Visual content is hot and here to stay. In their everyday lives, your community members are not only using words to express their feelings and share their passion for their favorite brands, but are increasingly using images. So the more you can incorporate rich media into your community, the better. Lithium’s Media Experience enables communities to support rich media experiences for users. Here are 4 key ways incorporating rich media will help your community thrive:
1. Increase engagement and traffic . People are more likely to respond to visual content, which therefore will drive traffic to your community. By empowering people to upload and share images more easily, you can drive engagement and capture and facilitate a richer experience. Media Experience allows you to surface photos that users are sharing in the community and organize them on any page by portable widgets we call Photo Engagement Components, such as “top photo contributors,” “latest photos,” “latest photos per node,” “top kudoed photos,” “in this topic” and “my photos.” Media Experience also tracks media views in Lithium Social Intelligence, so you’ll be able to track the amount of engagement images are driving.
2. Improve SEO . Well-tagged visual content can help improve your community’s SEO since it surfaces images in online searches.
3. Create a more visually engaging Community experience. The Masonry View in Media Experience elevates visual content, improving discovery and engagement and can be applied selectively to boards where visual content is central. The improved uploader function makes it incredibly simple to upload multiple photos at once, drag-and-drop files, reorder images and add captions. Lithium customer giffgaff uses this view in their community to help users find content that inspires them to respond and share.
4. Increase trust by allowing users to showcase brand/products . Pinterest has set the bar for visual content sharing and brands know that when customers share images of products in use in real life it has far more credibility than any paid ad. By emphasizing user-generated photo content in your community, you help users build trust with your brand. Media Experience includes a lightbox which lets users magnify the image they want and find similar images, further driving engagement.
See? Easy! And the rewards are great. The more engaging experience your community members have in your community, the more likely you are to experience community’s full value for your brand.
To learn how to turn this feature on in your community, please refer to the 15.10 release notes.
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In an age of extreme customer expectations, consumers demand better experiences. If brands don’t deliver on those expectations, those consumers will quickly move on and find another experience that better meets their needs. We are excited to launch a series of new products and enhancements to our Community platform that help brands quickly adapt to consumers’ demanding expectations by delivering powerful new options that drive a better consumer experience.
Last month, we launched Responsive, which improved the user experience across devices, and this month, we are continuing to improve the user experience by providing the ability for users to share and receive rich media more easily, better ways to discover content, and more ways to share their opinions and advice with peers.
A fully Responsive design that provides a consistent user experience (UX) across devices and incorporates Lithium’s 14 years of expertise, retaining the most flexible, extensible UX in the industry. Check out Google’s Advertiser Community now live on Responsive.
A more modern Media Experience featuring new layouts and image capabilities helps consumers move beyond text and easily share rich media within a community, just as they do on other parts of the social web. Check out the media centric view on the GiffGaff Community.
SEO enhancements make the right content more easily discoverable and shareable from your community and across other digital and social channels.
Ratings & Reviews enhancements empower consumers to share their ideas, opinions, and content in multiple ways. Enhancements include the addition of multidimensional reviews and associated reporting in Lithium Social Intelligence (LSI).
We hope that you are as excited about these new products and enhancements as we are! All of these products and enhancements are GA immediately. Read more about this fall's Community product launch in this press release. For more detailed technical information, please review the 15.9 and 15.10 release notes.
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We live in a hyper-connected digital world where with just a few simple clicks, millions of products can be delivered to you within hours. Digital retail has pushed the edge of convenience and instant gratification to the point that some argue we are isolating ourselves so that leaving our homes is no longer required to meet our basic human needs. Okay, that may be a stretch, but you get the idea. It therefore begs the question: will brick-and-mortar retail locations eventually cease to exist?
Turns out though, we’re not that willing to give up our need for human connection. And that’s a good thing for retailers. People still want to come into your store, interact with friendly, helpful, knowledgeable associates and experience your products for themselves in a shopping experience that leaves them feeling better than when they entered your store. Yes, where retail locations used to be mostly transactional, they are now sought out for the experiences they provide. Customers view their online and offline interactions with you as one brand experience so a consistent omni-channel experience no matter where they stop and shop is expected.
Sephora is a leading beauty retailer that has figured this out. Their online BeautyTalk community as well as retail locations allow shoppers to learn about and explore products before (and while) they come in to the store to try beauty products with experts. The experience of selecting and buying beauty products is not just about tossing some make-up items into your hand basket at the drug store and paying for it at the counter. Instead, Sephora creates human connection and intimacy with its customers both online and offline, where customers discover their own beauty and see themselves in new ways that they wouldn’t otherwise if they did not try out the products and receive guidance from experts and people like them in a fun and supportive environment.
