8 Brands Using the Collaborative Economy to Market with the Crowd

It pays to share, as the crowd shares your brand for you. Marketers first adopted the internet and then social media. The next digital phase is the Collaborative Economy. What’s that? If you’ve heard of Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and the Maker Movement, this is the Collaborative Economy. Just as social media enabled people to create media and then share media, in this next phase, the Collaborative Economy enables people to create their own physical goods as well as share their existing physical goods. In both of these examples, they are using digital technologies to make the sharing happen. This following honeycomb graphic of the Collaborative Economy clearly illustrates the many different industries that are being impacted. View full-size … Continue reading8 Brands Using the Collaborative Economy to Market with the Crowd

Collaborative Economy Strategy: Marketplaces Expand Your Brand

Mature software companies allow a “thousand flowers to bloom” as 3rd parties would build and sell new wares around their online marketplaces. Now, every company can tap this strategy. Make no doubt it, the Collaborative Economy continues to grow.  At the start of the year, I was tracking just over a dozen examples of big companies engaging in the change.  Today, just over six months later, there are over 50 examples of big brands who have moved into the collaborative economy.  That is a 76% increase! What is the Collaborative Economy?  It’s where people are sharing goods among each other, or making them on their own.  Existing, traditional model companies are beginning to realize that the way to join this trend … Continue readingCollaborative Economy Strategy: Marketplaces Expand Your Brand

10 Key Stats of the Community Manager Space #CMAD

Update: Here’s a Wrapup of #CMAD 2013, which Trended. Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, in celebration of saluting this important role changing the face of corporations and customers everywhere, I wanted to share original data and insights on the state of the space.  Community Manager Day (#CMAD) is hosted globally every fourth Monday in Jan, I’ll do a wrap up post and cross-link for this fourth year.  Why do Community Managers get their own day?  Essentially, they serve customers every other day, so they should get a day of thanks to highlight how they’re changing the face of business, customer care, and our industry.  Here’s key stats on the essential skills, requirements of community managers, as well who they … Continue reading10 Key Stats of the Community Manager Space #CMAD

Breakdown: A Strategy for Engaging Passion Communities

Left: A social network mapped out, this one is of influential photographer Kris Krug’s social graph. These breakdown posts often contain content that didn’t fit into research reports, and contain input from industry experts or deeper client engagements, see other ‘breakdown‘ posts. Unsure how to deal with the most passionate communities your market has to offer?  One of Altimeter’s large brand clients was struggling with this same question, a brand cannot simply waltz in without fully realizing the commitment being made and impact to brand relations.  Our client specifically wanted to know from myself and colleague Sr Researcher Christine Tran on the “best way to enter and exit a passion community”.  I interviewed Jenna Woodul from LiveWorld (software and services), … Continue readingBreakdown: A Strategy for Engaging Passion Communities

Community Management Education (and Certs) a Sound Investment –Yet Experience Trumps All

For seasoned or budding community managers, investing in a solid foundation of learning through an education program and becoming certified is a good investment –yet don’t think classroom time is sufficient, as time and experience in the field is the most important. A Need for Capable Community Managers on the Rise If there’s one thing I’ve been learning in my research it’s that corporations need skilled staff to use new media tools. Enter the Community Manager, part customer advocate, part product manager, part host, who tirelessly deals with customers online. In fact, Altimeter’s research indicates that budgets increase significantly for social media boutiques, and digital agencies as corporations become more advanced. Despite the increase in adoption from corporations, they are … Continue readingCommunity Management Education (and Certs) a Sound Investment –Yet Experience Trumps All

Expect Rapid Evolution of the Branded Support Community

Companies With Support Communities Not Ready For Changes To Come For over a decade, with simple BBS systems to community platforms, support communities haven’t undergone much innovation.  Often a silo and tucked away in a website, these communities are going to take center stage.  With social technologies appearing on every webpage, and more existing systems starting to connect, expect to see interesting use cases evolve.   Support focused communities will evolve to touch marketing, sales, channel partners,  CRM systems, and even become a thriving platform in the next few years.  Let’s explore the rapid changes coming together. A Support Community, Defined. Take a look at Microsoft’s media centric Channel 9, VMware communities, or even AAA’s travel tips. These branded communities are offered … Continue readingExpect Rapid Evolution of the Branded Support Community

Community Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD (Every 4th Monday of Jan)

Every fourth Monday of January, let’s take the time to pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts community managers around the world to improve customer experiences. Passionate About Customers The title matters not, whether it’s online customer advocate, online customer support, company evangelist, disgruntled customer handler. Instead, focus on what they do: A customer advocate willing to help regardless of where they are online. Learn more by reading the Four Tenants of Community Managers. Yet, Community Managers Don’t Have it Easy Yet despite their admirable intentions, we know they face several uphill challenges: Many challenges are internal: Most companies want to hide customer issues, and shuffle them into existing support systems. Additionally, measuring ROI in new media when a company wants … Continue readingCommunity Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD (Every 4th Monday of Jan)

Checklist: Develop a Successful Advocacy Program

Recently, I attended a corporate event that showcased products related to an industry. Press, media, bloggers, and influencers were invited to attend, and meet a variety of vendors and see products. Featured were members of the company’s advocacy program, (a group of preferred clients), and were given products to demo. Some members of the this advocacy program are bloggers, in particular one with a journalistic background, who’s credibility came into question. While the event continued on, a not-impressed attendee (who claimed to be a journalist) started to make comments that some of the members of the advocacy program were not authentic and went so far as to say quite loudly during the presentation they were “shills” from the back of … Continue readingChecklist: Develop a Successful Advocacy Program

How To Kick Start A Community –an Ongoing List

One of the top 10 questions in social media marketing asked is “How do we kick start our community?”  This post aims at providing some resources for brands that are preparing their community strategy. The old adage of the field of dreams isn’t true -if you build it–they won’t neccesarily come. Brands must have a kick start plan to be successful with their community. Below, I’ll list out some practices I’ve heard from companies that have had successful communities, and I’d ask you chime in and add more ways, let’s get started, I’ll be as specific and actionable as possible. How to Kick Start A Community Create compelling content on a recurring basis. Brands sometimes create videos, podcasts, or stories … Continue readingHow To Kick Start A Community –an Ongoing List