Think like a product manager.
All the best practices of product management apply. You're creating an experience, and you need to begin with an understanding of the target audience, their needs, and then how you and your team can help your community get where they want to go.
Totally agree with the Product Management piece. My role is actually on our Product Strategy and Development team, because it's so important for social and product to be aligned.
we just recently introduced Gamification based on the latest version of the Bunchball module to our large external community, the SAP Community Network. I would recommend you get Laure Cetin into the conversation, who was the project lead for the new Gamification program. She will have plenty of stories by example to tell about how to activate community members.
I think a key aspect that often gets overlooked is the importance of a strong community support infrastructure. The foundation of a strong community relies on good business program fundamentals. Onboarding, educating, and communicating with your community while feeding back the lessons learned from your community metric/measurement activities are some of the things we have seen make a big difference in community vitality.
Thanks for the link to the ebook!
This spring, we overhauled our support structure and resources and I can see a huge difference with our users. Having the support structure is very important to making Jive work.
We had a huge jump in people joining and we were unable to keep up with the demand of onboarding. So we created video tutorials, a Support Community and a Library for documentation. We then empowered the new members to start by themselves and if they needed additional help to reach out to us. What we found was that some were very savy and excelled on their own, while others were still a bit lost and afraid of the new way. We were able to take the time to work with those individuals and let the savy do their thing.
Every day I go in to the Support Community to answer any questions and offer assistance, and little by little these questions are being answered by their peers. We have grown a nice group of advocates that help the newbies out. In addition to creating the support groups, we also built a group for the advocates and group owners. In doing this, it gives them a space to ask each other questions and share success stories.
Gosh, I could go on and on with what we have learned in the last couple of months... but I can't say enough, how important it is to have a support structure. A little bit of time on your end, goes a long way for the users.
Thanks for all these great personal insights!
Laura - glad to hear how you have helped a wide variety of members from very savvy to those that were more low-tech. Love the idea of supplying members with all types of support materials, but also being able to hand hold those that need it. Congrats for having your advocates stepping in to answer questions and encourage platform use. That is exactly what you want them to do and it makes your job easier.
Kudos and keep up all the great work y'all!
I am loving your content but I am swamped with the implementation of our external community. Please keep those thoughts coming!
Hi Becky - Keep you attention on your external community for sure! Glad you're enjoying the swarms. Chime in when you can.
In our external SAP Community Network we ignite with gamification! In April we launched around 30 missions helping and motivating our members from onboarding to contributing quality content and being recognized as an expert. Beyond the satisfaction of getting a badge and points, it's the validation of an achievement coming from SAP that matters. Recently one of our members was the first to earn the Thought Leader badge, the hottest badge in the community (a hidden mission). Beyond earning the badge, what really touched him was my blog highlighting his special achievement.
Our community is both technical and business-oriented, and it feels like a family. As a community manager I know a lot of them, and I know their personalities. That's what helped me design missions that would appeal to everyone, whether newbie or expert. The personal connections we build online and offline demonstrate the strong ties of the community.
This is really great information. I looked at your site and it is actually one of our Gamification use cases. How did you get the word out about the program to your community? I also like the badges you designed - very tailored to your community interests.
Too bad you missed us at the Jive User Group Meeting in Palo Alto today. I hope you will be able to listen to the replay. We didn't talk much about communication today, although we had a bullet-proof plan given the size of the community and how much some of them care about points! ;-)
I'm glad to hear you like the badges, our designer did a very good job and respected our branding guidelines, it was fun to work on badge ideas.
Feedback sessions with selected, highly influentials members of the community
Blogs to announce changes to come
Training sessions with SAP Mentors and SCN Moderators, as well as with the SCN team
SAP Connect (a kind of WebEx) session on Monday and Tuesday right after the launch, with a team member in each time zone to answer questions and listen to feedback
Google Hangout with the team who worked on the project, streamed live on the home page
Update of the reputation program overview document and the FAQs
Engagement of the project team in SCN discussions to address feedback and answer questions
Inclusion in the SCN newsletters
Inclusion in the SAP internal community and intranet
Inclusion of major links on home page
Hope this helps.