Digital Customer Communities Take Time
By Barton Goldenberg
Nearly all organizations underestimate the time and effort required to execute successful Digital Customer Communities. For example:
- Setting up a content calendar for the community takes a lot of time and commitment from others. Do they have this time? Will they make this commitment?
- Experienced bloggers will confirm that it always takes longer to write a post than they expect. Writing a blog takes about as long as it takes to write an article – approximately half a day.
- Generating relevant content for the organization’s Social Media community depends on the goals of the community and may require contributions from several writers with different expertise, styles and viewpoints. This ‘wild-card’ element can throw off any time estimate.
- Employees should be encouraged to monitor the Web and public Social Media communities to see what others are saying about the organization. Be sure to allot time accordingly. This effort is just like monitoring press clips, but remember that there can be much more content to monitor online.
- Allow time to post materials to the community as well, such as retweets, blog entries, white papers, technical material, etc.
- As a guideline, the Community Manager should allocate 15-40 hours per week depending on the size of the community and amount of activity taking place.
- Managing a successful Social Media Community is time consuming and must be done with excellence. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours per day to 24/7 coverage.
Also remember that there is a learning curve associated with all these activities. In the early stages, be sure to allocate an additional 15%-20% beyond the time that would normally be needed. Most employees want to do an excellent job for the organization so be realistic about time requirements and make sure they have the time they need.
In my next post, I will discuss the importance of motivation and passion to the success of a Social Media Community.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.