Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Webinar Q&A: Community Building Insights

First of all, we would like to thank everyone that attended our webinar last week on "The Building Blocks for Sustainable Research Communities" that aired on Thursday December 4, 2014. A special thanks goes out to all that presented: Ivana Taylor from DIY Marketers, Heather Carpenter from Pilot Media, John Johnson from Survey Analytics and Esther LaVielle from Survey Analytics for moderating. 

For those of you that wanted to attend but couldn't, you can view the slides and watch the replay here. At the end of the 30-minute session, we took some time to address any questions that came up during the presentation. Now we have compiled those questions for you to review here. As always, if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Q1: Why do you think communities is the x-factor solution people should adopt in 2015?

A1: Communities are so important, especially for businesses who audiences are not on social media, is because having a community is actually an asset. Think of each community member as an asset. Once you spend the time and money recruiting people into your community, that becomes a very important private and managed space that belongs to you. All the people you engage with on social media, don't belong to you, hence they are not your asset. They only become an asset once they give you their email and join your community. Once they've done this, that makes them yours, and that is extremely profitable.

Q2: I love the call of duty portal you showed. Can Survey Analytics help me build out a sweet looking portal like that?

A2: Absolutely! Survey Analytics has top-notch designers and programming team that can help you to build and theme your community to look any way you like to match your brand. We do love the fact that our tool is so easy to use so most people can get in there and make it look the way they want it, but we also realize that sometimes time is of the essence. So if you may need any assistance, we would be happy to help you customize this. 

Q3: What kind of differences have you seen when doing research with your communities vs. without a community?

A3: We recently sent out a survey directly into the public, without the help of our engaged community, and what we realized what tremendous. The dropout rates were very high, and you can tell that our open-ended questions were not taken as seriously. But when we actually use our community, they actually really like taking the surveys, they are very engaged, they like participating and feeling like they are helping our local businesses. 

Q4: How can communities be beneficial for loyalty programs?

A4: I think that the people that are in your community are already loyal. Where they can be very beneficial is by expanding your loyalty program. You want to leverage the people that are engaged by bringing friends along. Having a "refer-a-friend" program is a huge tool in this regard. I like to call these kind of people "sneezers". They love to participate and bring their friends along. If you think about the high cost of customer acquisition, having a hyper-engaged community can be worth much more with very little marketing budget involved.

Q5: What are best practices for persuading (in this example, Call of Duty players) to participate in your community?

A5: There are many different ways you can put together a strategy in terms of getting more members and persuading more members into your community. First, think of it as a campaign or a project. What I suggest is knowing what you want to do and how you want to roll our first. Look at the ways that you make influencers "sneezers", and then you bless them with rewards and incentives for doing that. Another important feature is a refer-a-friend program in which they get additional rewards for that. All in all, let others speak for you.

Q6: Can too much personalization become detrimental to your panel?

A6: Personalization is great, but I think too much can definitely confuse things. Sometimes I depend on the panelists to point out to me any errors that I may have made. But yeah, I think that it is important to find the right balance between showing them who you are via personalization and not being overly complicated or confusing in your design elements.

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