Find out more at ISM/Mzinga Knowledge Communities Webinar, Tuesday, Oct. 14
By John Chan
ISM Software Lab Director
Social Media is a new way for organizations to communicate with employees, consumers, partners and other stakeholders. For organizations to succeed in their Social Media initiatives, they need to be careful to understand their community’s target audience. Here are two important questions that need to be asked:
- What purpose will the Social Media community serve for community members? (e.g., entertainment, knowledge, other)?
- What do the targeted members care about? Best practices suggest the members of the most successful communities expect to find three value-adds:
- Interaction – The ability to connect with the organization, along with the ability to communicate with other people who have similar interests, or trying to find similar solutions to similar problems, etc.
- Access – Access to subject matter experts who really understand the problems that other audience members are trying to deal with.
- Deals – Members can get member–only discounts and specific deals before these deals become available to the general public.
Needless to say, an organization will increase its success for their external social media community if they encompass an audience that they are already communicating with (e.g., customers, business partners, employees, other). Typically the largest audience group for a private Social Media community will be the organization’s clients.
The second largest audience group for an external private community is usually prospects. Typically the third largest audience group for an external private community will be distributors/partners. Private communities can provide access to important information and also provide a forum for a two-way dialogue between different distributors/partners and their customers.
Organizations need to spend the time up front to select their constituent audience carefully prior to performing appropriate technographic profiling for potential members. To secure community members, organizations should:
- look at existing distribution lists for people who receive the organization’s newsletter;
- note persons who have opted in to receive information from the organization or have participated in other organizational events, e.g.,webinars;
- identify persons who asked for more information about the organization’s products/services.
Then once the community is up and running, the organization should share with targeted members and prospects community accomplishments including contest and poll results, the latest blogs and forum discussions, etc. so as to drive additional traffic to the community. Stay tuned for more insights.
To learn more: attend this important webinar — Knowledge Communities: “The Value-Add of Private Social Communities” Webinar sponsored by ISM and Mzinga, Tuesday, Oct. 14. Register Now