WIKIBRANDS Chapter 13 Executive Summary

A report published by Deloitte Consulting and the Society for New Communication Research, in an investigation of 140 companies, identified the following challenges to building an effective community:

Getting people engaged in the community (51%)

Finding enough time to manage the community (45%)

Attracting people to the community (34%)

Getting people to come back (26%)

Getting people to join the community (22%)

(Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers)

Too many companies think that technology is the key; just building a community site with all the bells and whistles will encourage people to show up and participate.  There needs to be compelling conversations or interesting, refreshed information for them to return.  The goal is not to attract a million people to your site; it is how you will engage them when they get there.

Unfortunately, one study found that 30 percent of online communities are managed by only part-time employees, and many of the most sophisticated communities have fewer than five employees involved.  Patience is also important; communities often take two years or more to mature.  Managers need to anticipate the evolution of the brand community.

It is important to integrate the entire business into the community.  This drive for collaboration expands the role of the marketing function, providing more opportunities to service line functions and to exert a positive impact on innovation, sales, product management, corporate reputation, employee recruitment and brand insight.  Community Managers require an eclectic set of skills: part corporate journalist, part public relations, part customer service, part likeable host, part social, part technologist and part brand fanatic.

CommunityA community manager needs to develop a team that can perform all of the following functions: product educator, brand ambassador, research filter, internal trainer, client agitator, program manager/administrator, content developer, responder/liaison, events host, strategist, problem solver, moderator, social networker, expert listener and personal concierge.

WIKIBRANDS provides an excellent summary of each of these roles.

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