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Reaching Critical Mass: 150 Active Members35:30 with Rich Millington
Imagine you could create and rejuvenate a successful community whenever you like? Richard Millington will take you through a step by step action plan to reach critical mass.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Thank you. 0:06 I feel so loved. 0:08 Thank you. 0:09 So I want to begin by taking you back to 2006. 0:11 And back in 2006, 0:15 one of the things that everyone was really interested in was Second Life. 0:17 Do you remember Second Life? 0:22 It was a virtual world where you go and build your own homes and things like that. 0:24 And there were marketers back then that were saying something really interesting. 0:27 That if your organization wasn't on Second Life today, 0:31 you might not have an organization tomorrow. 0:35 And there were some organizations that thought that was smart advice. 0:38 And so they began to build their stores in Second Life. 0:42 Adidas is my favorite example of this. 0:45 And I think their plan was this. 0:48 They're in this virtual world. 0:49 Your virtual character could go into a virtual store and buy virtual shoes for 0:52 their virtual feet. 0:57 Now, there's only one problem with this idea. 0:59 Can anyone guess what it is? 1:02 It's virtually awful. 1:04 No one ever went to this store. 1:06 This was about as busy as this store got. 1:08 And about six months after launch, they quietly took it down. 1:11 And this got me thinking. 1:15 How many of these online community efforts actually succeed? 1:17 How many organizations that try to launch an online community actually succeed? 1:22 And so I began to try and work this out. 1:27 The first thing I did is I went to the platform vendors and asked them, 1:29 excuse me, how many of your clients actually succeed in building a community? 1:34 And [LAUGH] they wouldn't tell me. 1:39 I asked other organizations that were out there, and again they wouldn't tell me. 1:42 And for years I was stuck on this. 1:46 But I kept getting these notifications that Organization X has launched an online 1:48 community, or Organization Y has launched an online community. 1:52 And then it occurred to me that you can just search for 1:56 organizations that have announced that they've launched an online community. 1:58 And again, a massive list of these. 2:02 In fact, you get a list of 957 organizations that we found that 2:04 had announced they had launched an online community. 2:08 So me and an intern, who no longer speaks to me, 2:12 began clicking on every single one of these links to try and 2:15 find out how many of them have at least 100 actively participating members. 2:18 And after a long week, we finally had our answer. 2:24 Ladies and gentlemen, my esteemed fellow inbound marketers, 2:28 it is my great honor to present to you today the state of our communities. 2:31 Out of 957 organizations that had announced they had launched an online 2:36 community, can you imagine how many were successful? 2:41 Can I get a drum roll please? 2:44 Just do your thing. 2:47 5. 2:49 That's not 5%. 2:52 That's 5, as in I can count it on my hand, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 2:53 That's 5 as in we're doing something really horrifically, terribly wrong 5. 2:58 So what's going on here? 3:03 Why are we so bad today at building online communities? 3:04 Well, if you look at how the approach comes about, it's always the same. 3:09 Step 1, the organization will have a big, expensive launch. 3:13 You have to have a nice platform and a massive push when you begin. 3:18 Step 2, they'll have a big promotional push. 3:22 They'll contact people on Facebook. 3:25 They'll contact people on Twitter. 3:26 They'll use their mailing list. 3:28 They'll push it as much as they possibly can. 3:30 And then comes step 3, the plummet. 3:33 They reach a point where they push it and push it and push it, and 3:37 they can't promote it to anymore members. 3:40 There's no one else that they can reach to and tell them about this community. 3:42 And then the community quickly dies. 3:46 That's the high watermark of most community efforts. 3:48 And the community is then taken down. 3:52 In 2008, Dell launched a community called the Digital Nomad community. 3:54 Now the idea of this is that if you have one of those cheap laptops they had, 4:00 then you can go, and you can work from anywhere in the world. 4:04 This, I think, was one of the biggest community launches I have ever seen in 4:09 my life, and this was from the patron saint of social media, Dell at the time. 4:14 And I think this launched around March 2008. 4:19 And by the following November, it was dead, and it was quietly taken down. 4:21 Now, if organizations like Dell sometimes make mistakes, 4:28 how many successful communities can be really had? 4:31 And when I began telling people about this, they always responded the same way, 4:34 which is, well, I can think of a lot of successful online communities. 