Feed, and a large community can become uninterested and fail to interact
with the brand’s content.
5. Advocacy
The last strategy of community management is to identify and engage with super fans and
brand advocates. This phase validates a job well done for the brand, from product conception
to community care. Social media makes it easier to identify super fans (potential brand
ambassadors, micro-influencers etc.); especially if analytics tools are used that can help to
identify the most frequent engagers with the content, as well as positive brand mentions.
8
Chapter 4
Advantages and Challenges
Advantages
Stronger Engagement with the Brand
Users who are rewarded for building knowledge around the products and services develop a
stronger affinity with the brand. Some could rise to serve as brand advocates, helping to
spread the word and share the joy about their experiences with the brand.
Decreased Customer Support Costs
According to the NM Incite Social Care Survey, nearly half of social media users actively
seek customer service through social media. With online community management, there’ll be
a deflection of customer support phone calls, as community members exchange information
and answer each other's questions.
Better Customer Experience
As users find answers for themselves and connect with peers for trusted recommendations
and tips, their customer experience improves. Not only are customers able to get more out of
the products and services, they forge connections with others who can assist as related
questions arise in the future.
More Accurate Product Information
Empower community members to create and maintain detailed product or service information
at a lower cost than dedicated internal personnel could. With the community providing
9
checks and balances over content, the product information will be more current, accurate, and
trusted.
Improved SEO
An online community’s user-generated content is full of keywords used in natural dialogue.
Members talking about the company and products create content around long tail keywords.
As a result, the site ranks higher in organic search engine results for these keywords.
Challenges
Attracting New Users
Community members are transient; some stay until they have fulfilled a goal, others leave
and join different groups. Encouraging new membership is thus a vital tool for keeping the
community alive. Use community metrics to keep track of new user behaviour. For example,
Opening Social media account allows to track behaviour right down to who created
topics/events or who commented on posts.
Time Management
It doesn’t matter what time or what day of the week it is, there's always something to do. The
suggestion? Use the ‘ambassadors’ who’ve probably risen to the surface as the most active
community members. They can be the eyes, ears, and a source of help for other members.
Onboarding New Users
Onboarding new members is one of the most critical and time-exhausting responsibilities.
Although there is no hack to replace this completely, it is surprising at what a proper set of
community guidelines and onboarding process can do for a brand as it really helps in the
segmentation of the market as well as in gauging the behaviour of the onboarded new users.
10
Chapter 5
Case Study: EA Sports and Community Management
The Challenge
Electronic Arts Inc., a leading global interactive entertainment software company, delivers
games, content and online services for Internet connected consoles, personal computers,
mobile phones and tablets to hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
With an online gaming network that is home to dedicated global players, EA sought to drive
down support costs while also providing enhanced interactive rewards.
The Goal
EA wanted to create a centralized location for their users to connect with each other to
discuss and problem-solve challenges and help each other with their favorite games. They
decided to build an online support community in order to get their users the help they needed
while reducing support costs.
They designed an interactive approach that rewards players that help their fellow players and
incentivizes members of the community to contribute and participate in order in order to
reach their goal.
The Outcome
EA’s solution included:
• An online support community driven by gamification approaches
• A two-tiered super-user program
Answers HQ, EA’s online support community, allows players to be recognized for their
efforts by turning participation into a game. Each action a user takes in the community is
11
validated by virtual tokens, badges and collectables, as well as by rising in rank on leader
boards.
At the top of EA’s gamification program stands their super-user program: Champions &
Heroes. This program recognizes standout individuals that represent the pillars of the
community, in turn allowing them to become super-users. The EA team hosts bi-weekly
syncs to monitor and advance outstanding individuals.
The program consists of two tiers:
 Champion: Champions are awarded a unique rank, forum badge and the option to
create an individual signature, along with free game perks and access to a private
Slack channel where they can chat with the Community team directly.
 Hero: Heroes obtain all Champion benefits, along with access to an exclusive forum
and chat, and additional game perks. Heroes also have the opportunity to forge
relationships with game studios and are offered invitations to exclusive gaming
events.
Since its launch in 2012, AnswersHQ has grown to over 12 million registered users, with
over 6.9 million (58%) categorized as active. In FY16-FY17, the percentage of active users
increased by 15%, the number of accepted solutions increased by 20%, views of accepted
solutions increased by 29%, and replies per topic increased by 23%.
