BOCN: Business of Community Networking wrap-up

by Kate Brodock on 29 March 2009

Posted in: Conferences & Events

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Anya and I attended the WorldRG-sponsored Business of Community Networking conference in Boston last week.  The setting was very intimate, and there was a great line-up of speakers.  I’ve given a run down of several of them below, with some of the main takeaways.

Clara Shih on her thoughts on Facebook and Online Communities

Panel on how various online communities and community platforms have worked or not worked

Lena West on Viral Marketing

Liz Strauss on Successful Blogging

Michael Cayley on Social Capital Value Add

A panel discussion on ROI measurement

Susan Getgood on Social Media and Customer Service

Marketing, Branding and Community: How social networks are rewriting the rules of marketing, branding and community

Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era

  • Facebook is a way for humans to interact with each other, it’s not just a tool.
  • How can collaboration/productivity tools be incorporated into Facebook? Can it be used as a CRM?
  • It’s now become a social norm to share personal information publicly.  Facebook can be used as a channel to access information via “trusted online identity.”  You can connect with friends about what’s important to you, both personally and professionally.
  • How do you as a company insert yourself in the conversation in a way that’s valuable and not invasive?
    • Know your customer: use transitive trust, a personalized interaction.  It’s up to the individual to share their information.  Customers expect that you know them and that you’ve done your due diligence on them personally.
    • Weak ties are very important in this setting, leverage them.
  • Facebook offers a personal contact database.  A traditional CRM is uni-directional (companies push), now it’s bi-directional (the customer is empowered).

[Faceconnector demo]

  • There is a loyalty magnification effect in Facebook: Passive word-of-mouth (you can become a fan of something right from your own newsfeed.  If one of your friends becomes a fan, it’s very easy to follow suit).
  • Facebook offers precision marketing with hypertargeted ads
    • You can minimize wasted ads
    • Leverage latent interest
    • Test new segments and messaging
  • How do you reach them before intention sets in and get them to become intention-based buyers?

[Resources: You can install Faceconnect here on the apps page of salesforce.com and learn more about The Facebook Era here.]

Learnings from a Facebook Group in Business Investigation

Jenny Ambrozek, Victoria Axelrod, Francois Gossieux

  • You can now tap communities once only reserved for companies with deep pockets
  • Community development/management has to be considered a real investment
  • Facebook isn’t great for managing huge groups
  • Ning provides a platform for rich conversation (discussion threads, blogs, subgroups, etc)
  • Fundamentals
    • Good content
    • Allow for members profiles
    • Don’t think market segments, think tribes
    • Think about behavior, not demographics
    • Don’t think of the tool as a channel, think about it as a conversation between you and them
    • Content must be picked up to become part of the conversations
  • “Whether there’s an ROI or not, [social networking] is something you have to do.”
  • “We haven’t been able to assign a dollar amount to [social networking], but you still have to play.”
  • What is the relationship of new people coming to the site to those current members?  How did they get there?
    • Known name
    • Known friend of a friend
    • New face
    • New member, source unknown
  • Align your activity measurements with network measurements and analysis
  • It’s about behavior, not attributes
  • Reciprocity in people is a reflex
  • We either behave in a market framework (contract, employment, cold, calculated) or a social framework
  • Provide structure and house rules (top-down) while nurturing the bottom-up interactions
  • Facebook ends up being a lot of work
    • Much harder for B2B to get companies to interact
    • People don’t want to necessarily go to Facebook to do business
    • It’s still difficult to put a “face” to a company
  • Find out where your trive hangs out, go there, and deliver results

[Resources: Tribalization of Business Study (Beeline Labs)]

The Chicken or the Egg: The real deal about “viral marketing”

Lena West, Founder & CEO of Xyno Media

  • Viral Marketing is any marketing tactic/content that encourages “pass along” sharing, which then changes that messages level of influence.
  • 3-7-3 Frameworks
    • 3 Rules
      • Viral marketing is created, not born
      • People hate the term viral marketing, and probably always will
      • Not all viral marketing is good
    • 7 Criteria
      • Free & short rule
      • Doesn’t force behavior change, but allows for it
      • It’s not just entertaining, but people can see themselves doing it
      • Feeds off how people work
      • Scalability is hardwired (support structure needs to be there)
      • Facilitates easy sharing
      • Leverage Other Peoples’ Social (OPS)
    • 3 Imperatives
      • Listen/Monitor (if you don’t listen, you don’t know what’s going on)
      • Set the kill switch (how can you pull the plug if you need to)
      • Once your campaign goes viral, it no longer belongs to your brand

Understanding the Conversation Online Between Consumers: Focusing on blogging

Liz Strauss, Social Media Strategist and blogger at Successful Blog

Please see separate post complete with video for this presentation.

