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Community Star Spotlight #4 Mark Hopkins (Lenovo)

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

“Learning more about the SuperUser and what their interests are is the key to success.”

Mark Hopkins, Program Manager of Social Support & Community – Lenovo

 

Not every community is created equal. And that becomes abundantly clear when you take a closer look at Lenovo’s very unique community. A mix of support, advocacy, and collaboration, Lenovo’s successful (and constantly growing) community is a perfect example of companies listening to their customers and seeking out opportunities to align the business with those interests and insights. That’s where Mark Hopkins comes into the picture. Not only has he led Lenovo’s community from the very start, but he’s also been key to fostering the community’s evolution. Hear what he has to say about his journey as a community manager below.

 

If you could describe your job in one word, what would it be?

Not sure if this is really the right word to use, but I’ll go with it anyway. If I had to choose one word, it would be “transformational.” It’s the best word to describe the journey I’ve experienced since we first launched our community. I like this word because it hints at the twists and turns we’ve faced over the years. It hasn’t always been simple. It hasn’t always been easy. However, what has been a constant thread, at least from my vantage point, is that we have always been focused on creating the best experience for our customers, helping to engender trust, loyalty, and, no pun intended, a true sense of community. It’s truly been an exciting journey, and I’m amazed, when I look back to where we started, by the progress we’ve made to-date. We’ve made incredible progress towards achieving one of our forward-looking goals, evolving the community to go beyond support and into delivering value across the entire customer experience.

 

When you think about your community, what would you say is the trait your members most have in common with each other?

This one is easy. Our community truly cares. Our members always seem obsessed with achieving some outcome that is bigger than themselves, and that’s inspiring to me. It’s a reminder that, as a community manager, you are in a unique position to engage with a brand’s most loyal (and outspoken, of course) advocates. And it’s those customers who are committed to affecting the direction of the company, policies, and products who tend to stay engaged for the long term. That’s who I focus on. They are my biggest allies. I value them for many reasons, but one that ultimately sticks out is their uncanny ability to provide influence and expert opinions that help our company make better decisions and design better products.

 

What would you say are your top 3 tips for managing a successful community?

I could say a lot here, but here’s what immediately comes to mind:

 

1. Serve As Much As You Can: As a community manager, you are there to serve your community, to listen to your community, to engage with your community, to take action on the things that your community cares about most, and so on. Your role is to “serve” the people who are inevitably going to make your company and your brand more successful down the road. When you approach your community with a true service mentality, you ultimately will set yourself up for success.

 

2. Recognize and Reward Positive Contributions: No one likes to feel taken for granted, especially the members within your community. Take time to recognize those who’ve made a seriously positive impact on the community and find creative ways to say “thank you.” Your community doesn’t expect to get anything in return, other than knowing that you’re there listening and responding to their wants, needs, opinions, and ideas. However, moments of surprise and delight, especially when it’s unexpected, are always appreciated. It’s like coming to the office on your birthday and seeing that you’re cube has been decorated by your team. It’s a nice surprise that reminds your community members that you appreciate their contributions and genuinely care.

 

3. Regularly Share Objectives: At the end of the day, you are responsible for achieving your company’s set goals and objectives. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, why not take the next step and share your goals with your community, ask for input, and find the areas of overlap between your company and your community. By leveraging your community to help vet and shape your goals, you are accelerating your progress towards reaching those goals because you’ve made those goals more than just about you – you’ve essentially made them your community’s goals. And when the community knows what you’re trying to achieve, there’s this tendency for your community to band together to help you see those goals through. It’s pretty special.

 

MARK’S LITHIUM “STREET CRED”

What makes Mark a Lithium Hero? Here are some pretty stand out stats from his participation in the Lithium Community over the past year.

 

5/28/08

Date Registered (one of our first community members!)

725

Posts contributed

1013

Kudos received

47

Suggested product ideas
(including one that was implemented!)

 

WHO IS MARK HOPKINS?

Mark Hopkins is the Social Support & Community Program Manager in Lenovo’s e-services organization. During his career, Mark has a held a number of positions in technical support, product development and customer satisfaction. The Lenovo community, launched in 2007 with an all customer volunteer moderation team, has been one of the most personally rewarding projects Mark says he has ever been involved in.

 

ABOUT LENOVO
Lenovo Group Ltd. is a Chinese multinational computer technology company with headquarters in Beijing,China, and Morrisville, North Carolina. It designs, develops, manufactures and sells personal computers,tablet computers, smartphones, workstations, servers, electronic storage devices, IT management software and smart televisions. In 2014, Lenovo was the world's largest personal computer vendor by unit sales. It markets the ThinkPad line of notebook computers and the ThinkCentre line of desktops.  

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