Great communities are intentional: they are carefully considered, built on the exchange of social objects around a shared purpose that unites its members. Community success in large part is predicated on the existence of a shared purpose. Shared purpose answers the question “Why would anyone invest time in this community?”
Shared purpose is the bridge between the brand promise and brand purpose, ultimately it is what the brand and customer aspire to create together.
Creating a healthy branded community requires an investment in aligning the community participant, or stakeholder, values with the established brand values.
The social web is littered with online community ghost-towns. In fact, Analyst Jenny Sussin from Gartner, in her report The 3x5 Approaches to Peer-to-Peer Communities for Social CRM, predicts 70% of these will fail by 2014 after generating little or no return for their owners. Innovative brands design communities of shared interest and empower participants as co-creators of engaging experiences within these communities.
What does shared purpose look like?
Avon Beauty Connects is a community with a strong sense of shared purpose. With a rich 128 year heritage, Avon is a leading global beauty company as well as one of the world’s longest standing direct selling companies.
In 1886, direct selling at Avon represented a means for women to earn their own money at a time when not many women worked outside the home. It connected women, who were otherwise isolated and immersed in domestic life, in what the company calls “the original social network.”
Discovery and identification of a shared purpose that aligns member aspirations and commitments from the brand is a necessary first step to building a long-term, self-sustaining enterprise social customer experience strategy.
5 questions to help you define shared purpose:
To define the shared purpose of a community and how it maps to your social customer experience, ask yourself these five questions:
Who will be a part of your community? There are many member types (aka stakeholders) who may benefit from being a part of your community, and you need to identify them [employees, loyal customers, consumers, etc] up front.
What’s in it for them? … what value do these different member types bring …
What will they individually contribute? … what value do they contribute …
How do each of these member types relate to or interact with one another?
What is your role, the brand’s role, as primary stakeholder? What should you do to support or empower the best experience for all member types involved?
Why go through all this work?
Shared Purpose is you community’s “reason for being”, and is critical to creating a guiding point of view and vision. Once you nail this, you’re ready to move on to building your experience: Here are some of the ways our customers have used this work in their community design strategy:
… customer journey development
… wireframing, UI and UX design efforts
…. Success criteria and KPI identification
… guide/prioritize features and functionality
… guide preparation of employee / partner playbooks and training
As you think about developing a branded community, consider your communities shared purpose and how you will go about discovering what it is. Putting your community team through its paces on this exercise will help your community reap the benefits of long term sustained engagement from your customers, employees and the empowered consumer that represents long-term growth and the future of your business.
Xavier is Director of Social Strategy at Lithium. His time at Lithium is spent focusing on building digital transformation and long-term customer engagement programs and solutions for our enterprise retail, marketing and media customers. Xavier has been a featured speaker on topics including web analytics and digital branding, CRM and customer loyalty at shop.org, eMetrics, The Word Of Mouth Marketing Association and the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
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Hello all. Thanks for taking the time to share your questions. This, is exactly what we were looking for. I'm very curious to see how our customers are thinking about this question. It appears that rank change is a key factor. Having validated that your ranks are working, I like this approach. I also like the thinking around the customer journey.
I'mm keeping a list of folks responding to this thread and may reach out to you all for further comment.
keep the ideas comming.
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Earlier this year we began offering full-day intensive Gamification Strategy workshops for our customers who have purchased the Lithium Premium Gamification product.
We framed our workshop content around the point of view that today’s social businesses face major problems around customer motivation and engagement. Gamification, or the incorporation of game attributes into a non-game context to drive game-like player behavior, provides an opportunity to help brands solve these difficult problems.
Applying a strategic planning lens to this workshop, the Strategy Consulting group began with the goal of understand how gamification can be leveraged for business. Going into each session our goal has been to help our customers better understand what gamification is, how it works and whether it will work for us, all from a Science of Social perspective.
This workshop addresses all three questions – what is it, how it functions within branded communities, and which strategies and tactics we should deploy when designing a game for our customers – while exploring both the potential benefits and pitfalls of gamification.
