At Lithium, we hear great "superfan" stories every day. These are not just community members but the 1% of people who regularity help their peers in Lithium communities. We've heard some outstanding stories - superfans spending hours on a community, superfans spending 10X more then regular customers.
While I could go on and on about this very special opt-in crowd, I paused when I read this post by Bo: Meet Joey Sanders, the first BlackBerry Community Support Forums Resident Expert!
"Joey joined the community when it launched April 1st, 2008 and since then he has produced over 50,000 posts in the BlackBerry Community Support Forums."
Excuse me, did that say 50,000 posts since 2008? YES. Even the team at Lithium is blown away by that number - we had to hear more about the RIM community from community manager, Bo Reeves. Here's our interview:
(Lithium Technologies: LT) Tell us about the BlackBerry Support Community—a bit about the history, the goals, perhaps a few key statistics if you feel comfortable sharing.
(Bo Reeves: BR) The community launched four years ago and has steadily grown to over 450,000 registered users. It was launched to provide our customers with a space to assist and learn from each other.
Ultimately we want our customers to find the support they need, where they’re looking. On an annual basis since the community launch we have seen growth by, on average, approximately 30% each year. Last year was the greatest increase of over 40%.
(LT) Tell us about your role as a Community Manager for the BlackBerry Support Community.
(BR) As the Community Manager my role is to keep our users engaged and coming back. As this is a peer-to-peer model we want to ensure that users, who are assisting and providing answers, are getting the feedback and appreciation they deserve. I also look to the future of the community to see where we want to take it, what kind of experience do we want our users to have.
(LT) How do you define community success?
(BR) When I think about the success of the community, I think of the community growth. I also look at the successful initiatives such as The Community Insider Events which are picked up by various other communities to point their users to us for these exclusive offerings.
There are other items I see such as Private Messages or PM’s from community members thanking us for having such a site where they can search and find or ask and receive answers to their questions.
(LT) How do you measure ROI for social support?
(BR) When talking about ROI, it can be a bit tricky for a brand when offering self-service as a support solution. We do have KPI's in place, but a strong indicator is the level of engagement happening in the community.
(LT) The BlackBerry Support Community has one of the top 10 highest CHI scores of all Lithium communities—what do you think has contributed to your success the most?
(BR) I really have to attribute it to our users. We have a great user base of people with a genuine desire to help others get the most out of their BlackBerry. They are quick to respond and are dedicated to providing support to anyone looking for it. This helps to create an active and engaged community.
(LT) You’ve been very successful at finding and cultivating your brand SuperUsers. Tell us about that process and your SuperUsers strategy.
(BR) Because our community is a peer-to-peer community it is very important for us to identify and engage the brand advocates that choose to assist on our community as opposed to another community. We offer these users an exclusive opportunity in the form of a hidden ‘Expert Arena’ with several boards to keep them engaged. It offers an exclusive space for these users to collaborate on issues amongst themselves as well as share and chat with each together, and me, in a private and more intimate setting.
(LT) What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an online community manager and how did you work through it?
(BR) The biggest challenge for any CM I think is balancing the needs/wants of the community, with the interest of the business/organization. It can be difficult when there is a desire to give everyone what they want and knowing, of course, you may not be able to.
Also when communicating with users - what we can and can't say. There are going to be times (for any brand) when you cannot comment or divulge information and users really want you to offer more.
(LT) Where do you go for advice or mentorship?
(BR) I think my biggest source for advice and/or mentorship would be my predecessor on the community, Kerri Birtch, as well as her predecessor Michelle Kostya. These two ladies took me from a position in Technical Support and completely turned my career path around. I’m still in very close contact with both and reach out to them for support and advice when I need it.
(LT) Which social customer experiences has RIM delivered that you are most proud of?
(BR) I think, from a social support experience, I would have to say that the @BlackBerryHelp Twitter account is one of the social support offerings I’m very proud of. The team has won the industry Shorty award two years in a row and has come a long way since the team launched in 2009. Now the account boasts almost 800,000 followers.
(LT) In what way has social support changed the way RIM/ BlackBerry does business?
(BR) I don’t know that it has changed the way we do business as much as it has changed the way we support our customers. We have offerings on Facebook and Twitter (in addition to the Support Community) and we are now supporting hundreds of thousands of users via social media. In the (just under) three short years since we started with social media, we have become a world leader and are creating the standards for social media support.
(LT) What does the phrase brand nation make you think about—what do you think a brand nation might be?
(BR) When I hear the words ‘brand nation’ my first thoughts are of just that, a nation of advocates, and enthusiasts. The difference being in these times of the internet and the ‘global community’, borders and geography no longer play a role. We are a nation of advocates for the brands that we love! I know when I have a good experience, whether with a product or service or even support, the first thing I do is tweet or post it on my Facebook. We are a global community and we now have the ability to be members of many nations for all of the brands that we choose to love, praise or even if we bash periodically, we can still represent the brands that we feel, represent us.
Thank you, Bo and congratulations for all of your success!
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Erin Korogodsky is Lithium's social media quarterback. Obsessed with social media, Erin has worked with Lithium clients to monitor their brands and brainstorm social strategy, with a focus on enlisting and engaging passionate fans. She is a frequent blogger on the Lithosphere (as ErinKoro) and you can follow her on twitter at @erinkoro and one of the team on @LithiumTech.
Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group presents " A Framework for Social Analytics " at #LiNC.
Here's a question for the ages:
How do you justify what you're doing in social media? We're way past the point of mumbling and stuttering our way through ROI. Yet, as strategists, we're collectively way behind:
“41% of of more than 1,000 companies and agencies surveyed had ‘no return of investment figure for any of the money they had spent on social channels as of October 2011.’”
eConsultancy, State of Social Report, November 2011
So…how DO you justify your social media spend? That's the question that Altimeter Group's Susan Etlinger helped us answer at #LiNC where she presented her report "A Framework for Social Analytics."
