Excellent piece on brands/social networks/marketing/customer service from AdAge.com:
But brands need to know a few things before they head down the community path. The web is saturated with communities…. Brands do potentially have opportunities to act as what I’ll call “facilitators,” but they have to be willing to start with a bit if research and then ask themselves if they are really willing to do what it takes to start and maintain a community.
And now the four C’s:
Quality content is a great way to attract the people who are needed to form the elusive community that your brand is hoping to help build…. [keep] the content itself fresh and relevant.
Context means understanding how to meet people where they are and serving them the right experience at the right time….
Designing experiences that support thousands of micro-interactions means you are making a commitment vs. trying to produce a one-hit wonder. Communities can in theory be the new CRM (Customer Relationship Management), but require people to mind them….
Communities that thrive often evolve to meet the needs of users…. need to be flexible to evolve while still providing a valuable and consistent user experience which can be sustained.
And the take away:
…building a community looks less like marketing and more like customer relationship management….