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September 7, 2013

Striking Online Community Content Gold

by massmarotta
Gold Nugget

If you’re one of the fortunate companies out there that have products where customers show off what they’re doing with them, you’re one step away from pure online community content gold. The trick is to getting those customers to publicly share those experiences and tell your company’s story for you. It’s one thing for you to tell your customers you have awesome products, but it’s much more credible and believable when it comes from their peers.

I blogged earlier about enabling your community members by providing them with all the right tools to increase participation. For the most part, the tools I mentioned made it easier for members to create rich compelling content and the ability to share it with the community wherever they may be. That content may be attributed to your brand, or completely have nothing to do with it. So let’s take one step further. What if we embedded publishing and sharing tools directly into your products and in one click or swipe of the finger, publish it to your online community?

Granted, this won’t work for every community, but for the ones that have the model setup, you’ve struck community content gold. Think of how powerful this could be. You’ll never have to worry about fresh content again. Ok, that was a bold statement, but if you think about it, community managers at the very least would worry less about content creation, and can refocus their efforts more on content moderation, community growth, lead generation, customer service, and customer acquisition and retention. Basically, one less thing on the community manager’s plate.

Which communities would benefit from embedding community publishing tools into their products? For now, I’d break it down into two categories; 1) Internet enabled electronics and 2) desktop software, but especially software as a service (SaaS).

Intuit’s TurboTax software has had this “community everywhere” approach for some time. They are kicking ass at it if I do say so myself. While you prepare your taxes, you can learn, share and ask questions from a widget embedded right into the experience and publish those posts straight to the TurboTax Live Community.

I’m looking for other examples of companies that have embedded community sharing tools into their products. So if you know of any, I’d like to hear about them.