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  • The Redback Team
  • The Redback Team

    5th January 2016

Guest Blog: Six Tips to Building Your Own ‘Connected’ Online Community!

Build a community for your business

It’s no surprise that many are now choosing to integrate their online events with social media. It gives you extra exposure and allows you to build an online presence before, during and after your event.

But what if you were able to take it one step further and build your very own private social network? Ivan Schwartz, Director of ConferNet gives us 6 tips on how to make this a reality!

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Six Tips to Building Your Own ‘Connected’ Online Community!

Linking a private social network to your website is straightforward. However, creating a connected online community takes an understanding of your audience, staff resources, a solid strategy, as well as the right social technology platform.

To help gain an understanding of how to create a thriving private online community for your customer or members, I have laid out 6 vital tips that you can internalise as you develop your member engagement strategies.

#1) There must be a reason ‘Why’

Many organisations think that this guidance refers to identifying a reason why their organisation wants to launch an online community (sales, retention, engagement etc). However, this pillar actually refers to having a solid reason for why your customers or members will come to your community and return often.

#2) Building successful online communities requires dedicated resources

Organisations cannot create a successful online community with an “if you build it, they will come” approach. It takes content plans and growth strategies, as well as someone whose job it is to wake up each morning and make sure the online community succeeds.

#3) Using the right technology is only half of what makes an online community successful

Selecting the right online community platform for your business or non-profit organisation is only 50% of the equation. Developing the right online community strategy and community management plan is equally as important, if not more important, to your community building initiative.

 #4) Training both staff and online community members is important

Online communities do not just belong in the domain of the community management team. Spread the wealth of customer interactions and the workload by making sure your entire customer-facing team feels comfortable using your online community to engage customers or members. Along those same lines, provide live and recorded training for your target audience to help them get the most out of your online community.

#5) Online communities do not have to be an expense

Aside from traditional online advertising opportunities, vendor or partner programs built into your online community platform enable your customer community or member community to generate significant revenue that often covers 2-5 times the annual enterprise online community software and personnel costs needed to plan, implement, and manage your community.

#6) You must measure ROI of your online community

Don’t let anyone tell you that the benefits of keeping customers or members engaged in a private online community can’t be measured or translated to meet tangible business objectives. When you are planning your online customer community or online member community identify how you are going to measure the online community’s impact on your organisational goals and be sure to record those metrics consistently.

 

Ivan Schwartz is a director of ConferNet Pty Ltd. See www.confer.net.au  or ivan@confer.net.au

 

To learn more about the power of Online Communities, feel free to register for the upcoming webcast hybrid event…

“Staying Connected – Harnessing the Power of Social Business”

Jamie Notter, Rob Barnes, Alison Michalk and Bobbi Mahlab

Date: Tuesday 16th July 2013

Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm AEST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

SPECIAL OFFER: First 20 tickets booked FREE – please simply enter FREERB on registration!

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