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Ideas from Customer Service is the New Marketing #3

A zillion great ideas from the Customer Service is the New Marketing conference.

  1. When you open up to customer participation, your brand belongs to your customers, not you. 
  2. Use your product every day. It aligns your interests with your customers’. It lets you fix problems as they happen. It lets you see things as a user, which is always more helpful than seeing it as a marketer. 
  3. Turn the bullhorn around. Stop talking. Give the community a chance to speak. 
  4. There is no such thing as a "community strategy". The community will do what it wants.  Go with it. 
  5. Join conversations early.  Negative gets worse if you don’t respond. Positive grows when you do. 
  6. Why pay for product photos? Encourage your community to share their product photos. They may even blog about the fact that you chose their photos. 
  7. Sounding "professional" does not require you to sound like an ass. You don’t need formal language or big words. Talk like a human being. Talk to people online like you talk to your friends. 
  8. The great thing about communities is that you can hear from everyone. The bad thing about communities is that you can hear from everyone. 
  9. It’s ok to moderate and set rules of civil discourse. You can politely refuse to engage with ranters who don’t want to have a civil conversation. 
  10. Your community will support you if you enable them.  When a critic gets vocal, let your fans reply instead of you. 
  11. Listen to experts but design for novices. 

From the panel "Customer service as community, community as customer service"

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  1. Tom O'B February 5, 2008 at 5:59 am #

    Hi Andy:
    Nice post. Anyone who asks me about community strategy will be pointed right here.

  2. Douglas February 5, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Thanks for the coverage Andy. Some great tips and suggestions came from that panel. You didn’t write about the party metaphor, though!

  3. Eamon February 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Really useful / insightful post. In particular: 1 – 4, 7 and 11.

  4. Jake McKee February 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    All good stuff and save one point, I agree with it all. Which point? This one:
    “There is no such thing as a ‘community strategy’. The community will do what it wants. Go with it. ”
    Having a strategy and “going with it” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I’d venture that “going with it” with is dangerous if you don’t have the *right* type of strategy in place.
    Community strategy isn’t (or shouldn’t be) focused on developing a blueprint for interaction. Instead, it’s about preparing for the realities in advance of them happening. It’s about overcoming the issues involved with internal fears. It’s about implementing techniques and tactics to move colleagues into the “Go with it” mindset.
    If we could wave a magic wand over people who haven’t been doing community work for years and have them be instantly knowledgable about community we could get away with simply saying “Go with it”. They’d then know all the answers to any potential situation that might popup. But that’s not reality, and in the real world, a small percentage will get it and they need to find effective ways to bring their colleagues around. That’s a “community strategy”.

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