Building Online Community
We are creating a new tool, a tool capable of helping ecommerce merchants and content marketers validate their social media and content marketing. To create our new “content curation engine” 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) they helped us realize:
- Public Facing Profile
Give customers / users the ability to create a profile on you website. Profile creation becomes an easy way to identify your 1%ers and 9%ers (1:9:90 Rule = 1% of visitors contribute, 9% of visitors share especially if content comes from 1%ers and 90% of a site’s visitors read and are important for traffic metrics but hard to engage).
Create ways to feature and “curate In” visual User Generated Content (UGC). Create social rewards to inspire Contributors (1%ers and 9%ers) to “level up” by contributing more and recruiting friends. More of THEIR (customers and contributors) content on YOUR website the better.
HaikuDeck.com does a great job with Galleries.
Haiku Deck – Successful SaaS Model – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
You know your galleries are working when people are asking you to post, or better yet you’ve delegated what should be posted to members of your community. Your past features build demand and send a clear message – “We value UGC”. Sharing and rewarding creates more sharing and rewarding.
Master Blaster = My Profile on YOUR Website
Your customers should be able to create a “tribe” within your tribe. We call customer profile pages Master Blasters because they are a “site within a site”. Master Blaster pages dedicated to your site’s power users attain rank and Klout. Your customers share their profile pages with their social nets (See my Moon-Audio.com Ambassador Profile).
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 become 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 self sustaining. Haiku Deck is a great example as I outlined in the Haiku Deck Model slide deck.
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
Community Shock Is Coming
If you’ve read Mark Schaefer’s influential Content Shock post you know an important web truth – when we marketers scrum up and all pile on efficacy is drained. That tactic that worked so well yesterday doesn’t work so well today. Content marketing is experience a “shock” of acceptance right now. Creation of sustainable online community will be the next big SHOCK because how may “communities” are we willing to join? Two to four is probably the maximum number most customers can manage, so creating community today with a clear ASK may get your site, brand and company in under the wire before the SHOCK.