Building An Online Community (Tool #1: Blog) (Part 2)

I’ve previously talked about the basics for building an online community starting with corporate blogs. This is great for building a foundation, but each online community must have an underlying strategy to keep it living. Strategic planning is vital in ensuring online community goals are met and evolving.

Here’s my list of milestones and goals for all online community blogs (within the first few months):

  • Integrate corporate blogs in all customer touch points including:
    • Announcements
    • Product Launches
    • Product Developments
    • Support
    • Customer Events
  • Create community blogs to foster industry conversations (2-way) and thought leadership
  • Encourage Product Marketing to actively participate in the online industry conversation:
    • Watch corporate bloggers and step in when needed
    • Interact with other industry practitioners and build an online social network
    • Provide corporate bloggers with research and ideas from the blogosphere
  • Allow corporate blogs to be used as a feedback mechanism to improve products, support/tech help, messaging, and strategy
    • Connect product teams with current customers/users to build better products
    • Connect users with users to solve technical issues and log information in archives/database
  • Utilize corporate blogs as sales tools
    • Use blog entries as conversation starters
    • Refer to corporate blogs and/or specific posts for tech help/information
    • Use blogs/bloggers to answer questions from the sales field
  • Improve communication with partners and vendors
    • Blogs = reseller tools to promote vendor’s product info and support
    • Another medium to foster communication, product awareness, and channel partner advantages
  • Use corporate blogs as a mechanism to keep track of competitor’s successes and advantages
    • Listen to their customer feedback – what are they doing well?
    • How are their customers reacting to your product launches, etc?
      • How can this information help your company improve product and operations?

This is a great list to start off with. It’s general, yet each corporation can prone it to their own liking. Additionally, here are some other thought-provoking posts that can help with your planning:

  1. How to sell social media to your boss
  2. Social 2.0 and How to utilize it’s full potential in business
  3. The 4 C’s of blogging
  4. Benefits of corporate blogs
  5. Users vs Consumers – Who’s in, Who’s out

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