4:39 I can think of lots of organizations that have a successful online community. 4:44 But when you begin looking at these, you start to notice something interesting. 4:49 They tend to have at least one of three things. 4:53 The first is that they have millions of angry customers. 4:57 It's no surprise that some of the most successful types of online communities 5:01 are those that have a lot of angry customers that need somewhere to complain 5:05 and ask questions about the products and services that aren't working well. 5:08 Two, they have a massive budget. 5:14 Now, I know some of you don't have a big budget, 5:17 because we did a survey of people on your Facebook page today, or a few weeks ago. 5:19 And we found that between, I think it's 40% of you, 5:23 have a budget of between 1 and 10,000. 5:27 35% of you, ticked the box that said, budget ha ha ha ha. 5:29 That's how much budget we had to spend in our communities. 5:38 Or third, they have a community that's so uniquely interesting, so 5:41 engaging that it's just going to pop up around the product or service anyway. 5:45 So, when Google develops the self-driving car, they're gonna have a crazy, 5:48 popular online community simply because of how interesting it is. 5:53 Which might mean that for most of us, our community efforts are doomed. 5:57 That was pretty much it. 6:03 I was worried about time, but. 6:04 >> [LAUGH] >> Actually there's hope. 6:07 Of course, there is hope. 6:09 In fact, there's a group of people who are incredibly good at building online 6:11 communities. 6:15 There's one specific group of people who have been building communities for 6:16 generations. 6:19 Can anyone guess who it is? 6:21 Just shout out your answer. 6:22 >> [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] Yes, but 6:23 I actually meant the hobbyists, 6:26 the crazy people that build communities around whatever unique hobby they have. 6:28 These people are insanely good at building communities. 6:34 They have an incredible high success rate. 6:36 So it stands to reason today that if we want to have more successful 6:39 online communities, we have to stop doing the typical organization 6:43 big launch approach and start copying what these successful people do. 6:47 And when you start looking at that, 6:52 you start noticing something really interesting. 6:53 The first one is that they begin with their founding members. 6:56 Notice here, we're not talking about your first members of the community. 7:01 You're talking about the founders. 7:04 What do you think is more motivating to get someone to join in a new community? 7:05 To become a member of a community that doesn't exist yet or 7:10 to help found a community? 7:14 And it's here you begin to notice a bigger split between what failures do and 7:16 what successes do. 7:19 And can anyone guess what that might be? 7:21 What is a single thing that successful community builders do differently? 7:23 Would you like a clue? 7:27 [MUSIC] 7:29 That's right, they invite their friends to join the community. 7:37 They don't invite strangers to join the community, they invite their friends. 7:40 They don't invite people on their mailing lists, on their Twitter following. 7:44 They invite their friends to join the community. 7:48 So I'm gonna need to make sure that we all understand this, 7:51 because it's incredibly important. 7:53 Do you think you should invite people from your Twitter following or 7:55 your Facebook page to join your community to get it going? 7:58 Yes or no? 8:01 No? 8:02 >> Yes. 8:03 >> No. 8:03 Do you think that you should have your random strangers, 8:05 people that you don't really know, do a massive promotional push and try and 8:09 invite those people to join a community? 8:13 No? 8:15 Or imagine if you've just discovered you have a long lost twin 8:17 brother who you've never met. 8:21 And you finally summon up the courage to reach out to him. 8:23 Should you invite him to join the community? 8:25 Hell, no. 8:28 You begin a community with your friends. 8:29 And we're not just talking about small organizations here. 8:32 Devilicious Mums, a community of, I think, 350,000 members. 8:35 They have a revenue of $4 million a year begin with their friends. 8:41 Rover.com based in Seattle here I think have 40,000 new members every week. 8:46 They have millions of dollars in investment. 8:51 But even here they begin with their friends. 8:53 The easiest way, the best way, the most successful way to get a community off 8:55 the ground is to begin with people that you know. 9:00 People that are already in that sector, people that you have befriended. 9:03 And this, by far, is the biggest mistake that we're making today. 