Implementing a sustainable social business model can be complicated. When building community into your strategy, you are not only empowering and motivating employees, but relying on customers, prospects, and partners to engage each other and your organization.
Online communities that don't successfully engage customers, help control support costs, or win new business don't fail because of the social technology platform. They don't provide a return on an organization's investment due to decisions that were made long before an online community platform was selected.
Socious co-founder, Paul Schneider, recently spoke to IT executives at a national conference on what it takes to build a successful online community. From that presentation, here are the slides and the major pitfalls that executives can avoid when putting together a social business strategy to increase customer or member engagement.
Online community software is exciting, but its impact on your organization will come from what you do with that software. Here are a few questions to ask your project team to ensure you're thinking through the planning process correctly:
If you have answers to these questions upfront, choosing your technology provider and having a clear vision for your community's value will fall nicely into place.
By having a realistic understanding of current staff resources and what additional resources may be necessary, your online community will have the manpower to succeed and deliver on the value proposition you desire. Here are some factors to consider as you assign staff to manage your online community:
Organizations sometimes forget that changes in organizational technology require proper change-management processes to be successful. The seven simple steps for managing change management as it pertains to new technology include:
So, as you consider building an online community, or even if you have a community and aren't getting the engagement levels you'd hoped for, consider these common traps to which many first-time community builders fall victim. You're smart and so are your customer or members, so lean into technology and feel confident creating a private social network that is valuable, meaningful, and relevant.