“The coolest part of our community is that it is truly a ‘community’ – we’re like a family.”
Catherine Kaiser, Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media – Webroot
Webroot first tapped Lithium to help build its B2C online community. Before much time had passed, the community began to welcome a B2B audience as well as its partner community. All in all, it was a grassroots effort from the very beginning, transforming to over 35,000 members today. Because we always love to hear stories about how communities flourish and grow, we thought we’d reach out to Catherine Kaiser, the Internet security company’s Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media, to learn some tips and tricks about managing successful communities. Here’s what she had to say about the Webroot community.
What is one of the goals of the Webroot community?
Obviously, we want our members to be active and engaged in the community. We want them to talk to each other and share insights and ideas about what’s most important to them. However, we felt this was an opportunity to learn something from our customers. It didn’t take long for us to realize that our community was the perfect place to get product feedback – especially since our members were more than willing to provide that feedback to us! This two-way dialogue between our company and our members is truly our primary goal. Not only does it allow us to maintain on-going and open communication with our most loyal customers, but it also gives us an opportunity to receive product feedback that helps us build better products. Definitely a win-win for everyone involved.
Tell us about a program or initiative you’ve launched to spark engagement.
We launched our VIP Program a few years ago – and it now includes about 300 of our most loyal members. Though, anyone who’s ever created a “loyalty program” knows that, for it to be successful, it needs to drive deeper engagement beyond what’s available to the community as a whole. So we decided to make it fun. The program is essentially a competitive game with different status “levels” that our members can work towards. They can earn points for pretty much anything they do in the community: posting features, getting a solution accepted, or simply contributing to the community in some way. Every action earns them points – and as they move up the status ladder, new perks become available to them. In fact, we recently had two of our VIP’s reach the highest level, which awarded them a visit to Webroot HQ to meet with the team, talk to senior executives, and launch a new product release.
Any tips for a new community manager?
This one’s easy. You cannot be of the “if you build it, they will come” mindset. Building and managing a community requires a holistic strategy that takes into account every imaginable touchpoint, from building the user interface of the community to incentivizing people to become members to identifying the right content (and beyond!). It’s important to build a roadmap that ensures you haven’t overlooked any of the pieces of the community puzzle. When push comes to shove, though, the important thing to think about when building a real community is that it’s not just about your brand and your products; it’s about real conversations that essentially make your members feel like their family. And when that happens, it’s truly a beautiful thing!
WHO IS CATHERINE KAISER?
Catherine Kaiser leads the digital, social media and PR strategy for Webroot’s global home, mobile, and enterprise business. Catherine’s team is responsible for all aspects of customer engagement, including management of the Webroot Community – as well as two successful advocate programs, all social media channels and digital marketing tactics. Her work has been quoted in USA Today, Wall St. Journal, MSN Money, SmartMoney.com, and the book “Turning Brand Advocates into a Powerful Marketing Force to Drive Leads and Sales.” Prior to Webroot, Catherine was Director of Marketing at Quizzle.com, a start-up focused on credit and debt management.
Webroot provides Smarter Cybersecurity solutions. We provide next-generation intelligent endpoint protection and threat intelligence services to secure the Internet of Everything. By leveraging our cloud-based collective threat intelligence platform, computers, tablets, smartphones, and more are protected from malware and other cyberattacks. Our award-winning SecureAnywhere® intelligent endpoint protection and BrightCloud® Threat Intelligence Services protect tens of millions of consumer, business, and enterprise devices. Webroot technology is trusted and integrated into products from market-leading companies including Cisco, F5 Networks, HP, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, RSA, Aruba, and many more. Webroot is headquartered in Colorado, USA and operates globally across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Discover Smarter Cybersecurity solutions atwww.webroot.com.
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