9:07 And we can get this right. 9:10 What it means, that in the beginning we need to have a founder of that community. 9:12 Not a nameless brand entity, but a clear founder of that community. 9:17 And if you don't have this, If you don't have that credibility to be that founder, 9:21 then the very first thing you have to do is to get that credibility. 9:26 And the way we go about that is what we call the CHIP process, 9:31 as in C-H-I-P, not french fries, CHIP. 9:34 So that means first you create the right content. 9:39 And I'm not talking about your personal opinions or anecdotal examples. 9:43 The easiest way to get credibility amongst that group is to create content that that 9:46 group actually wants to get. 9:50 So things like the latest summary of what's going on in that field, 9:52 data research, things like this. 9:56 This will get you instant credibility amongst the audience, or host events. 9:58 It's worth putting $1000 behind a local bar and 10:04 inviting everybody you know in that sector to come, 10:07 because then you get an instant credibility of hosting this sort of group. 10:09 Or three interview experts in your field. 10:14 If you want the attention of every expert in your space, 10:17 then interview every expert in your space. 10:19 The same people that won't give you the time of day if you ask them for a favor or 10:22 advice will give you over an hour of their day if you ask them for an interview. 10:27 And fourth, participate. 10:31 You have to participate. 10:33 You have to be out there meeting members, having coffee with members. 10:34 Because to get a community off the ground you don't need that many people but 10:38 you need to have that small group in place for it to happen. 10:41 Otherwise it's not going to succeed. 10:44 So you want to be creating a list of 250 prospective founding members and 10:46 then having at least 50 of them that you can get to interact with each other. 10:51 Now, one of the great things about this approach is that you can see if it's 10:56 not working. 10:59 You can see if it's not working, before you've invested a lot of money into it. 11:01 So, if you can't get 50 people to interact with each other, 11:05 then do not build a community. 11:09 Either the community is not ready for you, or you're not ready for the community. 11:11 But let's imagine we've done that. 11:16 Let's imagine we have our 50 founder members of that community. 11:18 What do we want to do next? 11:21 Well, the biggest thing that's going to influence whether someone participates in 11:24 a community or not is how interested they are in that topic. 11:27 Now, the problem with this is that too many organizations make a community 11:32 about themselves and they quickly realize they are not Beyonce. 11:36 They quickly realize they are not the kind of person or 11:43 organization that people want to spend their spare time talking about them. 11:45 They might have loyal customers. 11:49 They might have people that visit them very often. 11:51 But they don't want to spend their time talking about them. 11:53 Or they make a community about their products or their services. 11:56 Now, the problem here is that I don't know about you, but 12:01 if I'm building a community for my clients, 12:05 I don't want just my customers to be able to participate in that community. 12:07 If I don't have millions of angry customers, that doesn't help me much but 12:11 I want my competitor's customers to be able to participate. 12:15 I want to have anyone interested in that topic that's able to participate. 12:18 I want to have anyone that has an interest or 12:22 is new to that field to be able to participate in my community. 12:24 Or three, they build a community around what they think people want to do. 12:28 I've been doing this around seven or eight years now and I counted last week 12:35 we have been approached with the exact same idea 13 times. 12:39 And the idea is this. 12:42 Hey Rich, I'm gonna start a community of the top financial investors to join 12:47 the community and I'm gonna charge them to exchange thought tips with one another. 12:52 Now can you imagine why this idea does not work? 12:57 If you are a top financial investor today, what is the one thing in the world 13:00 you don't want to share with other top financial investors? 13:05 But yet, this is what happens again and again. 13:09 We try and guess what members want to do. 13:11 So there are four types of concepts that tend to work incredibly well. 13:14 The first one is to build a community 13:19 around a problem that members know they have. 13:22 So the top financial professionals in the world might not want to exchange 13:26 stock tips with each other. 13:30 Think about it, if they're at the very top, 13:31 then they probably think they're doing a good job of that. 13:33 But maybe, just maybe, there's something else they want to talk about. 