EA’s innovative solutions actually created a more active and effective support community.
Overall, the gamified-support community and super-user program were huge successes,
increasing traffic by giving users a reason to return, converting lurkers to active users, and
improving accepted solutions which in turn deflected contacts from Live Support channels.
The Takeaways
1. Know the Audience
EA’s audience inherently loves gaming. By using gamification to drive participation, EA
capitalized on what they already knew and loved about their players.
12
2. Focus on the Goals
By focusing on a desired outcome, EA was able to harness the power of their audience to
contribute to their bottom line. This win-win made players happy and increased deflections in
their support channels.
3. Rewarding the Audience Rewards the Brand
The rewards make a difference. Empowering super users can scale existing community
resources, while strengthening important ties to your core user base.
13
Chapter 6
Conclusion
An online community management solution brings the customers or constituents closer
together: it facilitates one-to-one and many-to-many relationships that build bonds and moves
business forward. The result is a closer connection with a brand.
The foundation concept behind the idea of having online community management is to build
and sustain a platform where an organization can always listen to its customers and spark
conversations with them. Protecting the Reputation is an important factor sighting the
unwanted conversations by some set of audience as well as there is a vital need for to get
feedbacks from the community, the organization has establishes.
Importance of Community Management is very much evident from the fact that organizations
are striving to build and foster their own communities, this is mainly due to the fact that
organizations have realized the value of retention of existing customers, attracting new
customers and enhancing brand reputation. To achieve this there are some strategies that the
organization can follow which includes: acquisition & content validity, social customer care,
crisis management, retention and advocacy.
There are many advantages of implementing the model for online community management
including stronger engagement with the brand while decreasing customer support costs,
providing better customer experience and more accurate product information. A technical
advantage of online community management is that it also improves the SEO ranking of the
online community portal but there are some challenges such as attracting new users, time
management and onboarding new users that needs to be addressed in order to achieve the
perfect mix for the online community.
14
References
 https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/2751-5-stages-for-effective-social-media-
community-management
 https://www.dnnsoftware.com/solutions/online-community-management/benefits
 https://www.getopensocial.com/blog/community-management/three-community-
manager-challenges
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_management
 https://www.shopify.in/blog/community-management
 https://digital360.com.au/resources/what-is-community-management
 https://communityroundtable.com/what-we-do/resources/driving-community-
participation-and-engagement-with-gamification/

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A Report on Online Community Management.

  • 2. i CONTENTS Particulars Page No. Acknowledgement i Chapter-1: Introduction 1 Chapter-2: Online Community Management 2 Chapter-3: Strategies for Community Management 6 Chapter-4: Advantages and Challenges 8 Chapter-5: Case Study: EA Sports and Community Management 10 Chapter-6: Conclusion 13 References
  • 3. 1 Chapter 1 Introduction In this day and age, individuals want to connect with each other be it through experiences or relationships. It is important to build that culture amongst them, the tribe, the fans and that is key to the success of any brand. Community management is about creating that intimate experience that connects them to the brand. Finding or starting conversations and growing the community is a must for lasting businesses, and increases in importance and impact as the business grows. Community management presents the brand to the world as a likeable, knowledgeable personality that others can't help but want to engage with and it surfaces opportunities to fuel positive discussions about and around the products. Investing in a strong community will build a loyal fan base that will advocate on behalf of the brand and even come to the rescue when there’s a need. Community management has some important elements such as: monitoring, engaging, moderating and measuring which are described to the details in following parts of the report. There are some important strategies that a brand needs to adapt in order to perform well in the online sphere, the importance, significance and the implementation of these strategies can proves to be very useful for any brand. Community Management is surely the need of the hour for the organizations who want to create a new horizon of customer experience and that too virtually and has many advantages which directly and indirectly affects the concerned organization but there are many challenges that the organizations can encounter during the implementation of the strategies. In order to make the concept rigid, a case study on the implementation of Online Community Management by the gaming giant EA Sports is also analysed very briefly but efficiently. The challenges, goals, outcomes and takeaways of the case study are put up in a very lucid way.
