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Thicker than Blood: How community management brings you closer to your customers

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Thicker than Blood: how community management brings you closer to your customer How do you keep your relationship authentic?

  • subversive unit within a large company
  • Working out loud - ideation, code, activities - do it transparently and be intentional
  • Share bad news as well as the good news
  • Participate as a person in your community - be who you are and be open about
  • one chance to maintain the credibility of the company
  • Provide substantive answers
  • Be authentic as a person
  • Don't be surgical, it's not PR - be a member of a community
  • two way conduit

PR vs. Community*Company creates message = PR

  • Community = people are conversing
  • Answers not an answer - but a message in the case of PR
  • Community management ensures that there is a channel back to the company
    • must be open to all levels and all times for effectiveness

How much room or flexibility does your company allow you to build that relationship?*Working from the outside in - side rogue project

  • Experimental phase helps with allowing the flexibility
  • The following help you allow this
    • executive sponsor
    • where you report to
    • values of the company

How has your idea of community changed?*not one cm's relationship with a huge group of people but shift to the one on one relationship building

  • the people participating in communities and community managers have shifted
    • segment your audience to serve their needs

Online and offline - bridge the two or not?*Offline helps build stronger communities - people behave better after meeting in person

  • Conferences - regional ones too - helps to build relationships but also build community
    • hacker lounge
    • beers
    • games - play werewolf
  • offline = authentic moments

When to do the offline event for my community?*For a software (open source) community perspective - do an offline event after a new release - lots to talk about

  • For others, do it regularly, consistently

When have you championed your community to your company*Hang outs with power users and engineers (google/youtube) and they are begging for it

    • facilitate and bridge relationships between the customer and your company
  • Pair it with metrics - this led to a result - share that with your company
    • Go back to the company with issues - lay it with the behaviors, why it's happening and how it can be fixed - less like whining and more like advisor

Data/Metrics that helps demonstrate community success*make the data align with the broader business objectives - understand why you have a community

  • include a mix of quantitative and qualitative data - tell the story don't just give them the number
  • transparency out to the community and from the community to the company
  • paint the true value of ROI
  • Reporting structures are key to ensuring the right data from the community to the right department within the org

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