13:35 Perhaps having a good work-life balance, perhaps a home design, or 13:40 perhaps buying great homes, whatever. 13:43 But there'll be some problem that they know they have. 13:45 A couple of years ago, we had a teaching software company, 13:48 and they approached us because they were struggling to build a community. 13:53 And they've tried a couple of things already. 13:57 First, they tried to build a community for the teachers that they're trying to reach, 13:59 to help each other use the software that they had developed. 14:04 And you know what the teacher said? 14:08 We don't have time. 14:10 Then they tried to build a community around just 14:13 teaching in a more general sense. 14:16 And can you imagine what the teacher said? 14:18 We don't have time to do this. 14:20 And can you imagine what this company is missing? 14:23 What do you think that's missing here? 14:26 Time. 14:28 So when we came along, 14:30 our purpose to build a community for teachers to share their time-saving tips. 14:31 Now, this is the concept that works. 14:36 This is a community that today has over 1,200 members, 14:38 800 of which have logged-in within the last month. 14:41 So you want to build a community, 14:43 possible around a problem that your members know they have. 14:45 Second, you can build a community around an opportunity that we believe exists. 14:49 So maybe in search it is opportunities in other search engines or 14:55 disruption like Rand was talking about yesterday. 14:58 But this also works incredibly well if you sell a product or 15:01 a service that isn't perhaps that interesting. 15:04 Imagine if you sell a washing machine. 15:07 No one here sells a washing machine right? 15:10 That's a shame this would've been a terrific example for you. 15:12 So it's really hard to make washing machines that interesting. 15:16 This is about as good as we could possibly get, because people aren't gonna 15:19 want to spend their spare time talking about washing machines. 15:24 But maybe they want to talk about their housework tips or housework stories, or 15:28 things like that. 15:33 But that's good and surely there's a bigger opportunity here 15:35 one that takes advantage of new trends in this particular space. 15:38 So if this is me, I'd go to a community called, a community for 15:42 people to eliminate, automate, and delegate their housework. 15:46 I think a community concept like this is going to be far more powerful and 15:49 we have to be getting these concepts right. 15:53 The third one is passion. 15:57 I'm not gonna spend a lot of time talking about this but 15:58 a good example would be TechCrunch. 16:01 So TechCrunch has a community of people to learn more about the startup scene, 16:04 people who want simply to learn more about that field. 16:07 The reason I don't want to spend that much time talking about it 16:10 is that most organizations think that their customers are way more interested in 16:13 that sector than they really are. 16:17 And finally, status. 16:19 There's a lot of great communities out there that are based around the status of 16:23 being a member. 16:26 So people join because they get access to an exclusive group, or 16:27 they want to be a member of an exclusive group. 16:30 If I was running in say a marketing or SEO agency today and 16:33 trying to start a community, you might want to look at having a community for 16:36 the top inbound marketers or maybe a double the numbers club. 16:41 And by the way, it's often a lot easier to get people to join a community 16:45 if you call it something else. 16:49 It's often a lot easier to get people to join a community if you call it a club or 16:52 a collaborative. 16:56 You change the words to whatever you like, and each of the has different kinds of 16:57 associations that people might want to join. 17:01 So if you cannot get this right concept that takes off, if you can't test this 17:04 first and find something that works, do not continue building a community. 17:08 Okay, number three is the platform stage. 17:13 There is nowhere, nowhere that we're worse and 17:17 building community than when it comes to building a community platform. 17:19 The reason why so many communities have so 17:24 many lurkers today is because we build communities designed for people to lurk. 17:26 Designed for people to read. 17:32 I want to imagine your favorite bar or your favorite club or pub or whatever. 17:34 And before you get into the room where you can chat to anyone else 17:39 you have to go through three separate rooms. 