The founders of Network Activator — all veteran community managers — believe that even the best CMs need help to succeed.
Why do organizations create private communities? An external, branded community strategy may be driven by a marketing objective –to understand and influence the customer’s digital journey. An internal, employee community (“Facebook for the enterprise”) may have the objectives of increasing worker engagement, reducing turnover and improving business operations. Whether focused internally or externally, private communities are a great way to achieve digital enterprise transformation.
But it’s not easy to pull off. One of the critical success factors for private communities is having a good community manager to engage community members and execute the community strategy.
One of the critical jobs of the CM is to curate community content, driving engagement on topics that BOTH interest the community members, and provide value to the organization. With a curator’s eye for topics that serve the community and the organization, CMs can become the change agents that organizations desperately need.
The problem is that community managers often don’t have the time (or the tools) to do their job properly.
We created NA to enable and empower fellow CMs to focus on the highest level community building activities. The application tackles the “low-level” repetitive, time-consuming tasks such as creating member outreach lists and building reports that show the value to the organization. The app creates “Activators” -- a guiding, auto-generated list of critical activities for the community managers to improve engagement and KPI reporting.
As a result, the community team is empowered to start, grow, and sustain a successful community faster, create more value for members and the business, and generate substantially more ROI. How does it work? Network Activator assumes that you already have an adequate core platform to enable online community basics such as profiles, forums, and simple management tools and reports. Network Activator is a browser plug-in that integrates with your platforms (Yammer, Jive, etc), helping managers execute these high-level tasks:
A) Member Engagement: If you have a community of 15-year old gamers getting the conversation started may not be your primary challenge. But for business communities, such as B2B customer communities or employee forums, it often is. To get the community going, and to convince certain critical managers and customers to participate, community managers must frame the value specifically for them —the more personalized and targeted the better. Network Activator organizes your members into groups based on activity levels (Fallen Angels, Wall Flowers, etc.) and creates an outreach calendar with editable message templates based on proven approaches that generate responses and build commitment to the community.
No more copying and pasting from the forums into a separate email system. It’s all integrated –and fast!
B) Reporting the Value (not just clicks): The executive sponsors of a business community might have an intuition about the community’s value to the organization—and it may be enough to fund an initial community launch. However, we have found this honeymoon does not last long. To secure continued funding for the community initiative, community managers invariably need to define and report on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that demonstrate how the community helps the host organization achieve its objectives. Before Network Activator, this was an endless manual reporting process, translating social measures – view and comments – into business measures such as cost savings and leads.
C) Achieving Digital Transformation: Engagement and value reporting needs to spread through the organization to change the culture. This cultural transformation starts with people, especially an expanded group of community and group leaders. However, guiding a large team of community facilitators is a formidable task. Network Activator simplifies the workflows and escalations between community managers, group managers (and other facilitators) ensuring the team is aligned with business objectives, and urgent issues and good ideas from within the community bubble up quickly and result in action.
For very large communities, and those which rely on volunteers or less experienced community managers, consistent training is essential. The tips & best practices built into Network Activator serve as a learning management system for new community managers. Social media managers have many tools to manage their networks. Now, business community managers have one specifically for their needs.
Network Activator addresses the wide gap between what online community platforms provide and what’s actually required to efficiently deliver the community’s business value. It provides community managers with tools to systematize and scale community operations, unlocking their potential by increasing and guiding the flow of community activity.
Our goal at Network Activator is to help business community initiatives succeed. We continuously search for and embed best practices in community engagement and management into our application, providing ongoing support for our customers’ success.