Tag: Mack Collier

WeMedia ’09: Community Values

WeMedia ’09: Community Values

I am excited to be in planning mode with my co-presenters for an upcoming workshop at WeMedia ’09 next week in Miami.

WeMedia Miami '09

BlogTalkRadio’s John Havens, Divine Caroline‘s Suha Araj, the Washington Times‘ Chuck DeFeo and I will be leading a workshop on growing community in a variety of different business contexts.   While prepping for this, I started thinking more about Mack Collier’s thoughts about Why Your Community Building Efforts Aren’t Working.   In this post, he hits on the disconnect between what most companies want (to market) and what their customers do not want from a community (to be marketed to).

So what is a brand marketer, digital strategist, or even a brand FAN to do to cross this chasm?  To address this in the positive, I want to quote another great thinker in the space – the head of creative for Ogilvy Interactive Jan Leth.  In a recent presentation on the future of advertising, he discusses the new organizing principle for brands and communities: Value Exchange

“The key to engagement with consumers is reciprocity or “value exchange”.  Consumers must get entertainment, utility, or information out of their engagement.”

So begin not by thinking about what you can “get” from your customers in a social media environment, but what you can provide them.  This could be great stories, the chance to know things first or you could simply be providing them with the utility of a place to congregate and talk amongst themselves.  The key is in the audience centric approach.   This same principle (the JFK “Ask Not…” principle) applies to any strategy involving blogger outreach as well.

My one potential addition to the list of ways to provide value through entertainment, utility, or information is validation.  I believe that a brand demonstrating it is listening and human, even when it can not change or solve a business issue, can drive loyalty and continued community.  Projects like MyStarbucksIdea and Ideastorm demonstrate this on a large scale – thousands of ideas, only a few of which make it into the business model, but all with their day in front of the brand and to be judged up or down the priority list by the court of public opinion.  Validation has emotional value only, but people will keep coming back for it.

For those unable to join in Miami, I’ll publish our collective list of killer community growth principles later next week.

Let’s Take It Offline – BlogHer & Blogger Social

Let’s Take It Offline – BlogHer & Blogger Social

I wrapped up my week last week in New York at 2 amazing in-person events for active online social media creators: BlogHer Business and Blogger Social ’08. I walked away with more robust connections with people I already knew online and a list of new blogs that I should be reading. It is difficult to wrap up 72 amazing hours, but I’ll try.

BlogHer Business was an eye opening event. Major standouts to me were results of Compass Partners research on women in the blogosphere, hearing about Kodak & DC Goodwill‘s blogging efforts. On the blogger engagement front, Method, Graco & GM shared the results of their respective approaches of working with bloggers – sharing the stage with bloggers when they presented the case study. For any PR person who has ever considered blasting a press release to bloggers hoping it will stick, they would thing again after hearing some of the horror stories of bad influencer outreach told along the way. My favorite comments from bloggers:

Typing my name after “dear” is not a personalized approach.

You wouldn’t knock on my door and ask to put a billboard for a product I have never seen or touched in my front yard – why would you think I would post a jpeg for a product I’ve never seen or touched on something as personal as my blog?

really Mack & VeeDubJust an hour after BlogHer Business wrapped, I was off to Blogger Social. The concept for the event was simple – get a bunch of bloggers together to hang out and have fun. That’s it. No powerpoints, no projects, no pitches – social. One of the highlights for me was being able to put a face to The Viral Garden. Mack Collier was one of the first bloggers to pick up and write about the Fiskateers crafting ambassador movement on which I had the pleasure to work during my time at Brains on Fire. Being able to spend time talking to him in person took us from the mutual admiration society to real friends and I look forward to our next meeting.

Overall lesson from the 3 days?  Twitter is real – get to know it.

Many, many, many thanks for the event planning/hosting duties of CK and Drew and the friendly welcome from my new BS08 friends (listed below).  How many days until BS09?

Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet Connie Reece CeCe Lee Toby Bloomberg Seni Thomas Darryl Ohrt Joe Kutchera Paul Dunay Marshall Sponder Chris Kieff Tara Anderson Jason Falls Paul Soldera Roberta Rosenberg Saul Colt Todd Andrlik Nathan Snell Ryan Karpeles Mike Sansone Jennifer Laycock Neil Vineberg Cam Beck Mike Arauz Matthew Bailey Heather Gorringe John Rosen Cathleen Rittereiser Tamar Weinberg Rita Perea Linda Sherman Matthew McDonald Kaitlyn Wilkins Terry Starbucker
Jennifer Berk
Jane Quigley John Wall Scott Monty Kevin Horne Virginia Miracle Amanda Gravel Susan Reynolds David Polinchock Shashi Bellamkonda David Berkowitz Vahe Habeshian