17:42 In the first room will be someone that checks do you have the right username and 17:45 the right password to get in. 17:48 In the second room will be someone that tells you about the history of the bar, 17:51 someone that tells you about what's going on in the bar and 17:55 in the third room will be some sort of news about the drinks they are selling and 17:58 this is all before you can see if your friends are in that bar. 18:02 As crazy as this sounds, 18:05 this is exactly our approach to building community platforms today. 18:07 We are terrible, terrible at building community platforms today. 18:11 Now, if you want to have a more successful type of platform, 18:18 we have to stop copying the examples like this, examples that might look good, 18:21 examples that might impress the boss or 18:26 anyone else because you can't see where to participate in these kinds of communities. 18:28 Instead we have to look at what are the most successful, 18:33 active community platforms out there today. 18:37 When you think about it like reddit here, it might not be 18:41 the most attractive platform in the world, but look how much activity it has. 18:46 It's a very ugly platform, but it works. 18:50 Hacker News, look at how much activity it has and how ugly it is. 18:53 And this goes on and on, there's so many examples of successful 18:58 community platforms that are out there that don't look good. 19:01 So perhaps, 19:05 looking good isn't the key to having a successful type of community platform. 19:05 So maybe the rule is, we don't need the platform that looks good. 19:11 Maybe we need a community platform that's simply shows the latest activity 19:15 above the fold on the lining page of that community. 19:20 And how many of you are using a Facebook page for 19:23 your online community, a quick show of hands please? 19:26 I know it's after lunch. 19:30 Some of you, please stop doing that. 19:31 >> [APPLAUSE] >> There's nothing else, 19:33 just stop, please. 19:39 >> [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] The problem right now, 19:40 it's like having a postman who might say, I'm only gonna deliver 19:43 the mail that I think your members want to get from you, unless you pay me. 19:48 And honestly, the only solution at this stage is to pay for the advertising and 19:53 get the email addresses of your members. 19:57 Get your members out of there and somewhere else. 19:59 Because it's very difficult to build a community platform on Facebook. 20:02 And if you are looking for options, 20:06 there are other options around there at different levels. 20:07 So zero to 4k you have MightyBell, you have Vanilla Forums, you have Telescope, 20:09 which will give you a community exactly like Product Time or Reddit or 20:14 someone like that. 20:19 If you have more money, say the $5 to $50k level, 20:21 then it's more about backing the right horse. 20:25 It's more about making sure that you have a company that is going to be successful 20:29 in the long term. 20:33 So Higher Logic okay here, the two open-source solutions and 20:34 Mobilize as well. 20:38 And if you have, people ask me for just one suggestion, 20:40 I would go with an integration of these two. 20:43 And, if you have a budget of $50k, if you have lots of money. 20:46 After you contact us, you should definitely reach out to Lithium, Jive, 20:50 Yammer, one of these types of community platforms that exist. 20:54 And what you get is not something that is monumentally better than anywhere else. 20:58 But you had a company that would just take care of everything. 21:03 So, before we continue. 21:06 Before you begin doing anything else, 21:08 you have to make sure you have a platform that is activity focused. 21:10 That will show the latest activity above the landing page. 21:14 Above the fold of that community. 21:18 You want to make sure that when people visit your platform, 21:20 the first thing they see is how crazy active it is. 21:22 That is the kind of platform that we want to have. 21:26 Okay, next. 21:29 How do we get members to participate? 21:31 Imagine how gut-wrenching it is to have a community where you have the platform, 21:33 you have the founding members, but people still won't participate. 21:39 This happens far too often, and 21:43 it happens because what we ask members to do is usually, entirely the wrong thing. 21:45 So too many online communities today, for the very first contribution that a member 21:50 makes, wants a member to introduce themselves. 21:55 Think about this, imagine going into a room of people that you don't know, and 21:58 saying, Hello, my name is Richard Millington, and I work at this company, 22:01 and I'm very, very, very excited to be here. 22:05 That's what we're doing. 22:09 And imagine if not just you, but you can see a whole line of people that 22:10 have done that before you, and have done that after you, as well. 22:14 How motivating would that be to you? 22:17 And how interesting is it to your members? 22:20 This isn't what we want to be doing. 22:22 Mistake number two, 22:25 the first thing we tell members to do is to complete their profile. 