Digital Scoop

Charley Caines is a Social Media Strategist at Manchester based, integrated, creative communications agency HGA Creative. Specialised in building communities and developing comprehensive strategies for a broad scope ...

...of clients, she has also produced award winning social media and content strategies in previous roles and is interested in all things digital.

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30 April 2012 - 10:29am | posted by | 6 comments

Build your own online community: bespoke social environments

Build your own online community: bespoke social environmentsBuild your own online community: bespoke social environments

The value of an online community is priceless to both a community and its creator. They can influence your output with crowd-sourcing, generate peer to peer advocacy and present the ultimate market research forum; in short they can be the most valuable asset to your business, providing direct access to your target market. Yet, it's easy to get caught up in the all-conquering, public facing world of social, when really, there is another option.

Socially enhanced environments

By exploring how to create your own socially enhanced environment for your target audience be it for a one off campaign or full on project, you can offer something bespoke; something relevant to your audience, something that isn't just Facebook.

By approaching social in this way you allow yourself full control and visibility over your project as well as the ability to change the behaviour of your audience and engage simultaneously. There’s also the opportunity to connect the digital world with the real world adding more value and meaning to any social action that originally took place online and the project itself.

Internal communications without the boring bits

So, how would it work and who with? Well, internal communications for a start. Companies are quickly beginning to realise the value of internal comms and are investing more to improve their productivity. If the bog standard intranet found in most companies is anything to go by, chances are, staff are anything but engaged and connected to the company. Furthermore, you can control and manage the content yourself, add interactive elements, glean insightful info on your staff and streamline your communications for greater impact.

Then there’s the public domain. Retail brand? Give your customers their own space, reward them for joining with exclusive offers and content, ‘gamify’ the experience. In short, give them a reason to stick around and repeat their conversion.

Ultimately it all comes down to offering more to user, something of value which they can invest themselves in – a tailored environment which meets their needs and your objectives.

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Comments

30 Apr 2012 - 15:07
jshentondesign
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Really interesting read...great blog post... :)

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30 Apr 2012 - 15:14
David20276's picture
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A very insightful, well written article! Thank you

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1 May 2012 - 16:17
stevekitt's picture
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Great article. Also worth adding that in my experience, community managers LOVE the quality of feedback, both qualitative and quantitative, that a purpose built online community can bring.

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2 May 2012 - 17:26
DigitalScoop's picture
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Thanks Steve and yes, they're particularly valuable in terms of improving your output. @stevekitt

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1 May 2012 - 17:50
adam_gordon's picture
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Interesting Charley. Are you saying build your own, separate to established social networks?

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2 May 2012 - 17:24
DigitalScoop's picture
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@adam_gordon Essentially yes. Is this something you are interested in doing? Happy to have a chat with you about it further. Give me a tweet if so @hgacreative

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