The majority of reasons we shop are not to meet basic survival needs, but to fulfill a need to express ourselves, learn about ourselves, reinvent ourselves, connect with people that are like us and make choices that make us feel unique and special.
It’s about the feeling we get, not the transaction or even the product itself.
And this is where a Total Community approach can help you bridge the digital and in store experiences together to create a customer experience that makes people feel good.
So what is Total Community? It’s an approach that leverages every person in your brand’s total community, i.e. whoever is connected to your company – whether it is customers, internal experts, or external influencers – to provide the advice, answers and solutions that customers need right when they need it. For example, suppose that Kristina finds a product she’s interested in buying online while perusing your website or community and has a question. She can search the community Q&As or if she doesn’t readily find an answer there, she can either sign up for the community and ask the community for advice or contact your customer service. (But who really wants to call customer service? That’s a last resort.) If she asks in the community and peers do not respond, your brand’s community manager would step in and respond, pointing her either to user-generated content within the community that addresses her question OR notify an internal expert or influencer that has the expertise to respond. By asking in the community, Kristina’s question is answered either by peers, the brand’s community manager or an expert. The Total Community came to help Kristina.
So, Kristina gets her question answered promptly, is introduced to the vast wealth of information and peers in your brand’s community and is impressed that someone within your company would take the time to answer her question. She leaves this interaction feeling cared for.
But let’s say Kristina is in your store, she has the product in her hand and needs her question answered. Chances are before she tracks down a store associate, she’ll go online to look for an answer, and if you have a thriving community that is pulling great SEO responses in search engines (communities are great at that!), chances are she’ll find an article from an expert in your community. If she can’t find an answer online, she’ll find an associate to ask and expect that the associate will have the solution.
This is where it becomes critical that you empower your frontline employees with the expertise they need or access to the experts within the company who can provide answers fast. We’ve all had the experience of asking an associate a question, only to have him or her go to the company website and find the same information (but not more!) than what we found ourselves. We mutter “well, I could have done that” under our polite “thank you for your help”. This is not enough to create the experience the customer expects. Total Community connects your employees to the internal experts so that they have the power to create a great experience for your customers both in-store and online.
Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
By marrying all the elements of your channels via Total Community, you create a memorable omni-channel experience for the customer. Your store associates and community managers become curators of great experiences, backed by the insight, advice and expertise of other customers, internal experts, and influencers bridging the in-store and digital experiences. At the end of the day, customers interact with you not only for great products, but because of the feeling you leave them with through your experience.
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If you didn’t have a chance to attend our recent webinar, we invite you to watch the replay here.
In the webinar, we discuss the results of a study conducted by Millward Brown Digital, on how using a branded on-domain customer community is a successful tool to drive social e-commerce sales, attract more shoppers and increase conversion rates.
In fact, the study shows that branded on-domain communities drive significant increases in customer loyalty, trust, satisfaction and amount and frequency of purchases. Why? Because branded on-domain communities create a sense of relationship with the brand that is unequalled by other social channels. They are natural generators of trust.
How can this help your business?
Watch the webinar
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In today’s social marketing world, proving the ROI and impact of social marketing can be challenging.
Marketers are asking: Is my investment in community driving sales? Is it improving critical branding objectives like NPS (Net Promoter Score) as well as purchase intent? Which types of branded community should I be investing in? How can I optimize on social media communities, such as Facebook and Twitter and branded on-domain communities like Lithium?
According to a study conducted by Millward Brown Digital, branded on-domain communities are a successful tool for driving social e-commerce sales, attracting more shoppers and increasing conversion rates.
In fact, the study shows that branded on-domain communities also drive significant increases in customer loyalty, trust, satisfaction and amount and frequency of purchases. Why? Because branded on-domain communities create a sense of relationship with the brand that is unequalled by other social channels. Community members report that they feel the number one attribute of the brand is “trustworthy and honest” based on their interaction with the brand and other members in the community.
Want to learn more about the power of a branded, on-domain community and how it can help you empower your sales?
Join Lithium and Millward Brown Digital to learn more about the results of the study, in particular how your brand can use branded communities to:
Drive incremental sales
Increase NPS scores
Drive trust & loyalty from consumers
Register here for the webcast on Thursday, September 25 at 11:00 a.m. PT.
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