22:27 Think about this. 22:32 You see a community platform that you want to participate in. 22:32 Actually let's do it in real life. 22:35 You see a bar that you want to join, and you try and get in there, and 22:36 someone goes stop. 22:39 What? Profile. 22:42 [SOUND] Richard Millington, age, location, about me, 22:44 I mean, who wants to fill in an about me thing? 22:50 But this is what we're doing. 22:55 It's no surprise that most people just give up and go to Facebook instead. 22:57 And three, we just dump members into the community. 23:01 We just throw them in there and hope that somehow, some way, they find the right 23:04 place to participate and they get engaged and everyone is very happy about that. 23:08 And this doesn't work well. 23:13 What you have is a very small window. 23:15 A 15 minute window. 23:18 About the time it takes the average person to have a shower, 23:20 to hook a member into that community. 23:23 To make sure the best sharing and opinion and experience or 23:25 something that's specific to them, 23:28 something that's gonna get them into that notification cycle that members have. 23:31 So one way to do that is to use your confirmation 23:35 email that you send out much better than we're using it today. 23:39 If you look at this one here from Dell. 23:43 Dell want you to join, participate, catalyze. 23:45 Have you guys done much catalyzing recently? 23:49 >> [LAUGH] >> This isn't what we want to be doing. 23:51 If you want to increase the number of newcomers that actually make 23:55 a contribution by 15 to 20% right now, right now, change this message here. 24:00 Say hi, you're in, I love your opinion on this discussion taking place here. 24:05 And just update that link every single week. 24:09 We've done this in lots of communities, you can do it right now and 24:12 that will be a 15 to 20 percent boost. 24:15 And if you can't do that, you can see what other calls to action you can do. 24:18 You can see what other actions you can tell members to take. 24:21 So one of them, what are your members thinking? 24:24 This is a very powerful call to action. 24:28 Or two, what are members doing? 24:32 My favorite type of discussion in any type of professional community is, 24:34 what are you working on right now? 24:39 And the reason that is so successful is that if I share what I'm working on and 24:42 someone else shares what they're working on, I'm gonna be like, you too? 24:46 No way! 24:51 You can have a good collaborative opportunity, you can get people more 24:51 engaged and participating, simply if they know what each other are working on. 24:55 Three, is what have you recently learned? 25:00 Everyone has learned something recently about the topic that you're in and 25:03 you just need to give them a place to share it. 25:06 Or four, what do members need help with? 25:09 Very often the biggest challenge isn't getting people to participate. 25:12 It's not getting replies. 25:16 It's simply getting people to ask a question in the first place. 25:18 So, if you cannot convert more than 50% of your newcomers 25:23 into regular active members of that community, stop promoting the community. 25:26 Instead, focus on converting them. 25:31 Focus on testing different course of action, 25:34 different appeals, until you find out what works best. 25:36 Because in almost every type of community we can do a far, 25:39 far better job here than what we're doing right now. 25:42 Okay, finally. 25:46 How to keep members active. 25:48 According to whatever research you read, 25:52 between 40 and 90 percent of members in online communities, 25:54 who make their first ever contribution, will never participate again. 25:58 Why is that? 26:04 You don't have that in any other type of social group. 26:05 So what is it about online communities where that happens? 26:08 Well, one is that in an online community, if you ask a question and 26:13 you don't get a response, you'd never participate again. 26:16 The worst thing that we want is to be ignored. 26:20 Second, if you ask a question and 26:24 you don't get a quick response, you will never participate again. 26:27 The speed of a response is so important upon whether someone participates again. 26:31 If you can respond to someone's first contribution within 15 minutes, 26:35 they have an 87% chance of participating again. 26:39 If you wait three hours, that drops to around 60%. 26:43 So rapid contributions matter a lot. 26:45 And third, imagine if you were asked a question and you get the absolute, 26:50 drop dead perfect result that you ever could want. 26:54 Well, then you don't have to go back and participate again. 26:59 Think about that. 27:02 By giving a member the perfect answer to the question they're asking, 27:03 why does that member have to participate again? 27:07 And this happens very often. 