I've been thinking about this topic for awhile because I experience so many businesses who don't know the difference between audience and community (social vs. owned community, respectively--my language around this stuff). I believe it's important TO know the difference because, from an ROI perspective, a company hosting a community (...a forum...a Lithium instance) can expect better results (I'm open to debate on the use case differences) from people they engage in community vs. on social.
This is all very obvious and sets up the premise for my topic idea which is this: Can you nurture new community growth by building relationships in social to eventually get someone to become a new owned community member? Is this a good idea? How have companies done this? Have specific parts of the community been created to accomplish this and give those "advocates who aren't necessarily customers" a way to convene together? Could this be a new way for companies to leverage advocates as a source of favorable, semi-impartial, searchable content.
In a related vein, I am sure there are Lithium customers out there who also struggle with smoothing the competitive waters between community and social sites, like a company Facebook page where there is more space TO engage (vs Twitter). Or perhaps there are companies who have Lithium instances and also still have company (or perhaps non-company sponsored) open or closed Facebook groups. How do you deal with that model and is your goal to get everyone into the main community or no?
To honor the history around this topic, Dr. Wu has been talking about this differentiation for awhile. I apologize. It's 6 years later and yes, businesses haven't figured it out. But! Maybe Lithium customers have and that's what I'd like this session to be about because my bet is there are innovators who can help mentor newer Lithium customers who are also interested in this topic. Looking for minds to come together to work the problem, solution, potential upsides or whatever else might happen.