The Benefits of a Branded Forum Community [Podcast]

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Vanilla Forums CEO Luc Vezina was a guest on Social Business Engine to discuss branded online community forums. Listen here to learn about the why, the what and the how of building a community forum for your business and brand. Need unbiased help in selecting the right platform? Check out our buyers guide for a handy checklist on selecting the right platform for building a community.

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Building a Business Case For Your Community Initiative

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You should not present your business case to John Hamm. He is an actor, and cannot approve your budget.

Community has a lot of benefits, to several departments of your company, but your community initiative has to compete with other budget requests. If you’re going to get what you need from the resource gatekeepers, you’ll need to build a strong business case for why a community is vital. Here are a few points you can hit to make sure your business case is killer:

Tie Objectives to Company KPIs

A common mistake is to use some of the softer benefits of a community to sell them to decision makers. Elements like improved customer relationships may be a great boon to your brand, but your boss is likely to be looking at the bottom line. The two major driving factors are going to be increasing revenue and decreasing expenses, so focus your case on these. It will vary from business to business, but generating more sales and freeing support resources are common benefits to concentrate on.
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Royal Caribbean’s Internal Community Creates Better Communication

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We had a chance to sit down with Oscar Guerrero, Senior Account Executive, Global Marketing at Royal Caribbean and talk to him about how he uses his internal community to ensure his global team communicates effectively.

Q – Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us today. We know Royal Caribbean is in the Cruise business, but can you tell me a bit about you, and your role?
We are the Global Sales and Marketing team based in our headquarters in Miami, Florida. As a global business, we have 12 international offices, spread out in the Americas, Asia and Europe. We also have smaller reps across the different regions of the world. My main function is to support and drive success in all these markets. Continue reading

Community Guidelines: Why They’re Vital and How to Improve Them

Community guidelines

This might be going a little overboard…

The first thing I do when I enter a new community is check out their community guidelines. It’s not because I’m worried about breaking rules (I’m well behaved at least 65% of the time), but because what those rules are and how they’re laid out will tell me most of what I need to know about the community itself. I can tell what the community manager thinks about the users, how much effort they put in to the basics of setup, and what kind of community I can expect to see when I start posting. It’s also part of the community that rarely sees any real effort or thought, which I’ve always found strange. It’s the template for how your community acts and behaves, and it should be a high priority for any community manager.
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The Third Pillar of Community Strategy: Social

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In the previous 2 articles of this series, we discussed two of the three pillars of community strategy: sales and support. In this article, we’ll be discussing the final pillar: social.

Human-to-human interaction is the very heart of community, and that’s something that’s often forgotten in the rush for ROI.The entire undercurrent of our economy is social, and without sociality few businesses can function. From the town hall to the nightclub to the internet forum, humans have a deep rooted need for social bonds.
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