Tips, tools, and best practices for B2B marketers.

Building Communities Panel - Event Highlights

Today at our Orange Talk, we had four great panelists share their expertise and experiences on building and leveraging B2B communities - Bob Smith, iBelong, Margorie Agin, Tandberg, Justin Thorp, Clearspring, Michelle Perry, Sourcefire

You can watch the entire discussion, check out photos, and download presentations.  Here's some of the best advice we heard.

For a community to succeed it needs to be integral to your business.
  • Gathering and communicating with your customer must be a core value of your company.
You serve the community, it doesn't serve you.
  • Find out what members want and give it to them.
Be clear about the purpose of the community.
  • Define what it is and what it isn't. It helps keep people on topic.
Find a leader - someone who will be the face of your company to the community.
  • This leader needs to get to know members in the community, forming relationships is key.
  • They must be genuine and passionate about helping people.
Content is key.
  • Seed your community so there's some relevant content there when you start.
  • Create an editorial calendar that defines topics and who's responsible for content and monitoring.
Communities don't happen overnight.  It takes time to build momentum.
  • You have to actively promote the community.
  • Everyone inside your company from sales to marketing can help generate awareness about the community.

Some of our favorite quotes.

"If you don't want to hear what people have to say, then don't ask."

"If people want to misuse your brand, they don't need your community to do it."

"You've got to put some love on your members."

"You've got to give, give, give till your face falls off."

Thanks.

Thanks again to everyone who braved the traffic to come out, to our great panelists, and to everyone at EB who make this happen (it was definitely a community effort).

Comments

Lee, Great event yesterday!  I thought the speakers did a terrific job of explaining how to build community, what resources are required to manage that community and how to set goals for your group.

Katie,

Thanks for coming. Glad to hear you thought it was helpful.

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