10 Takeaways from CMX Summit for Your Brand’s Community
CMX Summit is a conference about taking your community strategy to new heights. After two days listening to an incredible line-up of speakers from the likes of Buzzfeed, Reddit, Etsy, Kickstarter and more, here are our biggest takeaways.
1. Earn People’s Trust
There’s no greater compliment in life than earning the trust of another human being, says Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of global creative community Creative Mornings. This principle applies not only to personal relationships—it is essential to the success of online communities. To build a community of people who are passionate about your brand, you need to assure people that your brand is worthy of their personal information, their time and their loyalty. Tweet this.
2. Align Your Objectives
Heed this fundamental rule: don’t rush into launching an online community without first figuring out your objectives. Consider your brand’s reasons for creating a community, then think about the motivations your prospective community members would have for joining. Align business objectives with community objectives and things will click, says brand-marketing expert Lauren Perkins. Tweet this.
3. Hire the Right People
A successful online community needs a talented community management team. When filling the role of a community manager, seek out individuals who are excellent communicators, talented writers (ask for a writing sample), intellectually curious, creative and those who have a sense of humor. Not to be overlooked, candidates must also be passionate about the community you’re building. A good community manager is also a community member. Tweet this.
4. Look for Talent in the Unlikeliest of Places
As community management is still an emerging industry, finding potential hires with the right background is tough. One area of experience to look for in potential hires: the hospitality industry. If a candidate has previously had the pleasure of dealing with caffeine-addled customers at Starbucks, they’ll know the right way to engage with community members. Thanks to Cindy Au, VP of Community at Kickstarter, for that great tip.
5. Make It About Them, Not You
It’s not enough to get people to join your new community, you must mentor your members to help them grow and develop. Robin Dreeke, Head of Behavioral Analysis for the FBI, knows a thing or two about how to treat people. Applying his knowledge to brand communities, help your members get value from your community and it will all come back in returned value for your brand. Tweet this.
6. Get Inside Their Heads
If anyone knows about community engagement, it’s Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed’s explosive success is down to their ability to tap into people’s emotions and shared experiences, as explained by their original Community Manager Jack Shepherd. When creating your engagement strategy, make sure your content and campaigns are always interesting, emotionally engaging, welcoming and easy to participate in.
7. Send Out Love Bombs
Every good community manager knows about surprise and delight as a way to engage and reward community members. At Etsy, Morgan Evans and her team like to surprise community members by sending them something from their Etsy wishlist, in the form of a ‘love bomb.’ It’s simple and easy to do, and creates a memorable moment between your brand and your fans.
8. Let Them Run Free
Launching an online community may be unchartered territory for your brand, but enforcing too many rules can limit your chances for success. There is no better example of community freedom than at Reddit. Erik Martin, the first Reddit Community Manager, explains how Reddit evolved their community by giving up control. Redditors can start their own subgroups, appoint volunteer moderators and even edit the code on the website. Now, Reddit has over 100 million unique visitors a month. While the Reddit model may not fit your community, the same principles apply: give your community the freedom to evolve and amazing things could happen. Tweet this.
9. Make Your Community Addictive
Picture this: you invite your fans to join your new community. You have an attractive offering and your community launch is a success. But one month later… nothing. There’s no compelling reason for your members to return. When planning your community, think beyond the launch and ask the question: how do you keep people coming back? Tweet this.
10. Make It a Meritocracy
Let the best members of your community rise to the top, says Scott Belsky of creative work community Behance. Scott knows about community building, having co-founded a platform that now helps millions of talented creatives to share their work. Have a system in place for community members to rise up based on how active they are and the quality of their contributions. This gives members something to work toward and helps them to assist newer members in moving up in ranks.