You may be the one thing that’s holding you back.
Over the past several months I have heard a lot of talk of people wanting to build an online community around their brand or product. I have taken the time to listen and understand how they plan to go about this and although no two plans are identical, there is one thing that is consistant across the board. The individuals creating the plan are ultimately the biggest blocks to achieving the end result.
Why is this you ask? It’s pretty simple…THEY ARE MAKING THINGS TOO COMPLICATED!
Instead of focusing on one tool, Facebook for example, they are using Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest. I have had conversations with folks who are evaluating an Enterprise Social Solution and get so caught up in all of the cool features and functionailty that they lose sight of the actual goal and the project either never gets started or it takes a year to implement.
The key is to focus on engagement. Engagement comes in many different ways, try a community centered around Ideation or Discussions. Or maybe start your community with a Questions and Answers application on one platform and just put it out there. It is nearly impossible to predict how something will be used until it is out there.
Most of these tools have some sort of analytics built in so you can quickly measure the effectiveness and plan your next steps. In the end you won’t spend too much money and waste a bunch of time. After all we can take a note from Eric Ries who tells us to “fail fast, fail often, but fail forward. That is not to suggest failing intentionally, but merely that failure is often the precursor to success.” Use this principle in building your online community and fail onwards my friends.
Try it out and let me know how it goes. I will post or tweet any results I am sent.