Hi J. J.,
A requirement, no. For future growth, yes.
Another factor is community life-cycle. If you're just planning or are still in the infancy stage, start small. I'm not sure how many regions your company conducts their business, but I don't recommend opening the flood gates and launching in all geographies. That seems like a lot of overhead and management oversight for just starting out.
At a previous employer, we targeted customers in North America and supported two products lines where we knew would have the largest impact. As the community gained momentum, we're learned that our customers were ok with engaging with us in English only but definitely saw the need to support additional products lines. Almost 5 years later, the community supports all product families and continues to conduct itself as English only.
If you're managing a mature community, use your analytics to understand where your customers are coming from and build a regional roll out based on need.
Great response, Dan - thanks! As a large enterprise B2B company with a very deep portfolio, we have products at every stage of the lifecycle so trying to do a 'one shoe fits all' approach can be quite challenging. We're looking at the reports and doing analysis now but a large question in our mind is, if we start, then where and what makes the most sense as a pilot/proof of concept.
Have you conducted a social audit of your portfolio and customers? If your customers are social, what products are they talking about the most?
Engage with them on their preferred platforms and then invite them to join your hosted community when the time is right.