There are many reasons an organization may want to use LinkedIn. Some may prefer this public platform because it's free while other organizations use it just to test the water. But what happens if you're successful? I've provided many good reasons why not to build your community around the LinkedIn brand, but what if it's too late? Let's assume that you've been nurturing your LinkedIn community for a while and have a decent amount of traction. At what point do you pull the plug and move all that engagement over to your own website and, more importantly, how do you do it?
There is a lot of information available around the topic of launching private communities - best practices, tips, and implementation guides. Lately, I've been reviewing quite a few clients' private community sites, all of which have a ton of older content and/or inactive communities, and it occurred to me that there aren't a lot of resources available about "spring cleaning" established communities. With that in mind, I thought I'd share a few of my best practices with regards to managing community content and communities on an ongoing basis so your community doesn't become a ghost town of old content and inactive groups.
Topics: Community Platforms & Updates
When you begin researching how to build an online community for your customers, prospects, members, or partners, one of the first things that you'll notice is that it is a complex process.
According to Nielsen's 2012 Social Media Report, over 50% of customers use some type of social channel to engage companies to report satisfaction, ask questions, and lodge complaints. One third of consumers prefer social customer service to getting answers by phone.
Topics: Customer Communities
Have you seen the Windows Phone commercial where the iPhone and Android fans rumble at a wedding?
If you put the commercial into a social business context, the fan boys (and girls) from each sides could easily be replaced by the advocates for online forums and listserv software.
Topics: Online Community Software
One of the most common conversations on private social networking platforms centers around whether it's better for an organization's online community to "live" on a public social networking platform versus a private platform. Many believe that the sheer number of daily active users on public platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn means that an organization is better off housing their community there as opposed to on a private platform. I often hear, "But LinkedIn is free, why not send them there?"
One of the biggest areas of confusion around social business is the differences between public social networks, like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and private online communities where most activity occurs behind a secure login.
An ongoing discussion I have with Higher Logic clients and see featured frequently on ASAE Collaborate is whether a private online community should be open to anyone or limited to members only.
Friend and client Roy Snell from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) makes a case for open community in a recent issue of Associations Now. He argues that "closing social media is like tying a horse to the front of your car and pulling it around," and that the more people participating in an org's online community, the better. He claims that in order to be competitive with public social networking platforms, an organization must have an open community, because if other, larger communities exist for the profession your organization represents, your members will congregate there and your community will become irrelevant.
Do you want to know how to bring down the mood at the next happy hour, cocktail party, or cookout that you attend? Bring up predictive analytics.
In reality, predictive analytics is not scary at all. Here is a great explanation from Dr. Eric Siegel, founder of Predictive Analytics World and author of the new book "Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die."
Topics: Customer Success