27:09 But, there are ways to hook members into participating over the long term. 27:13 And the first one is to show them a visible increase in skill, which means, 27:17 if I can see that my level of skill has increased since being a member of that 27:22 community, then I am far more likely to continue participating in that community. 27:28 And the way you can do that, is copy say what the weight-lifting communities do, 27:33 or the weight loss, or the fitness type of communities do. 27:37 When you benchmark yourself at the beginning and 27:42 then you update that benchmark, whatever that might be. 27:44 So that might be in a professional community. 27:46 What job did you have right at the beginning? 27:49 And then you can see your career progression as a result of being 27:54 in that community. 27:57 And that's a very powerful reason to keep participating. 27:58 Another good idea is to take whatever great advice is being shared in 28:01 your community and turn it into a mini-course or eBooks or 28:05 guides, anything that people can see that the skill of almost everyone in that group 28:09 is growing as a result of being in that community. 28:13 Second is autonomy. 28:18 So, this means the more control, power, and influence we have over a particular 28:20 group, the more likely we are gonna continue participating in that group. 28:24 My first ever job was doing a paper route. 28:29 So that's like putting newspapers through doors, you must have a US alternative. 28:34 I thought after a couple of months, I'm doing a damn good job of this. 28:39 I asked my boss, I would like some more money. 28:44 And he said, and I remember, well, Rich, I can't give you some more money, but 28:47 I can give you more responsibility. 28:52 I was like, okay. 28:54 So he gave me two routes to do. 28:57 But at the time I thought that was amazing. 29:00 I had more control and more responsibility. 29:01 It was such a powerful thing for me. 29:03 What we want is to design a journey for newcomers once they join that community. 29:06 To give them increasing levels of control, and responsibility, 29:11 and power within that community. 29:14 That might mean when someone joins for the very first time, and 29:16 they post that first question and 29:19 they get a response, you all seem to document that response for other people. 29:20 And if they do that, you might ask them to interview other experts to do that or 29:24 resolve that challenge even better. 29:27 You might designate them as an expert if they do that. 29:30 Or if they're high level they might be able to run groups and columns and 29:33 different parts of that community. 29:35 But the increasing level of control that you get people in that community the more, 29:37 I guarantee you, the more they will continue participating. 29:41 And third, social relatedness. 29:45 The more we make friends in that community, 29:49 the more we continue participating in that community. 29:51 Which means the more i recognize the other people and 29:54 the more I feel recognized by that group. 29:58 The more I continue participating within that group. 30:00 And that's such a powerful thing. 30:03 You can have a community manager that welcomes newcomers and 30:05 introduces them to other people like themselves, 30:09 people with the same challenge, people in the same location. 30:13 If you can find a way to automate, that's even better. 30:15 But if you can tackle this challenge, 30:18 if you can make sure that people make genuine friendships as a result of 30:19 being in your community, they will keep coming back again, and again, and again. 30:23 And what we want, to wrap things up, is to design that whole journey through. 30:28 So what is the first thing they need? 30:32 It's an ego hit, 30:33 something that sucks them in right at the beginning, that quick, rapid response. 30:35 Second, you might introduce them to somebody else. 30:39 You might have a skill increase task, 30:41 some sort of task that's gonna increase their skill. 30:43 You might give them more responsibility. 30:45 And you can test this. 30:47 And you can change it, and you can adapt it. 30:48 You can do whatever you want to do, but 30:49 this is a process that we need to get right. 30:52 This is a process that we can be doing much better right now. 30:54 And if we want to have members that are participating not just once, but 30:57 over the long term, we absolutely have to be doing a better job of this. 31:01 Because there is so much potential for improvement right here. 31:05 Okay, let's quickly wrap things up. 31:10 When we think about how communities actually grow, 31:12 it's not with a massive launch. 31:15 It's not with a massive launch. 31:17 What happens is they grow really steadily. 31:19 They begin with the founders of that community. 31:21 Then you have the friends of friends that join and participate. 