Find Experts Within a Community

By Dennis McCafferty

Three Social Media Success Stories

1. Xilinx linked 500 engineers with customers to discuss custom-chip design, increasing productivity by 25%.

Three Social Media Success Stories

2. FICO, the credit-score company, has launched myFICO forums3 to allow users to exchange techniques on improving their ratings.

Three Social Media Success Stories

3. The Schwab Trading Community gets active traders to share information for effective trading. Participants complete 360 trades a year on average, compared to 200 trades annually for non-participants.

Don’t Perceive Social Media as a Tech Thing

Technology supports social media. But the "app" here is actually the collective user. Its behavior is the outcome.

Read the Crowd.

You need to understand how mass groups of people collaborate to successfully steer resulting action.

Set Business Goals for Engagement

Without clearly defined metrics-drivers, social media is perceived internally as a mere folly.

Find Experts Within a Community

You can resolve lingering business issues by tapping into the knowledge of customers who know your products as well as your employees do.

Seek Tipping-Point Engagement

That's when a critical mass of participation in community achieves viral growth, emerging as self-sustaining.

Seven Best Practices

6. Let Participants Breathe. Allow the community to come up with answers. Excessive organizational interference or oversight will stifle innovation.

Give Real Feedback

Even if a suggestion isn't taken up, provide sincere replies so that users know input is appreciated.

This article was originally published on 11-09-2011