Company: Magento Commerce
Entry submitted by: Sherrie Rohde (Community Manager)
Community: Magento Community
Lithy category: Marketing Champion
Trusted by more than 250,000 businesses worldwide, Magento Commerce is the leading provider of open omnichannel innovation to retailers, brands and branded manufacturers across retail B2C and B2B industries. In addition to its flagship open source digital commerce platform, Magento Commerce boasts a strong portfolio of cloud-based omnichannel solutions empowering merchants to successfully integrate digital and physical shopping experiences. With over $50B in gross merchandise volume transacted on the platform annually, Magento Commerce is the foremost provider to the Internet Retailer Top 1000 and the Internet Retailer B2B 300, counting more than double the clients to the next closest competitor. Magento Commerce is supported by a vast global network of solution and technology partners, a highly active global developer community and the largest eCommerce marketplace for extensions available for download on the Magento Marketplace. More information can be found at www.magento.com.
Our unique promotion
While we can’t fully quantify the size of the Magento community, we know the Magento ecosystem comprises of 250,000 merchants, 300 partners, over 1,000 solution implementers, 130,000 developers with 5,900 of them being Magento certified.
In 2015, the Magento community created over 2,500 pull requests and issues for Magento 2.0 on Github, presented over 500 talks on Magento or at Magento-centric events, produced over 100 podcast episodes centered around Magento, organized conferences and meetups in over 24 different countries, wrote three books about Magento, contributed to official product documentation, wrote countless blog posts to raise awareness and education and answered thousands of questions on both StackExchange and the Magento Forums (Lithium Community).
As you can see, we have an amazing and highly active community who are constantly contributing to our product and advocating for our brand. However, until now, we have never had a formal recognition program in place. The absence of this program sometimes created confusion when looking to stakeholders for beta invites, feedback, event invites, etc.
This year, we created the Magento Masters (super user) program, the culmination of over six months of research and strategic planning to develop an initiative that elevates our most active community members, recognizes them for their contributions, and empowers them to help others learn more about the Magento platform and to succeed in our ecosystem.
Creating this program was no small feat as we really wanted to make sure that we had a full picture of our community contributions. We went through several revisions of a scoring algorithm asking various stakeholders if we were missing any aspect that helped those in our community move forward. For every type of contribution, we took the time to think through how we felt it should weight in relation to other contribution types based on the impact that contribution likely had on the community. After pulling data from multiple sources we had access to including Lithium Social Intelligence, we were able to start surfacing names. As we added to the data we were able to qualify the algorithm was what it should be. While some names were not a surprise, and shouldn’t be, it also gave us more insight to other members in the community who were less vocal contributors. Being able to connect with these contributors allowed us to really grow these relationships with key community leaders.
In addition to surfacing key community leaders that may not have been top of radar, this algorithm and data collection also allowed us to begin to share numbers like those above with our community. Our company was proud and our community was proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together in just one year. In reality, that year barely scratches the surface. This data also gives us quick insights into community leaders by region, role and company type which is often needed when identifying who to connect with for initiatives and opportunities.
As we thought through the program, we tried to keep a “What’s in it for me?” mindset for our community leaders, not just for us. Magento Masters members benefit from recognition both online and offline. This means a special badge and rank created for them and applied to their account on our Lithium Community platform as well as access to a private Magento Masters Lounge there. We also recognized them on our blog and at our annual conference, where we presented them with a physical award, which we’ll expand on more while discussing the campaign. Magento Masters will have increased access to things like beta programs, roadmaps and feedback opportunities as they arise. Some of this will be facilitate via a quarterly call with our product team and other key team members. We were also able to host them for a VIP lunch event at our conference and offer discounts on both certification and events.
Our goal in creating the Magento Masters program was to create clarity within our organization on who to look to as community leaders at the same time as being able to recognize them in a way they truly deserve – valued in front of their peers. We strongly believe we accomplished this.
Our strategy and tactics
Before beginning promotion of the Magento Master program, we worked with our brand and design teams to create a unique visual identity. After many whiteboard sessions, we landed on Magento Masters with three types: Movers, Mentors and Makers:
By creating these types, we were able to share clarity around why each Magento Master was selected with individual reasons supplied for each one when announcing them on our blog.