Social Media Reality: Achieving cultural shifts

Michael Cayley, Founder of Social Capital Value Add

[Video coming soon]

  • Two main points of this video:
    • We’re going through exponential change
    • Bandwidth is one of the key drivers
  • What’s In It For Me (WWIF Me) has become WIIF Them
  • There is an authentic connection and self-fulfillment found through organization
  • Would some companies survive if they weren’t aligned with CSR?
  • Shared perception is mediated
  • The medium is in the message
  • The scale of human beings has changed, so how we architect around that will change
  • Brand Valuation is an estimation of the future earnings of products and services
  • Social Capital in not based on a product line

[Resources: Introducing Social Capital Value Add e-book]

Understanding the ROI with Community Marketing

Chris Carfi, CEO of Cerado (Moderator); Myles Bristowe, President of Boston American Marketing Association and CMO of Commonwealth Creative Associates; Michael Cayley, Founder of Social Capital Value Add; Jenny Ambrozek, Founder of SageNet; Erica Farthing, Director of Social Media for Condodomain.com

[Video coming soon]

  • Anything in marketing is a risk
  • Measure everything you can
  • You can measure so much more now than you could
  • Give your members a reason to join your network (for AMA is was to communicate with professionals in their field and get relevant information)
  • Instead of just having events or a newsletter, an online community offers value from the association or company every day
  • For AMA, in order to convert people from community members to Association members, there needed to be someone who reached out to them, they needed to find continual value, and they needed to participate in order to convert to membership.
  • Integrate the back end of your community for data capture
  • Most measurements are happening ad hoc, but creating a company picture with the most applicable measurements is key
  • Set realistic goals

Examining Social Media & Customer Services

Susan Getgood, Principal of Getgood Strategic Marketing

  • Your starting point is your customer
  • Customers are online talking about you
  • It’s about the social part.  The tool is just a medium and they’re changing every day
  • Public social netowkrs are where discussions are taking place
  • 85% of social media users say that companies should be online in a social networking way
  • It’s not just about outbound marketing, it’s about engagement and what the customers do once they reach you
  • 4 Ps of online engagement: Prepare, Participate, Pitch or Publish
  • Constistency, Honesty and Value
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  • http://www.socialcapitalvalueadd.com Michael Cayley

    Hi Kate – thanks for posting & linking to the ebook (note: I think that the link above at the start of Social Capital Value Add section is broken).

    I look forward to the edited video.

    The main point that I was trying to make, above all, is that responsibility for leadership into the networked era comes from each and everyone one of us. Not from above or from traditional institutions or forms of organisation.

    WE need to drive the radical changes highlighted in the Did You Know? video throughout our countries, companies, cities, families, etc.

    I am glad that you like the Wizard of Oz metaphor. Whether you employ this one or “The World is Flat” or “Tipping Point” … the point is that use of metaphor is a key tool for getting folks to understand the changes that are happening so fast that they are having difficulty keeping up.

    I think Social Capital Value Add is a good rational arguement that ties a lot of silos of thought about our new society together. I hope others come to understand it and employ it to help us all rise to the challenges presented.

    Overall, though … it will be lots of story telling that gets folks emulating the small steps that anyone can take to become part of a culture of emergence, where we maximize our organizational forms to be open to rapid change and fluid environments but also optimized for sorting the good from the bad & seizing opportunities as they become prevalent.

  • http://www.socialcapitalvalueadd.com Michael Cayley

    Hi Kate – thanks for posting & linking to the ebook (note: I think that the link above at the start of Social Capital Value Add section is broken).

    I look forward to the edited video.

    The main point that I was trying to make, above all, is that responsibility for leadership into the networked era comes from each and everyone one of us. Not from above or from traditional institutions or forms of organisation.

    WE need to drive the radical changes highlighted in the Did You Know? video throughout our countries, companies, cities, families, etc.

    I am glad that you like the Wizard of Oz metaphor. Whether you employ this one or “The World is Flat” or “Tipping Point” … the point is that use of metaphor is a key tool for getting folks to understand the changes that are happening so fast that they are having difficulty keeping up.

    I think Social Capital Value Add is a good rational arguement that ties a lot of silos of thought about our new society together. I hope others come to understand it and employ it to help us all rise to the challenges presented.

    Overall, though … it will be lots of story telling that gets folks emulating the small steps that anyone can take to become part of a culture of emergence, where we maximize our organizational forms to be open to rapid change and fluid environments but also optimized for sorting the good from the bad & seizing opportunities as they become prevalent.

  • http://www.othersidegroup.com/adcomments Kate Brodock

    Michael –

    Thanks so much for your additions to the posting. (Link should be fixed now). The way you've defined Social Capital Value Add is very important to how things move forward, especially highlighting that the responsibility for the movement comes, in part, from us, and that being proactive about what's in front of us will be crucial.

    This will go well with the video and I look forward to following progress on SCVA!

  • http://www.katebrodock.com Kate Brodock

    Michael –

    Thanks so much for your additions to the posting. (Link should be fixed now). The way you've defined Social Capital Value Add is very important to how things move forward, especially highlighting that the responsibility for the movement comes, in part, from us, and that being proactive about what's in front of us will be crucial.

    This will go well with the video and I look forward to following progress on SCVA!

  • http://c21org.typepad.com Jenny Ambrozek

    Thanks for capturing essence of the Business of Community Networking Conference. As your nuggest indicate organizer Meghan Jacobi assembled an extraordinary group of speakers to poke at the topic from every angle. I hope you find ways to translate the conversations into actions with your clients.

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