Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang interviewed me recently for two different reports he’s been working on, both of which are out now. Both are impressive reports, and I’d encourage you to check them out:
How To Staff For Social Computing
Don’t try to build and run social applications without the right staff. We’ve identified two key new roles needed for success: 1) the Social Computing strategist, who’ll lead the internal charge, and 2) the community manager, an external customer advocate. Working in tandem, these roles will align Social Computing programs with the business and ensure that community members are happy. Management should agree upon goals and then give the team latitude to get the job done —including embracing mistakes as new programs are tested out.
Online Community Best Practices
An online community is an interactive group of people joined together by a common interest. It’s also one of the most powerful tools a marketer can deploy for customer retention, word of mouth, and customer insight. To host a successful community, think of it as you would product development: Start by focusing on objectives, chart a road map, assemble the right team, and plan to be flexible. Then build your success by launching the community with the backing of your most enthusiastic customers and staying engaged as the community grows. Above all, remember that control is in the hands of the members, so put their needs first, build trust, and become an active part of the community.