We’ve spent the month of February chatting with you about how to build community, from giving you tips on how to find where your community is hanging out, to identifying some tactics for showing your community members appreciation. Heck, we’ve even written a (e)book on the subject.
But sometimes, the best breakdowns are not in explanations, but in examples, and the folks at eROI have offered to share a great example of a community they built from the ground, up, for Wacom Technology Corporation, a leading creative technology firm whose products are renowned throughout the design industry.
To give you an idea of eROI’s community building clout, the Portland-based interactive agency has been building and launching communities since 2004 for iconic brands and products including Konami (think Dance Dance Revolution) the Seattle Seahawks, and the Justin Timberlake-HBO concert series.
For the Wacom Community specifically, the eROI team took a multi-phase approach, releasing three preliminary communities before launching the final community in beta in spring of 2009. Through multiple iterations, they were able to see what features and content community members responded most strongly to, how they interacted with that content (both created by the brand and by other members), and compile insights from each successive community that directly contributed to the final Wacom Community offering.
Dylan Boyd, Vice President of Sales & Strategy for eROI, says there are a few key truths to building and maintaining a successful, thriving community:
- Your community must be owned. Often, a community is launched without any set definitions of who owns what. In beginning talks with clients, Boyd makes sure to address the issue of ownership and find out who within the company will have command of various community pieces. He adds that communities can benefit from promoting community members into management-type roles, removing some of the internal workload and solidifying trust within the community.
- You must let your community go. Pay attention to what’s happening in your community and monitor member interactions, but don’t strive to control the conversations and activity that are happening. The more you control, the less people participate. It all goes back to trust.
- Figure out how to mobilize your community. Boyd drives home the point that a community doesn’t just exist within the confines of your online community, and can’t thrive in a silo. Find opportunities outside your community, and offline, even, to continue driving community participation.
Want to learn more about eROI’s work with Wacom? Take a look at the case study they put together (link at the end of this post) detailing the ins and outs of each particular Wacom community they built, statistics and results demonstrating the success of those communities, and some great information about how the achievements of each community directly linked back to the goals Wacom had set for its community building efforts.
Have examples of awesome brand communities you’d like to share? Please do! The comments are yours.
eROI Case Study: Wacom Community: Mastering the 5 C’s
What goes into building the most engaging and successful online communities?
Follow along as we take you through the journey and progression of the communities built by eROI for Wacom Technology Corp. Learn all about how to harness the power of your audience to create a successful online community.