Friday, February 05, 2010

Twitter-sourced smartitude; Getting a community site off the ground

This morning I actually had a few minutes to spend on Twitter, so I decided to get a discussion going about community sites. More specifically, what's the first consideration when starting a site, how important is it to be involved in the site itself, and how to sell it to your boss. I got dozens of great answers, and here they are:

First consideration when launching a community site:

  1. MattJMcD @MackCollier making sure people want to be part of your community in the first place.
  2. jonnytee @MackCollier first question - Who's the audience and what's their common interest?
  3. tamadear @MackCollier Whether or not a community already exists--and if they already have an online gathering
  4. brandonacox @MackCollier Do we really want a community site? Or do we want to infiltrate a much larger already-existing community?
  5. space.
  6. cubanalaf @MackCollier Which brand ambassadors will serve as the foundation - community sites have to have a grass roots effect at start.
  7. xybrewer @mackcollier What do "we" have to offer the community? Help? Support? Funding? Information? Access?
  8. GreenSpotting RT @MackCollier: company wants to start a community site, top consideration should B......what value can it bring clients, &let grow organic
  9. Griner MackCollier 1. What will offer that actually has value? 2. How will we drive people there?
  10. turbobrown @MackCollier ease of use. great question, looking forward to seeing the answers!
  11. MacSlam @MackCollier Whether is has a business purpose or not

How active should your company be in the community itself?

  1. davidpaulw @MackCollier Very imp. Just like what Seth talks about in tribes. Communities need leaders. Ppl not companies
  2. MattJMcD @MackCollier agreed. The next thing is what value do you bring to the equation. Communities are based on who adds what, comps no different.
  3. cubanalaf @MackCollier Oh, agreed. I always tell brands that you can't control conversation, but the effect of it. A brand ambassador can be employee.
  4. MacSlam @MackCollier re: participation - v. important - if you don't pay attention to it, why should anyone else?
How do you convince the 'skeptical boss' that you should launch a community site?
  1. CKsays @MackCollier: gotta get data points showing how communities foster a source of trusted referrals for the company and how communities work..
  2. MattJMcD @MackCollier Offer special deals/incentives to comm members. Unique items/pricing. You can track purchases, sales, interest directly.
  3. CKsays @MackCollier: ... to create customers.Also show data points on how online mentions facilitate purchasing. Then take the co's competitors...
  4. GreenSpotting @MackCollier "Skeptical Boss the value from a comm site?" -point him to one that works now, large or small.
  5. griner @MackCollier I've always liked the potential of community sites, but it's so difficult to build audience without a heavy ad spend.
  6. CKsays: and show the boss what competitors are doing (eek, you're behind!) or are not doing (first-mover advantage opportunity!)

Some great answers! BTW this shows that Twitter makes it very easy to crowdsource ideas and develop conversations (it is after all a communications tool). And it also shows that I have a damn hard time cutting and pasting tweets from the timeline to blogger! You can read all the replies here.

1 comment:

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