Turns out that's a big question and can be broken down into a few other points to consider:
what are you trying to solve for?
what are the metrics you need?
what resources and training does your organization need?
what technologies can get you there?
It might seem that there are really more questions then answers. All social strategists have considered how marketing can benefit from listening to social media. But what about your product team? Your service department? Everyone else? Finally, a framework that focuses on business goals – hallelujah!
For each of the 6 points on the measurement compass, Susan identifies themes, insights, metrics and actions. For example, under the category of "revenue generation," Etlinger identifies opportunities ranging from SEO to loyalty to conversion. By focusing on existing KPI's, social media analytics are must less abstract and more likely to get the attention of the leaders in your organization who ultimately need to absorb these insights.
A few great take- aways:
You must listen for a purpose to the social conversation around your brand.
If you need a quick snapshot of how people perceive your brand, create a word cloud with Wordle or Tagxedo
Find insights by looking for insights for your company, your industry, your competitors, your products/events/campaigns
Share relevant information within your organization
What do you do when you know something that needs attention or presents an opportunity? Etlinger told the group to "find an advocate in the organization and start slowely. Put yourself in that persons role. Start with something where you can make a difference. If its a negative comment, be positive and look for the silver lining."
Another key? Dig deeper - are there things to learn? What insights can you deliver? The best thing you can do is to dig (or click!) a level or two deeper to find the opportunities. These are the signals in the noise and now they are not just anecdotes but actual metrics that apply directly to your business.
Download the full report here:
A Framework for Social Analytics
View more documents from Susan Etlinger
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We've added a mobile experience to #LiNC this year!
Get the app for your Android, WebOS or iPhone/iPad and keep up with the agenda, buzz and all things #LiNC:
Web OS: bit.ly/LiNCwApp
Apple iOS: bit.ly/LiNCiApp
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Erin Korogodsky is Lithium's social media quarterback. Obsessed with social media, Erin has worked with clients like Newell Rubbermaid, Wieden Kennedy and Vista Print to monitor their brands and brainstorm engagement strategy. She is a frequent blogger on the Lithosphere (as ErinKoro) and you can follow her on twitter at @erinkoro and one of the team on @LithiumTech
In his post Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action , Pete Pedersen at Edelman Digital writes, "seven in ten people globally are more concerned about data security and privacy than they were five years ago, and a full 68% believe that consumers have lost control over how online personal information is shared and used by companies."
Its an understatement to say that we take our customer's success (and security!) personally at Lithium. Whenever there's a security breach in the interactive marketing space (or anywhere else, for that matter), we feel the collective cringe that our customers feel.
As a SaaS company, our customers have the benefit of a scalable, flexible, bulletproof platform. Security comes in many forms – we test, we validate, we audit . Lithium has also been accredited with certifications including TRUSTe, SAFEHARBOR, SAS70 and ISO 27001. We're all proud of these achievements because it reflects our ongoing commitment to security . Industry leading security vendors and our customers document their experience with us like this post from Veracode, Vulnerability Response Done Right .
What's even nicer is when people don't notice – trust and security are happening behind the scenes so our customers can focus why they're with Lithium to begin with: delivering superior social customer experiences.
More consumer insights are revealed in Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action – see the findings, Slideshare presentation and full blog post below.
This post was originally published by Edelman’s Data Security and Privacy Group via Edelman Digital by Pete Pedersen on 4/5/12
Corporate data breaches and security incidents pose a growing threat to businesses around the world. Such events are increasingly common, with companies and organizations from Google to Sony to the Stanford University Hospital falling prey to data breaches, news of which was subsequently splashed across national headlines.
Incidents like these, combined with the increasing number of ways to track what people are doing online, are affecting consumer attitudes. Edelman’s new global study, Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action Global Insights 2012, reveals that seven in ten people globally are more concerned about data security and privacy than they were five years ago, and a full 68% believe that consumers have lost control over how online personal information is shared and used by companies.
Responsibility for Data Protection
Businesses, however, are not doing enough to meet these concerns. A majority of people (57%) report either no change or a decline in the security of their personal information in the last five years. This is problematic, because consumers think that businesses should be grappling with these issues and that it is their responsibility to do so. The vast majority (85%) say businesses must take data security and privacy more seriously, and a plurality say businesses – as opposed to governments or individuals – are responsible for protecting the security of their personal information.
Edelman’s study also indicates that data security and privacy issues have the potential to affect a businesses’ bottom line. Customers are taking data security and privacy into account at the checkout counter; surprisingly, when it comes to smartphones, personal computers and tablet computers, data security and privacy are as important to them as a product’s design, style and size.
Below you’ll find this year’s report.
Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action
View more presentations from Edelman Insights
Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action
View more presentations from Edelman Insights
Businesses are also suffering from a trust deficit due to peoples’ concerns about data security and privacy, particularly in the financial and retail sectors. While 92% of people say security is important to them when doing business with the financial sectors, just 69% trust the industry to protect their personal information – trust lags by 23 points. In online retail, the gap is even more dramatic. While security is important to 84% of those doing business with online retailers, just 33% trust them to protect personal information – a 51 point gap.
To earn people’s trust in their ability to protect data security and privacy, businesses must manage these issues like a core competency, engaging with them in a meaningful way on a daily basis. Businesses that ignore data security and privacy do so at their own peril, because consumers will abandon companies they do not trust to protect their personal information. Those that prove willing and able to manage data security and privacy effectively, however, will bring unexpected value to consumers around the world by demonstrating that they understand the importance of protecting the information people hold most valuable.
Read the full study here . We’re keen to hear your thoughts…
Image credit: johndierckx
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