We first announced this program during our MagentoLive France event in Paris:
Later that week, we echoed the announcement a presentation at a community-organized conference in Milan focused around how to get involved in the community and key people who were contributing in various areas of our community: http://www.slideshare.net/SherrieRohde/how-do-i-get-involved-in-the-magento-community-57914070.
Our 2016 Magento Masters were then selected and invited to the program based on their contributions to the community in 2015. Because our community is truly a “Total Community,” we created an algorithm that calculated their community contributions from key areas where we believe they truly help to move the community forward as a whole. These areas include our Lithium Community platform, StackExchange, Github code contributions, official documentation contributions, speaking engagements, blogging, published books and organizing both meetups and conferences.
We announced the Magento Masters via our social media channels, in our weekly community digests on the Lithium platform and on our blog:
During our opening keynote at our 2016 6th annual Imagine conference in Las Vegas, our CEO, Magento Evangelist and Community Manager were able to bring 16 of the 20 Magento Masters on stage to recognize and award them in front of 2,500 attendees.
The results of this program exceeded our expectations, to say the least. Our Magento Masters are so humble and talented, which really added to the experience in the best way. It’s hard to even know where to start with the impact Magento Masters has already had for both our community and our company.
Our community organized podcast brought our Magento Evangelist and Community Manager on for an exclusive interview: http://magetalk.com/magetalk-episode-79-magento-masters/
One of our Magento Masters has added this to his LinkedIn https://pl.linkedin.com/in/snowdog, was celebrated by his company with both a party https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153675678633192.1073741837.71921053191&type=3 and a blog post: https://snow.dog/blog/kuba-zwolinski-announced-magento-master/ .
Other Magento Masters were also announced on their companies’ blogs:
Several others mentioned Magento Masters in their Imagine recaps:
We of course gave them some love in our event recap as well: https://magento.com/blog/events/we-are-magento-imagine-2016-highlights
Creating this program has inspired ideas across our organization about how to better implement councils, or involve the Magento Masters, in various decisions going forwards. It has also given us massive insight into actually being able to quantify what it is our community brings to the table (e.g. the stats I provided at the beginning) which has astounded and impressed both the community and those across our team.
Even before we officially announced the program, we had various departments coming to our community team in search of community members for various things (e.g. EMEA developers) and we were able to provide them with this information quickly and efficiently from the scoring algorithm created for the Magento Masters program. We are finally equipped with a way to connect key community members with key opportunities.
Since announcing the community, several who were once engaged in our old forums are now inspired to be more active on our new forums and the community team, comprising of four Magento Masters, that organizes a Q&A hackathon for the Magento StackExchange has discussed including the forums in their “MageStackDay” events.
Also, one of our Magento Masters has been repeatedly approached on how to get involved in the community and especially how to get started speaking about Magento and our female Magento Master (fingers crossed for more next year) is truly being looked to as a mentor for other women in our community, encouraging them to contribute more to qualify themselves for 2017.
Digging Into the Numbers
The Magento Masters program launch received over 250 individual posts across Twitter in support from our team, including our executive team, as well as from the community.
Our initial tweet announcing Magento Masters remains one of our top 10 posts in the past 90 days with 443 total engagements and 15,061 impressions: https://twitter.com/magento/status/694477995839463424
In addition, our tweet announcing the Movers also logged in as a top tweet with 425 total engagements and 16,656 impressions while our top tweet announcing the Mentors received 574 total engagements with 25,487 impressions and the Makers top tweet received 415 total engagements and 16,114 total impressions. A final wrap up announcing all 20 Magento Masters logged in at 340 total engagements and 14,655 impressions and our tweet congratulating them during Imagine logged in at 355 total engagements and 8,422 impressions: https://twitter.com/magento/status/719935530427756544, while several in the audience created their own renditions and our Magento Masters and their companies celebrated on social media throughout the conference.
Our blog post announcing the program is our 4th most popular blog post, excluding product announcements, in Q1 of 2016 while our announcement posts spotlighting the Movers, Mentors and Makers weigh in at 17th, 14th and 12th, respectively.
On our Lithium Community platform, Magento Masters visit 92% more than other members. In the first month of implementing the initiative, Magento Master participation increased by 56% while other members increased participation by 6%.
Overall we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reception and heard from our community that this was greatly needed. The next step? Individual in-depth profiles on our blog for each of the Magento Masters as well as launching into our quarterly calls to learn more.
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