What is it, how is it used and why is it valuable?
* Online community members are not always customers * Community relationship management * Connect, converse, create and collaborate * Organisations can take advantage of this by using market research and public relations, nurturing opinion leaders or advocates, placing and creating advertisements, developing new products, lowering the cost-to-serve, building brand loyalty and sales, and amplifying buzz and visibility for the organization * If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest behind China and India * It is predicted that the use of Social Media marketing will go from $716 million to $31 billion by 2014 * Despite the large growth, many managers are unsure of how to use Social Media as a tool for Community Relationship Management * Community Management can have many mediums; 1. Call centres 2. Online services 3. Branches 4. Face-to-face offices 5. Email 6. Blogs 7. Forums 8. Websites 9. Wikis 10. Facebook Pages 11. Twitter 12. Youtube Channels 13. Advertisements
* The principle objective of CM is to manage customer relationships so as to maximize their life-time value for the organization. This means, applying the right strategic, analytical and operational tools that the management of customer relationships is easier and in some cases; automated. * This includes having a 360 degrees view of all customers, managing the customer lifestyle, migrating customers from one segment to another, developing and communicating offers to the right segment at the right time * Not all customers of an organization use SM * One challenge lies within the anonymity of the internet, where customers can blog about brands without identifying themselves. This means an organization’s data collection could be susceptible to false information being provided online * Community management promotes customer-to-customer communication, which a company may not necessarily wanting – especially if customers find out that others are sharing bad experiences * Managing a community of online users requires a different mindset, skills and technologies * Anecdotal evidence highlights that organisations should hire younger and more online-savvy people to manage their online communities.
* When it comes to online community management, an organization may have two objectives; 1. Manage their own connected customers more effectively 2. Convert as many of the prospects in the connected community into customers, hence growing their customer base * The 4c’s model of Community Online Relationship Management * Connectivity; making it easy for users to connect with each other. Facebook is an example of a facilitating technology, it allows you to friend people and gain access to their network of friends, and they yours. If Facebook recognizes that you have mutual friends that are not connected, it will notify you. * Conversations; with connectivity comes conversations. Sticking to a Facebook example, their news feed updates you on all the information relevant to yourself or your friends list – this is market research on steroids. * Content Creation; We like to create and share. Can stimulate users to create ‘user-generated content’. When creations are good, it can create a big buzz – just like viral Youtube videos. * Collaboration; This means that multiple users within one community can connect and converse to create content that adds value back to the community.
* Organisations can find out what people like or dislike about their services * Currently, there are more than 68million bloggers who post reviews and recommend products and services * Some companies actively ask customers to rate their experience online * Organizations can analyze whether customers are advocates or detractors of their