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Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different?

Leader Networks

One recent morning I saw a post in one of my LinkedIN groups asking "what is the difference between a social media manager and an online community manager?" Easy, I thought, and offered a quick response on my mobile. Social media managers bring the guests (clients, prospects) to the table and community managers welcome them in!" Ahh, but wait.

The Market Research Nuggets Most Companies Ignore (at their peril): Comments In Online Communities

Leader Networks

A customer shares an insight within your company’s online community. He somehow found the time in between meetings, phone calls and lunch to share a suggestion, idea or complaint in a discussion thread. “It would be great if the XYZ product would … ,” he writes. What does your company do with that customer input? This is the $1,000,000 dollar question -- literally. Choice #3 : Fire all alarms?

Designing Metrics for Online Customer Communities

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But, while all good community leaders within an organization hold these core values close, when business stakeholders start asking for hard ROI metrics, most community teams get a little nervous about how to prove value and define success. So, when the "what has community done for me lately" question get launched, panic sets in and people start to make dashboards and spreadsheets and charts galore.

Don't Ask Community Managers To Be Strategists

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The enterprise community manager position is sometimes termed a "jack of all trades" role. know -- I've said it myself. But I think we're starting to take it a bit too far. Over the past few weeks I have participated in a suite of webinars and talks about online communities and their growing role in functional areas such as customer care. It won't work. Full stop.

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

The Social Mind: A New Research Project

Leader Networks

Interrelationships between individuals, organizations, thought leaders and influencers are evolving in new and previously unforeseen ways thanks to the advent of social media networks. This paradigm shift represents a major communications innovation in all markets, and is radically changing the way people and organizations engage and behave online. The study is open to all.

Strategy First, Platform Second. Please!

Leader Networks

I don't know how many times I've had to shift a conversation into reverse when an initial business discussion about online communities begins with "We're thinking about starting an online community. What's your opinion of Platform X?" It's like starting a business negotiation with "I want to buy something. What have you got to sell?" instead of "Here's the problem I'm trying to solve.

A Day In The Life Of A B2B Online Community Manager

Leader Networks

Somewhere, in the stillness of the night, an online community manager rolls over in bed, reaches for his iPad, and checks to see if anyone in his online community needs help, if there are messages that need attention and to make sure the site is running fine. Extreme behavior? Not really. This is commonplace for a B2B community manager. What Makes A B2B Community Manager So Special? Think about it.

Ten Questions: A B2B Online Community Readiness Checklist

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A wide range of B2B firms are considering the need for creating and operating their own online customer communities. In the B2B information technology sector, customer support, knowledge-sharing and product enhancement communities are common. For example, nearly two-thirds (65%) of 207 firms surveyed in 2010 by the research firm ITSMA said they participated in private online communities hosted by the companies which sell them computer hardware, software and related services. But that’s as it should be. They’re not that kind of place. How does a B2B online community do this?

Avoid Online Customer Community Failure!

Leader Networks

Failure. It’s not a word anyone likes. Yet it is common occurrence with innovation projects. When projects fail, there’s a natural inclination to avoid looking for the reasons why. This is especially true for online customer communities. failure with customers (Ouch!) is far more painful than any internally-facing problem, because it touches the people and companies that are core to the organizations’ success. These deflections don’t address the root cause of your community’s failure. It was the result of your firm’s organizational process, strategy and execution. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Social Media Strategy Map: How To Find Your Way

Leader Networks

Calling all Balanced Scorecard practitioners and strategy executives, here is a Strategy Map to guide the Social Media / Social Business initiatives within your organizations. After Leader Networks developed the strategic frameworks for social media at more than 40 companies, including many large enterprises, we sat down with pen and paper (literally!) Each takes a different approach.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

10 Rules For Online Community Success

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The poet T.S. Eliot once wrote "If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter." Truer words were never spoken as it more difficult to efficiently convey an idea or message than to wax poetic. As social is an emerging trend, many have put down their soapboxes to talk about online communities. And, human nature craves rules; rules to be examined, adapted and applied.

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Social Business Strategy Blog Must Reads

Leader Networks

There is a lot of information on the web about social media marketing, but relatively little of it explores B2B Social Business in ways that are useful to the enterprise or take into account the matrix of issues that must be considered when developing the right strategy for one's organization. While not dedicated to social media, the information is directly and strategically applicable.

