Today, creating a vibrant and interactive community around your product or organization can be the difference between unheralded success and unimaginable failure. And no one knows that better than Portland’s Dawn Foster, one of the leading authorities on the subject.
Dawn has just completed a series of posts on corporate communities that is a must read for anyone attempting to work online with customers.
What’s a corporate community, you ask?
Corporate communities refer to any custom community created by an organization for the purpose of engaging with customers or other people who may be interested in the organization’s products and services. For the purpose of this post, custom corporate communities include communities created by corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and similar organizations. These corporate communities can take many different forms: support communities, developer communities to help developers work with your products, customer and enthusiast communities, and many others.
See? I told you. How could you not fit in there?
So grab a cup of coffee (or some bubble tea if you want to be even more like Dawn) and dive into this great series of posts:
- Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started
Before jumping in to create a new community, you should think carefully about the purpose of this new community including your goals and objectives, fitting your community efforts into your organization’s overall strategy, measuring success, and committing the resources required to make your community flourish.
- Maintaining a Successful Corporate Community
I decided to follow up my post on Monday about Custom Corporate Communities: Planning and Getting Started with this post containing tips about what to do and what to avoid doing if you want to have a successful corporate community. While some of these tips are specific to corporate communities, most of them also apply to other types of communities as well.
- A Structure for Your Corporate Community
I thought that it would be a good idea to also spend a little time on the things that you should be thinking about when coming up with a structure for your community. It is important to keep in mind that every community software package is likely to have unique strengths and limitations when it comes to configuring your community. From a design and architecture perspective, I strongly recommend looking at this strengths and limitations of the platform and taking them into account before starting any design or architecture work.
- Promoting Your Community Efforts the Right Way
In this final post for the corporate community series, we will spend some time on the right and wrong ways to promote your community efforts. Some of this advice also applies more broadly to promotion of other social media efforts as well.
For more from Dawn, head on over to Fast Wonder Blog.