Building Online Community
As we work on creating a new tool, a tool capable of helping ecommerce merchants and content marketers validate their social media and content marketing. We’ve identified five community pillars:
- Creation Story – Who Are YOU (should map core values and tell a story referred to over and over).
- Authoritative Content – Become the expert for your entire business segment.
- User Generated Content (UGC) – Must be valued by actively curated and rewarded via gamification.
- Gamification – Defined system of rewards that may include “jobs” so community begins to scale and take over.
- Movements Not Campaigns – Umbrella ideas that incorporate major calendar events but whose genesis you own.
Friends at Haiku Deck have figured out other important ideas as outlined in the slide deck at the top of the page. Two CSFs (Critical Success Factors) are:
- Public Facing Profile – giving customers / users the ability to create a profile on you website identifies your 1%ers (your big contributors according to the visitors fall into three categories 1%Contributors, 9%Supporters, 90%Readers).
- Galleries – find ways to feature and “curate In” User Generated Content (UGC). Create social rewards to label Contributors and Supporters. The more of THEIR content on YOUR website the better.
HaikuDeck.com does a great job with Galleries. You know your galleries are working when you begin to do less work to find great UGC to curate in. Your past features build demand and send a clear message, “We value UGC”. When tribe members fight to have their content featured in one of your galleries your galleries have enough scale to continue to tumble forward with less and less control from the sponsoring website.
Master Blaster = My Profile on YOUR Website
The page should collect your customers “tribe” within your tribe. We call the page the Master Blaster because its a “site within a site”. Master Blaster pages dedicated to your site’s power users attain rank and Klout because customers featured share them. Many ecommerce merchants have MyAccount pages.
Few ecommerce merchants make the non-secret part of their MyAccount pages public facing. If Facebook teaches anything it is the power of the public facing profile with rudimentary following, fanning or connection tools. When we are connected I can easily share with you and vice versa.
Galleries As Social Reward
Galleries = ways to reward 1%Contributors and 9%Supporters. The most powerful statement about your product’s power and value comes from the crazy cool ways customers find to use it. You will need to “seed” galleries at first.
Seeding, in this context, is finding great content and sharing it in a new gallery. People don’t go into empty rooms for long. People go where their friends are. People go where there are interesting people, content and ideas.
The day you don’t have to fight to find, herd or request content is the day your galleries hit a magical tipping point. After your galleries hit their tipping point they become easily self sustaining. Haiku Deck is a great example.
Set your pillars, curate and reward User Generated Content, create public facing Master Blaster pages and curate featured content into galleries and your community’s growth engine is set. Oh, btw, helping build online community is why we are creating Curagami :). M