John Coates and the WELL: Looking ahead by looking back

Leader Networks

A month ago I went to London to give a presentation at the 13th annual VIRCOMM Summit. On a cold and rainy morning (it was London, after all) about a thousand community builders and social media managers from around the world gathered to think and talk about the art and science of our complex profession -- creating and managing online communities. That’s real progress! Work with it. Affirm people.

How To Map Out Your Social Business Strategy

Leader Networks

A month ago, I had the pleasure of doing an interview on the Social Business Strategy Map with Neil Davey, Editor of MyCustomer.com in the UK, which is one of Sift Media's business publications. Neil and I spoke at length about how companies can use the Social Business Strategy Map to create their own strategy and stepped through the process. Here, DiMauro guides us through the map. In what ways?

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Here's what we learned.

Moderation Best Practice: Give Three Gifts To Every One Take

Leader Networks

(image credit: anankkml) My professional life and daily operations are permeated by people who want or need something, as I am sure is an experience shared by all. “Do you have? Could we meet? Can you do?” These are the work-a-day request that fill our voice mail and email to the brim. Now, these are not all bad things, as they mean job security and demand. And then it happened a few days ago.

Thought Leadership Is The New Currency Of Online Professional Collaboration

Leader Networks

Social media has finally broken through the "party-girl ceiling" and entered a new, higher level of utility. While some proponents are still mired in work-a-day water-cooler banter, the leading edge has moved on to the creation of content that directly influences how professionals think. Both activities are the currencies of credibility in today's new thought leadership economy.

How Do You Measure Member Engagement?

Leader Networks

Member engagement is a popular term these days, applied to everything from customer loyalty programs to Facebook games to political campaigns. There are tools that purport to track every “like” or tweet as evidence that your members, or customers, or just visitors, are listening and “engaged”. I’m skeptical. Too often, a moment of fleeting attention is classified as an engagement event.

Introducing The Social Business Benchmark ™ Program

Leader Networks

Last month I blogged about "Ten Questions: A B2B Online Community Readiness Checklist" to identify the key elements for successful social business programs. I was very pleased to learn these ideas touched readers far and wide as they struggled to develop social business strategies for their organizations. All of these are common pitfalls with a disorganized social business approach. Not so fast!

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

Connecting The Dots On The Social Experience

Leader Networks

Your B2B firm trumpets its engaged, active customers. These customers, the sweet center of any successful business, generate a significant portion of your firm’s revenue. These same customers serve as references; speak at industry conferences; share ideas and feedback about your company. Is that all? Really? thought so. But really, how could it? suggests a righteous fix that really works. Why not?

Social Media Insecurity? Try Our Maturity Model Prescription

Leader Networks

Many enterprises suffer from a little-documented condition known as "social media insecurity." These anxiety-plagued firms are fearful that somehow, somewhere, they are falling behind their competitors and will suffer unforeseen hardships and failure if they are not at the cutting edge of social media activity. These firms don't realize that every company need not break new social media ground.

Time For You To Shine Online!

Leader Networks

Photo Credit: bjorn.watland As more and more individuals become involved in professional online communities, understanding how to engage online becomes increasingly important. Here are a few guidelines to help new members of professional communities get the most out their participation in online peer groups. Discovering which one will be best for you requires a bit of research and exploration.

4 Types Of Active Members – How To Spot Them And Engage

Leader Networks

There are different reasons why people participate in online communities. Not one size of inspiration fits all online community members. People tend to respond better to appropriately designed reward stimulus. Simply put, if they get what they need online, they will be more likely to continue their participatory acts. Some example rewards include a member spotlight article about them.

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Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

Are You Ready For A Discussion Or Do You Want To Have A Monologue?

Leader Networks

Recently, I blogged about measuring engagement in online communities. The post and accompanying framework were focused on measuring engagement within private online communities - primarily B2B. But there is a wider need for organizations to build engagement with community stakeholders wherever they are on the social channel. Social media can be a fast and effective way to accomplish this goal.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Social Media Soup

Leader Networks

Not much has changed over time - So I am (re) sharing my recipe Social Media Soup. Hope it brings a chuckle while you labor over your turkey this year. Just eight ingredients, 3 hours and a quarter. That's all you need to create Social Media Soup. Directions: Step 1: Begin with a few interns from marketing or PR. Divvy them among the interns to create a “presence” online for your company. Voilà!

