To generate new ideas, many companies are going beyond traditional R&D groups and in-person focus groups to tap into a new generation of connected consumers through online communities that help generate massive quantities of new ideas.
Tag: online communities
Today, everything is social -– social commerce, social business, social CRM. The list goes on and on. But are consumer technologies like Twitter and Facebook strategic for implementing a social media business strategy? Can you measure the investment? What are the best options for getting tangible value? Once you remove the shiny wrapper, there is an incredible amount of depth and value in using social technologies as a way to reach your customers. However, I personally find the word “social” to be a poor descriptor. Terms like community or collaboration tend to be more meaningful. Here are some ways that businesses and tap into the power of online community.
For those of you who have been following Wikimedia's open strategy initiative on this blog, you'll know that one of the goals of the work has been to strengthen the health of the Wikipedia community of contributors who create and use its online encyclopedias. In a healthy community, contributors feel a sense of affiliation and social bonding, they come from diverse backgrounds and expertise areas required to accomplish the project's expansive work, remain open to differences of perspective and able to resolve disputes respectfully. "Community health" is a hot topic among participants engaged in developing the Wikimedia strategy, both within the broader Wikimedia community and outside it.
Before Facebook launched in 2004, were you part of a community? Did you share pictures of your vacation with your friends? Before LinkedIn, did you share details of your business contacts to help out a friend? Before blogs, when someone you knew said something controversial, did you comment on it? Of course you did. Social activity isn't new. We're social creatures, mostly. But why do we act as if online communities are completely new? We make errors in trying to build communities that we would never make in real life. Some of these errors are fundamental. In everyday life, if the conversation only went one way, you'd tell me that you're not going to build a very strong relationship. No one likes to be talked at.
Earlier this year we posted a series of examples of online communities in the TV industry. We looked at the way ‘old’ and ‘new’ media combine, how television broadcasters and production companies are working with online media. The examples we chose were all of ways in which online communities can be used to provide an additional set of experiences for a viewer, often after a programme has aired. From Channel Four’s Sexperience online community which supported the Sex Education Show to HGTV’s Rate My Space online community for people to share home improvement photos and tips.
Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share. As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we’re involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention.
People trust peers, even if they don’t know them. This is the observation behind the success of online communities from TripAdvisor to reviews on Amazon or indeed any one of the many examples of online communities that are growing and flourishing. We trust these strangers-cum-peers with important decisions in our live - from which hotel to book for our annual holiday, to support on medical or financial decisions. And some trust these strangers-cum-peers so much that they even lend money to them.
BzzAgent aims to turn chatterbox volunteers into long-term brand ambassadors companies can mine for product insight and feedback.
A business model is the architecture of a business or project. It has four elements: 1. What compelling reason exists for people to give you money? (or votes or donations) 2. How do you acquire what you're selling for less than it costs to sell it? 3. What structural insulation do you have from relentless commoditization and a price war? 4. How will strangers find out about the business and decide to become customers?
Research released by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the UK suggests that people are growing increasingly tired of requests to join brand pages or install brand applications in Facebook and other social networks. The research found that almost two in every three of the 2,000 respondents to the survey were fed up with the constant requests to join groups and try new applications.
Are social media surveys the new market research panels? Graham Lee at Onlinefire looks at ways online communities can be used to shape product development.