Improve your customer engagement and customer service with an online community. This is my recap of the 12/17 #Hootchat hosted by @HootCommunity.
Q1: What are the first steps to building a new online community
- Know why you are building the community: customer service, engagement, marketing
- Determine the best platform: Paid:
@JiveSoftware or @LithiumTech Free: LinkedIn or G+
Q2: What are some strong brands with online communities
@JiveSoftware and @LithiumTech
@HootCommunity chat group: very engaged & willing to share knowledge
Q3: What are common mistakes when trying to grow your online community?
- Trying to grow too big too fast & prioritizing member numbers over engagement
- Not having a clear definition of success
- Putting up a community without a Community Manager
Q4: What are ways you can engage your online community offline?
- Engage via: private chat, email, or my old school method… the phone & have an actual conversation
- WebEx conferences with community members – Google Hangouts or Skype work too
- Some platforms allow private groups – create one and invite your MVP / power users
Q5: How does growing your online community help build brand credibility?
- The more conversations you have, the more loyal your customer, the more loyal – the more they talk about you
- Along with credibility, you have a great customer service and solutions place as peers trust each other
- Support communities are AWESOME customer service centers: trusted, fast, and low-cost
Q6: How do you identify potential advocates and ambassadors from your online community?
- Analytics: How often they come, how many answers they provide, answers marked correct by others
- What is the “tone” of their conversations? How do they engage other members?
- Get into your community and participate
Q7: What are some non-traditional ways to grow your online community?
- Start with a tweetchat, build a list, slowly invite people from the list into the community
- No matter how you find and invite – DO IT SLOWLY – set up the space, be ready for volume, have content
- NEVER invite ppl to an empty room – have a team to greet & respond as well as content for them to consume
Q8: What is one thing you can do right now to start growing your online community?
- Know WHY you are building it
- Have customer-centric content
- Participate & respond to questions
A more complete transcript is available in my Storify recap. Please join #Hootchat every Thursday at 3pm EST. Thank you for your attention; please leave your comments and questions.