Despite the holidays, December produced some excellent online community management blog posts — several by people making their first appearance on this list.
Most of the pieces featured in these roundups are written by community managers. This one is written by an entrepreneur. Eric Ries tells how he failed to effectively communicate with his user community about a policy change, and learned the hard way about the importance of listening to the customer.
TechTarget‘s Adam Riglian provides us with this case study of a company that had a thriving community, only to lose it all when they imposed an unwanted new technology platform on the community. By engaging with members, the company was able to replace the platform with something users could work with, and the community came back bigger and better than before.
A wise man once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” FeverBee‘s Richard Millington reminds us to apply this lesson to community management. Being nice to individual members might make you feel good inside, but Rich writes that we need to be thinking about the big picture and focus on activities that help the community as a whole.
Marketing professionals often say that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. The same rule applies to community members. In this post, Alex Hillman has some great tips on how to measure member retention (or lack thereof), and how to minimize member loss.
Social media marketers talk a lot about connecting with consumers via social channels like Facebook and Twitter, but often discount the tried-and-true forum. Patrick O’Keefe found one social media marketer who understands the importance of the forum: Jason Falls. In this interview, Jason tells Patrick about some compelling data that indicate forums represent a huge, often untapped opportunity for marketers.
Photo credit: Ell Brown