SNCR Research Findings Highlight the Evolution of Social Business

Leader Networks

I am proud to introduce the results of the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks research study by The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR); a benchmark on the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making. The study is a result of collaboration between my co-researcher Don Bulmer and me as part of our fellowship with SNCR.

Online Community Beta Groups: Why and How

Leader Networks

You wouldn’t throw a party and not invite your closest friends, would you? You might even encourage them to come a wee bit early, right? The other guests who may not know you as well might feel a bit awkward to arrive on time and be the very first ones there. So why not ask your buddies to come early? The really good friends even stay after the party to help do the dishes. Why is this so important?

Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

Marketers are well-versed in the art and science of optimization.

The Online Community Content Map – Part One

Leader Networks

Creating meaningful content for an online community is a tricky business. Few online communities survive solely on member discussions. As I am fond of saying , people come for content but stay for community. However, if online community management shares too much content of marginal value, members can be overwhelmed and distracted. Community management hasn’t stopped to ask the “So what?”

Nearly 80% of People Participate In Online Community to Help Others

Leader Networks

One of the most common questions people ask me is why do people participate in online communities. For some, the act of logging onto a computer network and having a conversation with someone you have never met seems utterly foreign to some, but these are often the same people who will happily chat up a stranger in the grocery line. Go figure. On to the data. Fantastic news!

Insights Into The Social Mind

Leader Networks

Social business is dynamically changing the face of human interaction and communications globally. The emergence of new social behaviors and interrelationships between individuals, organizations, thought leaders and influencers are evolving in new and previously unforeseen ways primarily because of social media networks and peer groups. We are returning to the “apple cart” of yesteryear.

Does Your Company Inspire Trust? How Online Communities Can Help!

Leader Networks

Just the other day, I said to my 10 year old daughter ‘trust is hard to win and easy to lose.’ She was having a tough time with a good friend who had done something jerky, and she wanted to know if she should trust her friend again just because she was being nice. Once trust is broken, it takes time and evidence to repair the damage. Not really. It’s not that simple where trust is concerned.

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Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

71 Top Online Customer Communities: The Big List

Leader Networks

Online customer communities are everywhere -- you just have to look for them -- sometimes in unlikely places. Because they are dedicated to serving customers, often they are not evangelized to the general public or consumer audiences. But they are alive, well and thriving within many enterprises. By way of definition, when we say "online customer communities," we mean an interactive, often gated, website that a company sets up for customers to collaborate on topics of mutual interest. These styles of interactive interplay are an important aspect of the evolving web 2.0 SaaS4Channel.nl

Six Reasons Firms Build B2B Customer Communities

Leader Networks

The B2B online community may be the forgotten partner of the glitzy, headline and spotlight-grabbing B2C communities at the center of the social media revolution. In social media land, there is nothing more eye-catching than a community for a popular TV show, a cool consumer-facing site for coffee lovers or a sports team. But let's look at this a little more closely.

Building Employee Communities

Leader Networks

Community champions within an enterprise can be hard to find. They are far too busy delivering results to wave their own flag. These “intrapreneurs” -- the risk takers and shepherds of innovation and organizational change -- should be celebrated! We periodically spotlight online community leaders here, so I'm pleased to share a discussion with my friend and colleague Lauren Klein.

10 Social Media Promises: Can Your Company Keep Them?

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Listen up! Put down that smartphone, stand up, raise your right hand and repeat after me: 1) I promise to listen to -- and talk with -- my customers online , because reciprocity is the foundation for successful engagement when using the online social channel. 2) I promise to respect and value the information shared online by customers and clients. social media promise social media policy

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

The Future Of Social Shopping

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I have been thinking a lot about shopping lately. Granted it’s time for a new spring wardrobe, but more importantly, I have been preparing to talk to the Indian Retailer’s Association (RAI) in Mumbai next month on the impact of social business on retailers. Here is the US, as well as with much of the world, we are slowly limping our way out of the Great Recession. and Shop.org. from sales of $49.68