These workshops continue to receive great participation from our customers across various groups inside the business including customer support, CRM, UI/UX, Biz Dev, Marketing and Operations.
The agenda is as follows:
100: the basics
101: why gamification works – mechanics
102: why gamification works – psychology & motivation
200: how gamification drives business value
201: key initiatives for communities
202: design guideline for communities
300: define your “end game”
301: lithium gamification planning canvas
302: High-level deployment timeline
Feedback we have received on these workshops is that attendees felt the content was engaging, highly relevant and a good mix of theory and practice. Folks were asking many questions and challenging others in the room during the exercises intermixed with games to keep the room active. Nearly all of our customers gave us high marks on the gamification planning canvas exercise where we built a gameplan based on the theory and practice sections.
Actual Customer Quotes:
Which part of the workshop did you find most useful?
All of it! Great background on the process, great granularity in the end
Which part of the workshop did you find least useful?
Jeopardy game - because I didn’t win. 😉
Which part of the workshop did you find most useful?
I really appreciated learning more about the player motivations and how to plan for the short term and long term.
Would you recommend this Lithium Social Strategy Consulting Workshop to a colleague?
Yes, I think this workshop was an excellent way to get us started on developing our gamification strategy.
And to recognize everyone who have taken the gamification workshop, we have released an exclusive badge, which will be displayed on your profile.
If you would like to received more information on how to host one of these workshops at your company, please contact your Account Executive or ping me Xavier Jimenez here @XavierJ or @xjimenez on Twitter.
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Posing this question to the group as the Strategy Group has been seeing a wide variety of methods/definitions from business and community managers as they go about identifying the state of new user learning and engagement in their communities. most consider "on-boarded" to mean that the new user has created the habit of coming back to the community and know how to use the basic tools available on the community. But when it comes to the metrics and key behaviors that define this state it's a wide open field of ideas.
I'll offer a few ideas but really more interested it what the definition of "fully on-boarded" means to you.
example #1 - "we would consider a new member onboarded if they have created a non-support oriented post"
example #2 - "we would consider a new member onboarded if they have made more than 3 new posts in the first 30 days"
example #3 - "we would consider a new member onboarded if they have made more than 1 new post, have used multiple interaction styles to create content [kudo, me too, join a group]
These 3 example showcase and segment the thinking we are hearing from our customers in three areas [creation of content, participation at a given level w/n a time contratint, participation on multiple levels or accross a variety of interaction styles].
Please share your thoughts,
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Absolutely agree w/ Lisa.
As Autodesk is a large well established community thinking through any modification of Rank Structure is critical, glad to see you reaching out for best practices.
As far as how to go about it? I'll list a few things we go over in much detail during our Gamification workshops w/ clients here and look for the community to chime in.
Make sure you are thinking through how Ranks > Category experts and Badges all work together, each provide something different and should be deployed accordingly. Basically what we're saying here is to avoid awarding users for the same achievements using different features: [ ranks , rank icons, badges & achievement indicators in signatures & avatars]
As lisa poointed out, focus your energies on how your community personas have evolved over time, as ranking systems rely on the competitive instinct of users to reach the next level, similar to advancing in a video game, the competitive nature will apply to many users [achievers, killers] but may not be key drivers for others [socializers and killers] making a rank nomenclature that spans all of these groups is key, and not an easy task. our recommendation, grab a piece of paper and draw out your rank structure in a visual format - try a mind-mapping exercise to align new or evolvoing rank naming to the ethos of your community of players.
Finally, creating an engaging rank ladder is key: in this step try to think through how to make it easy to move up for the socializer, then slightly more challenging for the explorers and achievers and finally superusers [killers]
putting your game designer hat on, identify a game that fits your design strategy and on a pience of paper try to mimic the gradually increasing difficulty levels of a game
consider a healthy balance between ability to rank up and the level of challenge
dont forget to make it fun and a challenge involving elements of surprise
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