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Contents tagged with curation

  • The 4 C's of Community and how you can use them to leverage your crowd

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, November 22, 2013

    We last discussed how three important trends are changing the face of digital marketing: the visual web, socially curated discovery and superfan communities. The great news is that consumers are more willing to share your brand’s story than ever before, but only if its authentic, useful and ideally, allows for open dialogue.

    Communities are the next-generation to Facebook pages and microsites, so building community right can yield you some major loyalty points with your customers, search engines (yeah, SEO boosts, baby), and grow a level of trust and authority that no other marketing strategy can.

    4 cs of communityIn our research, we’ve discovered four elements to community-building and they all happily begin with C:

    • Content
    • Curation
    • Cultivation
    • Collaboration

    So, are these community elements just phonetic fun or very vital to building a loyal tribe? Let's dig deeper.

    Content

    You want people to come, right? For communities, content really is king. Meaningful content lays the foundation and will engage your audience, communicate your story, convey your customer's needs and fuel an effective SEO strategy.

    But you don’t have to go it alone. That’s where curation tools and your superfan curators come in…

    Curation

    Curation is two-fold: curating content and curating the community.

    Content curation: So much of what’s in our news streams isn’t original journalism, but rather curated, shared or distributed to us via aggregator apps or our niche community. To offer up a great experience to your community, you don’t necessarily have to create reams of fresh, original content. In fact, 95% of people are looking for aggregated news that is multi-sourced, fresh and free. Most of us seek trusted curators to filter out the overload of data and categorize it into topics that matter to us.  Plus, we want the option to add our commentary to the mix, while connecting with others of like-mind.

    This isn't a free ticket to forsake unique content. Of course you'll need some original content based on your expertise in order to be authoritative, but many companies can’t dedicate to a full-time editorial team. But content curators are your key to winning the content game and building an army of trusted contributors. Which leads us to the next point in curation.

    Community curation: The right community platform will provide deep analytics into how your audience is interacting with your content, each other and your brand. Once you know who the superfans are, you can tap into their passion and give them some leeway to curate and create content for you. Yep, I do mean that you'll have to give up some control. Understandably, that terrifies the goodwill out of some companies but with the right guidelines and platform in place, you'll still guide what's published on your behalf with little overwight.

    create content that lives onPlus, why not follow the lead of some of the most community-driven brands? Community curation is already being done by companies like Sony, Sephora, LEGO and Harley Davidson.

    Identifying and leveraging your superfans can mean finding your best advocates. And they’ll "work" for you because they’re passionate, not because they’re pulling down a paycheck. Since paying them would turn them into employees, you'll want to reward them in non-monetary ways like community notoriety - which will further fuel the flame of curation prowess.

    Cultivation

    Cultivation is the process of refinement. In this stage, you’ll figure out what matters most to your community members, who’s most involved, how to optimize your content, what rewards are working and  how to better leverage your superfan curators - the 1% of your community - for the good of the many.

    This step in the process is remarkably fun because it means that you’ve got an active audience. Your analytics will reveal the opoprtuntiies and wins, but what the stats can’t tell you is whether you really “get” your community and whether they sincerely <3 you. Sure, social shares, likes, vote ups, interactions and inbound numbesr will give you an idea, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper. You’ll need to ask for input (polls can help), conduct A/B tests, develop one-to-one relationships with active voices and open the door to actually working with vetted customers.

    Collaboration

    This is where you ask. You listen. You implement and evolve based on your community’s feedback.

    Consumers are more educated and discerning than ever. To win their attention, offering free shipping isn’t going to be enough, nor writing a few informative blog posts, nor making your product new-and-improved.

    In the near future, the brands-winning-hearts-and-wallets will be going to companies who will literally give up a little control to their crowd, engage their customers and respond with authentic, positive good-for-all evolutions. Companies that do will be rewarded because a lot of times, people just want to share positive feedback (Global Trust in Advertising Survey, Nielsen).  LEGO uses their online communities to produce new ideas for LEGO sets. Now, not only developing loyal customers – a notion that is increasingly hard to come by - but it will make more money (crowd-sourced improved product = more sales).

    Its not an easy migration from push marketing to collaborative customer conversations, but it will not only make your brand stronger, more authentic and help you remain competitive for the long-term.

    its your community

    Have questions about community building? Contact us to start a dialogue about how we might be able to assist with your community strategy. 

  • EpicTimes officially launches its solution-based news community, powered by Tracky

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, September 13, 2013

    You know Tracky as a social collaboration platform - a place where you can connect, collaborate and share: to-do lists, live chat, calendars, task management, social sharing, people and project discovery, cloud-based storage and more. Now, we introduce to you deeper functionality for social sharing. It’s the next evolution in Tracky as a social collaboration and publishing platform.

    We thought working with a team on content you want to push to the web should not require a separate CMS to log into and edit a new post with. Tracky users work together in groups to create content, why not allow them to publish direct from within Tracky too? We also hate bottlenecks and thought it was silly to funnel all posts through the gate keeper who controls your blog or site. So we created social publishing directly within Tracky.

    With social publishing, our purpose is to help brands build interest-based visual websites that engage and leverage their communities. We refer it to as C4, and wow is it ever explosive!

    • Content
    • Community
    • Curation
    • Collaboration

    These four C’s are the foundations of true community-building. And we have a great case study to illustrate how this holistic community strategy is revolutionizing an industry. Meet: EpicTimes, a solution-based news community founded by Jerry Doyle.

    Jerry Doyle is the host of the nation’s fourth largest talk radio show. After eight years of talking with and listening to over 7.25 million people a week with his radio show, Jerry realized that millions of people are sick of media “spin” and instead, crave real solutions. Jerry wanted to offer an online home that was politically non-partisan, yet would appeal to those who tend to be Independent, fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

    Jerry envisioned an online solution-based news community focused on putting cutting-edge news, resources, and answers in the hands of the public. While his terrestrial listening audience is quite loyal, their needs are changing to become more mobile and wanting instant-access to information that will help improve their lives.

    To satisfy his audience's hunger for holistic solutions, Jerry would need to assemble a diverse group of contributors with expertise ranging a wide array of issues. He didn't want to hire an internal editorial staff right away, so curating and publishing content had to be simple. Not everyone is familiar with content management systems and there couldn't be any barriers to creating content and engaging with visitors.

    As a busy radio host, Jerry knew he couldn’t build EpicTimes alone. Jerry approached David and myself, fellow Las Vegans and previous startup guests on his radio show, to explore whether his big dream could be a reality.

    Our team was already building more robust publishing features into the Tracky platform and shared Jerry’s vision for more intuitive and authentic community management software. Starting from an idea, Tracky collaborated closely with Jerry to build what you now see at www.epictimes.com.

    EpicTimes news community

    audience commentsThe entire site is powered by Tracky: curated articles, original stories, contributor pages, comments, community collaboration (more on this later), social leaderboard, and more. There are a couple of non-Tracky pieces, like the daily poll powered by Wedgies and product catalog company, Spreadshirt.

    Migrating a terrestrial radio audience to the web and mobile is a bold move but its already paying off. Community engagement is growing and some contributors are gaining loyal readers that are regularly engaging with their articles. The daily email serves up the latest articles and images and sees open rates of 2.5 times the industry average and clickthrough rates of 5X the average.

    We're impressed by Jerry's chutzpah to bridge the gap between terrestial radio and an online community and we're honored to work with him. He's a visionary and a "doer" that pushes aside tradition and executes on big dreams.

    In the next post, I’ll dive deeper into the features and benefits of Tracky’s social publishing tool for brands.

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