  • 4. 2 Chapter 2 Online Community Management ‘Community’ might suggest a single location, but in reality the community is spread out all over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, forums, and even the comment sections of articles. The community consists of the current customers, target audiences, and all the people who interact with a brand directly and indirectly online. Community Management brings the brand to life online—like it's a real person with a real personality behind real interactions. Brands that don’t have a community management plan miss out on opportunities to:  Manage customer complaints.  Turn customers into loyal fans.  Win over influencers and prospective customers.  Network with other brands and partner with them.  Get valuable, raw product feedback. It’s important to understand the difference between community management and social media marketing because they each have their own priorities. Social Media Marketing is the production and distribution of social content to reach new customers and communicate with the current ones. It is focused on things like reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to a site. Community Management is what happens after and beyond the social media publishing. Its part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being active in discussions that relate to a brand. Where social media marketing broadcasts a message from one-to-many, community management often starts on a smaller, more intimate scale. But it can build a brand's presence in places both on and outside the social media pages.
  • 5. 3 If there’s a thinking that community management won't have a big impact because it’s limited to small-scale interactions, that's not the case. Customer complaints on social media have actually increased by 8 times from 2014. A single angry customer has a voice that carries to others whether it’s through word-of-mouth, sharing screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave behind online. But the same goes for the happy customers, and community management helps to create more of those. Community management can be broken down into 4 parts:  Monitoring: Listening in on and tracking conversations that relate to a brand.  Engaging: Keeping conversations alive and proactively engaging with customers, prospects, and influencers.  Moderating: Weeding out comments and conversations that don’t add value, and troubleshooting customer complaints.  Measuring: Analysing how the brand is perceived and getting real, unfiltered feedback. Monitoring: Always Be Listening Community management wouldn't be possible without an ongoing social listening effort: monitoring the internet for conversations that matter to a brand. Every once in a while, there could be opportunities as small as turning a customer's complaint into a public complement or as big as starting a viral hashtag. Not all relevant mentions will tag the brand directly on social media. Sometimes customers will mention it in other ways (misspellings, by product, etc.) or in places like blog comments or forums that aren't as easy to find. Engaging: Spark and Spur Conversations Every comment made online leaves a digital footprint. The more positive comments the community generate, the stronger the brand. That's why it's important to not just start these
  • 6. 4 conversations but keep them alive, especially since many social media algorithms use engagement signals like comments to determine what to show in our news feeds. It might be tempting to automate the engagement on social networks with a bot that likes and comments on behalf, but it'll get to a point where it starts to do more harm than good for the brand. In today's internet that's just saturated with automation, there’s a need to prove that there's a thinking and feeling human behind a brand to actually connect with customers. Monitor the social channels daily and find opportunities to address complaints, thank happy customers, and talk to people who might like the products. Be human. Avoid copying and pasting responses all the time, and allow conversations to happen organically. If the channel gives an access to a large audience or speaking to someone with a sizeable following, it might even be worth it to go the extra mile. Be proactive about engaging with the community, not just reactive. Incorporate community engagement posts into the social media publishing—content, contests, challenges, or questions that encourage people to leave comments. Moderating: Protect the Reputation Another important function of community management is managing the reputation online. This involves keeping the social profiles clean from spam and ensuring that any negative feedback is addressed. To start with, hide spam that detracts from the quality of the comment section. Avoid hiding or deleting sensitive comments because that could be misinterpreted as censorship or deception, and cause a much bigger problem for how the brand is perceived. Customer complaints are almost unavoidable, and people tend to vent their frustrations online, which can be both good and bad for brands. If it's a common question that can be quickly address, keep the answer public so others with similar concerns can see it but if the complaint is personal or the following conversation is complicated, take it over to a private chat, but try to keep it to the same channel.
