Key Considerations For Building Enterprise Community

Putting social to work

In an interactive online panel held during the 5th annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), video below, Jeanette Gibson (HootSuite), Elizabeth Houston (HootSuite),  Jaime Stein (Tangerine), Yann Gourven (Visionary Marketing) and Destin Haynes (HootSuite) discussed and shared insight from their experience providing strategies used to build community in the enterprise space. With increased security and compliance, things are a little different for enterprise businesses interested in creating and engaging in online communities.

Watch the video of the panel below and read on for some of the key takeaways from the discussion.

Building Community in the Enterprise Business

Key Elements to Building Strong Enterprise Communities

  • Executive involvement is key to ensuring internal and external communities are strong. It needs to be an organizational priority to be on social, not just live in marketing or communications departments.
  • Enterprise audiences rely on peer-peer interaction, so it is important to bring together customers that have the same care-abouts, offer them specialized information and provide a private and safe environment for discussion.

Considerations for Creating a Single Enterprise Community

  • It is vital to find early advocates and influencers who are interested in the conversations you want to have.
  • Find subject matter experts (SMEs) both internally and externally that are willing to participate from the very beginning.
  • Making your community too uniform in terms of who or what departments are engaging in the community is bad for creativity and a barrier to enticing people to join in the community. However, letting everybody in the organization do their own thing can create loads of initiatives that don’t work well together.

The Role of Cross-Organization Collaboration in Community

  • In many Enterprises, sales cycles are very long. Community helps you sustain that relationship over long periods of time. Sales, customer support and marketing all need to work collaboratively to leverage community.
  • Create customer centricity; let your customers know you truly value their feedback and input.

Key Differences Between Enterprise and Traditional Community Building

  • Topics need to be very specific; in the Enterprise space there are so many verticals and professionals want to talk to subject matter experts.
  • It is key to hone in on expert niches and give access to specialized knowledge.
  • Whether it is a traditional community or not, you will always find three things: people who share a common interest, people wanting to help each other and people wanting a mutual benefit.

Community Building and the Bottom Line of a Business

  • When it comes to community, it’s vital to show both the quantitative and qualitative ROIs.
  • As a a business, you have to take the time to build good standing before you can ask your community for something back.
  • Your community is your customers. If you’re negatively impacting them by spamming or asking too much, you may lose a customer.
  • Measure the value of share of voice, especially in money saved on advertising.

Community Manager Appreciation Day

HootSuite partnered with our friends from My Community Manager and a host of others to host 24 hours of live panels on Community Manager Appreciation Day 2014. Each panel consisted of industry experts discussing a given topic around social, digital and community management — all for the sake of celebrating CMAD.

With CMAD 2014 over, community managers are back to the grind of doing what you do best but perhaps still can’t explain to your colleagues. The trend of community management being associated with social media is slowly changing. Social media is but one tool at your disposal to connect, build and manage communities. See you next year!