Zoe Sands from Juniper Networks revealed how over 4 years they have created a community of 23,000 tech users. The community is J-Net and this has resulted in a 300% increase in traffic to their main website.
The Community is now 4 years old, it took time to build and was not an overnight success, today has 23,000 community users.
Zoe mentioned that other results included being nominated for the Forrester groundswell awards and she shared tips on how the process worked. For anyone looking to start a community, the key issues are:
Do some homework and identify what's right for your business. Twitter may not be right for the target audience, but equally it is may be exactly the right approach.
It is not about a single person, so mobilise the workforce and get everyone involved. The more that are involved, the more likely it is to gain momentum and work.
Get a senior level person to drive social media and understand and share the benefits. If you don't have a member of the executive team involved, it will be hard work and could fail before it starts.
Always start with a pilot, integrate social media into an event, create hashtags to own the event and start small.
Test and refine
Have a go at social media and integrate into all aspects of the business. Start by tweeting press releases etc.
The social media tools may be free, but you need to invest in content creation, monitoring and resources. If your staff don't know where to start, get some training to ensure they are all in the same space.
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