  • 7. 5 For example, if the complaint is aired on Facebook, take it to Facebook Messenger. If it's on Twitter, invite the person to direct message with details. What some brands will do is ask to email them or call support when the complaint was aired on social media. This just makes it even more frustrating for an already-unhappy customer. Measuring: Get Feedback from the Community Through all the actions that are covered so far, there can be sense of how the community perceives a brand, where brands can improve, and even products. Conversations can happen anywhere online, companies need to figure out which channels the community is the most active on and where it is most likely to satisfy the main objectives, whether it's to build brand awareness, drive traffic, or maintain the reputation. Those are the channels that should be prioritized. Sentiment analysis can also be conducted to see how people generally feel about the brand. Importance of Community Management Adding the marketing component (e.g. through the use of social media) to the community management efforts is nowadays becoming a popular strategy in organizations because having a larger and engaged audience is the key to making their marketing efforts successful. Community management, however, is beneficial even without such marketing component:  Retention of existing customers: Community management plays a significant role in the retention of existing customers who then likely to be involved in repeated brand interactions.  Attracting new customers: One of the major characteristics of communities is that it helps information flow fast. Therefore, effective community management can help in cultivating new members through positive word of mouth.  Enhanced brand reputation: Instead of focusing on the short-term benefits and increasing sales, community management focuses on strengthening the position of the brand in the long-term by building a reputation.
  • 8. 6 Chapter 3 Strategies for Online Community Management To help you devise a successful community management strategy, it’s important to have a well-defined goal. The 5 key strategies for social media community management are: 1. Acquisition & Content Validity Often marketers don’t think of community management as part of their acquisition model. That shouldn’t be the only case. Think of the community being at the core of the campaigns; they can help elevate awareness for the brand, and earn media space. From brand awareness and consideration to conversion, marketers can have a ready strategy in place to accompany their acquisition marketing flow with community management. 2. Social Customer Care More than ever, companies realize the potential of using social media channels for consumer- brand interactions. Now there’s the ability to listen, monitor, and analyse audience behaviour, gain consumer feedback, and improve existing relationships. Having seen Facebook dominate over Google in search and referrals to reach new communities. Now is the time to foster customer loyalty at every stage. 3. Crisis Management One aspect of community management that requires strategic planning is crisis management. If an issue arises and spreads across social media, it can cause immense damage to a brand’s reputation if it is not handled in a timely and strategic manner. Problems can stem from in store promotions to TV campaigns, unanswered social mentions to delivery issues.
  • 9. 7 4. Retention As social communities grow, brands face new challenges of creating content that keeps their audience engaged. Not to mention, there is so much competition for attention on the Facebook News Feed, and a large community can become uninterested and fail to interact with the brand’s content. 5. Advocacy The last strategy of community management is to identify and engage with super fans and brand advocates. This phase validates a job well done for the brand, from product conception to community care. Social media makes it easier to identify super fans (potential brand ambassadors, micro-influencers etc.); especially if analytics tools are used that can help to identify the most frequent engagers with the content, as well as positive brand mentions.
  • 10. 8 Chapter 4 Advantages and Challenges Advantages Stronger Engagement with the Brand Users who are rewarded for building knowledge around the products and services develop a stronger affinity with the brand. Some could rise to serve as brand advocates, helping to spread the word and share the joy about their experiences with the brand. Decreased Customer Support Costs According to the NM Incite Social Care Survey, nearly half of social media users actively seek customer service through social media. With online community management, there’ll be a deflection of customer support phone calls, as community members exchange information and answer each other's questions. Better Customer Experience As users find answers for themselves and connect with peers for trusted recommendations and tips, their customer experience improves. Not only are customers able to get more out of the products and services, they forge connections with others who can assist as related questions arise in the future. More Accurate Product Information Empower community members to create and maintain detailed product or service information at a lower cost than dedicated internal personnel could. With the community providing
  • 11. 9 checks and balances over content, the product information will be more current, accurate, and trusted. Improved SEO An online community’s user-generated content is full of keywords used in natural dialogue. Members talking about the company and products create content around long tail keywords. As a result, the site ranks higher in organic search engine results for these keywords. Challenges Attracting New Users Community members are transient; some stay until they have fulfilled a goal, others leave and join different groups. Encouraging new membership is thus a vital tool for keeping the community alive. Use community metrics to keep track of new user behaviour. For example, Opening Social media account allows to track behaviour right down to who created topics/events or who commented on posts. Time Management It doesn’t matter what time or what day of the week it is, there's always something to do. The suggestion? Use the ‘ambassadors’ who’ve probably risen to the surface as the most active community members. They can be the eyes, ears, and a source of help for other members. Onboarding New Users Onboarding new members is one of the most critical and time-exhausting responsibilities. Although there is no hack to replace this completely, it is surprising at what a proper set of community guidelines and onboarding process can do for a brand as it really helps in the segmentation of the market as well as in gauging the behaviour of the onboarded new users.
