Goal: Get more customers aware, interested and using our private channel community.
Strategy: integrate (embed, infuse, glue, "widgetize") the social features into our channel web sites.
Tactics: Literally identify all sections/areas/pages of our channel web sites (21 sites and hundreds of thousands of visits a month) to "embed" (I like the word Widgetize as well, because it has a design element to it) critical social features into the web site itself.
The point of this tactic is based on the premise that customers expect the web site to continue to be the "one-stop-shop" and thus, all new features (including SBS features) have to find a place in the web site.
For example, on the homepage, it can be relatively easy and logical to place, a few "new discussions", new "announcements", a tag cloud, not to mention some "call-to-action" messaging to introduce new customers to the new social features.
Another tactic is the leverage the RSS features and "embed" "feeds" (organized by topic) on relevant web pages. In our case we have very popular web site sections organized by desktop, mobile and server. Thus we can create feeds from the community and embed them right into the pages. The feeds, because they have been tagged desktop or mobile or server are incredibly relevant to customers.
Almost immediately the growth (measured by new customers and usage of the community) has growth significantly.
The simple point it to "internally syndicate" the heck out of the community but in a carefully planned manner.
Another tactic we have found it to syndicate (RSS) between other Intel communities. For example, our Intel Customer Service group has a wonderful new community focused exclusively on service issues. Instead of trying to copy this community for channel customers, we are sharing (i.e. syndicating) the community into our channel community. This convenience, again, means that customers don't have to "travel" far to access rich "service" discussions.
These are just a couple successful tactics we have employed to continue growing our customers awareness, interest and usage.
Hope this helps a bit. If interested in details or additional ideas, feel free to contact me.
P.s. Adam, I hope the weather is improving in Portland. I am ready to visit soon;)