31:23 Then you have the early majority. 31:26 It's a good curve that goes like this. 31:27 And the biggest mistake that we make is that we begin here. 31:29 What we see is lots of organizations that perhaps see other 31:33 communities that get a lot of press attention, that have a lot of members. 31:38 And think, if we're going to be successful, 31:41 we need a lot of press attention, and lot of members. 31:44 And they forget that we have to have a small group 31:46 before we can have a big group. 31:49 Please don't begin at this level. 31:51 It's very risky, it's very expensive, and it doesn't succeed. 31:53 What you want to do is to begin with that founder. 31:57 Who is the person that's gonna be creating that community? 32:00 How much credibility do they actually have? 32:03 And if you do that, you have a 94% success rate. 32:06 If you do that, it is not very expensive. 32:09 If you do that, there's safeguards in place that stop 32:12 you from wasting a lot of money before that community fails. 32:15 So to quickly wrap things up, 32:18 first you need a founder with credibility in that field. 32:19 Second, you need a concept that pops. 32:23 Third, you need an activity focus community platform. 32:25 And fourth, you need to be prompting newcomers to make a specific post. 32:29 And finally, give members increasing level of skill, power, and 32:36 make sure they're making friends in your online community. 32:40 Cuz, we have social time to do the work that we're going to do. 32:44 And it's the most incredible feeling in the world when you're able to take a group 32:47 of people and connect them together around your organization. 32:51 MozCon, it's always amazing to speak to you. 32:54 Thank you so much. 32:56 [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you, Rich. 32:57 Okay, when you're tweeting, when you were up here, 33:05 people were tweeting all kinds of questions about platforms. 33:08 So we're gonna do a quick speed round. 33:10 You mentioned Facebook, don't do Facebook. 33:12 Very quickly, what are your thoughts on the following platforms? 33:14 LinkedIn. 33:17 >> LinkedIn can work for some professional communities, 33:18 but recently I haven't seen that many that are doing well. 33:21 >> MeetUp. 33:24 >> MeetUp is good. 33:25 MeetUp works very, 33:26 very well for communities that like to meet up in person. 33:27 It seems to be a company that's going well. 33:31 Yeah, that's a good one. 33:33 I like it. >> I'll group these together if I can, 33:34 Slack and HipChat. 33:35 >> Slack is very interesting, it seems to be growing fast. 33:37 I like Slack. 33:39 Yammer should be very scared at the moment. 33:40 The other one I haven't had much experience with, HipChat. 33:42 >> Rand had an interesting question. 33:46 [CROSSTALK] What would you have advised Twitter, 33:47 I mean Reddit do with their recent community grufufel? 33:50 Would you have any advise to them on that? 33:54 >> You know with Reddit it's one of those really unfortunate things, 33:57 and I think everyone has a different opinion on it. 34:00 My opinion is that it's a bad idea 34:03 to have only one person responsible for that community. 34:05 I mean, you need to have more than one person responsible. 34:08 But I also think that when someone does stand up and does try to 34:10 tackle the abuse that's happening in that site, we need to support them. 34:14 Everyone in that organization should have been supporting her, 34:18 not looking strangely quiet. 34:21 But I think right now, it's a little late for them to be doing that. 34:24 I think the key thing is just to make sure that they have more than one person 34:28 responsible, that the lines of communication are pretty clear. 34:32 But also, there are times when you just have to take a stand. 34:34 You have to take a stand saying, 34:37 we are not going to tolerate this in our community any longer. 34:38 And there's going to be people that don't like that. 34:42 But I think that's just what happens in communities sometimes. 34:44 Thanks, [INAUDIBLE] [APPLAUSE] >> Well said. 34:48 For people who saw you last year, you touched on this a little bit last year. 34:52 But a lot of people in the audience are wondering about how to sell community, 34:56 how to sell investment, wondering Linda was asking about organic visits or 35:00 new customers. 35:04 For those people who are interesting in learning about the ROI of community, 35:05 where can they get started? 35:09 >> If you don't me doing a plug. 35:11 if you go to feverbee.com/ROI PDF, 35:17 I think the ROI's in capital letters, that should work. 35:19 If not, I'll just Tweet it out right after this. 35:23 >> Sounds good, excellent as always. 35:25 Thank you, Rich Millington. 35:27 >> Thank you so much. 35:27 >> [APPLAUSE] 35:30
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