  • 12. 10 Chapter 5 Case Study: EA Sports and Community Management The Challenge Electronic Arts Inc., a leading global interactive entertainment software company, delivers games, content and online services for Internet connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets to hundreds of millions of players worldwide. With an online gaming network that is home to dedicated global players, EA sought to drive down support costs while also providing enhanced interactive rewards. The Goal EA wanted to create a centralized location for their users to connect with each other to discuss and problem-solve challenges and help each other with their favorite games. They decided to build an online support community in order to get their users the help they needed while reducing support costs. They designed an interactive approach that rewards players that help their fellow players and incentivizes members of the community to contribute and participate in order in order to reach their goal. The Outcome EA’s solution included: • An online support community driven by gamification approaches • A two-tiered super-user program Answers HQ, EA’s online support community, allows players to be recognized for their efforts by turning participation into a game. Each action a user takes in the community is
  • 13. 11 validated by virtual tokens, badges and collectables, as well as by rising in rank on leader boards. At the top of EA’s gamification program stands their super-user program: Champions & Heroes. This program recognizes standout individuals that represent the pillars of the community, in turn allowing them to become super-users. The EA team hosts bi-weekly syncs to monitor and advance outstanding individuals. The program consists of two tiers:  Champion: Champions are awarded a unique rank, forum badge and the option to create an individual signature, along with free game perks and access to a private Slack channel where they can chat with the Community team directly.  Hero: Heroes obtain all Champion benefits, along with access to an exclusive forum and chat, and additional game perks. Heroes also have the opportunity to forge relationships with game studios and are offered invitations to exclusive gaming events. Since its launch in 2012, AnswersHQ has grown to over 12 million registered users, with over 6.9 million (58%) categorized as active. In FY16-FY17, the percentage of active users increased by 15%, the number of accepted solutions increased by 20%, views of accepted solutions increased by 29%, and replies per topic increased by 23%. EA’s innovative solutions actually created a more active and effective support community. Overall, the gamified-support community and super-user program were huge successes, increasing traffic by giving users a reason to return, converting lurkers to active users, and improving accepted solutions which in turn deflected contacts from Live Support channels. The Takeaways 1. Know the Audience EA’s audience inherently loves gaming. By using gamification to drive participation, EA capitalized on what they already knew and loved about their players.
  • 14. 12 2. Focus on the Goals By focusing on a desired outcome, EA was able to harness the power of their audience to contribute to their bottom line. This win-win made players happy and increased deflections in their support channels. 3. Rewarding the Audience Rewards the Brand The rewards make a difference. Empowering super users can scale existing community resources, while strengthening important ties to your core user base.
  • 15. 13 Chapter 6 Conclusion An online community management solution brings the customers or constituents closer together: it facilitates one-to-one and many-to-many relationships that build bonds and moves business forward. The result is a closer connection with a brand. The foundation concept behind the idea of having online community management is to build and sustain a platform where an organization can always listen to its customers and spark conversations with them. Protecting the Reputation is an important factor sighting the unwanted conversations by some set of audience as well as there is a vital need for to get feedbacks from the community, the organization has establishes. Importance of Community Management is very much evident from the fact that organizations are striving to build and foster their own communities, this is mainly due to the fact that organizations have realized the value of retention of existing customers, attracting new customers and enhancing brand reputation. To achieve this there are some strategies that the organization can follow which includes: acquisition & content validity, social customer care, crisis management, retention and advocacy. There are many advantages of implementing the model for online community management including stronger engagement with the brand while decreasing customer support costs, providing better customer experience and more accurate product information. A technical advantage of online community management is that it also improves the SEO ranking of the online community portal but there are some challenges such as attracting new users, time management and onboarding new users that needs to be addressed in order to achieve the perfect mix for the online community.
  • 16. 14 References  https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/2751-5-stages-for-effective-social-media- community-management  https://www.dnnsoftware.com/solutions/online-community-management/benefits  https://www.getopensocial.com/blog/community-management/three-community- manager-challenges  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_management  https://www.shopify.in/blog/community-management  https://digital360.com.au/resources/what-is-community-management  https://communityroundtable.com/what-we-do/resources/driving-community- participation-and-engagement-with-gamification/