1. SocialMedia.org's Brands-Only Summit is the conference for social media leaders at the world's greatest brands. To learn more, visit socialmedia.org/summit/.

    In his presentation, FeverBee's Richard Millington explains how to maintain engagement to secure a more active and rich online community.

    Below is the live coverage from this event:

    — One of the first campaign’s Richard worked on was a campaign for Born HIV Free. It was built to create massive online and social support to fight mother-to-child spread HIV.

    — They built all of the usual social media promotion and created a petition, but in the end, the amount of money they received was below their worst case scenario. Two weeks later, however, Born Free HIV won an award for their campaign.

    — But let’s talk about GoPro: They have the brand that you should envy and copy. They’re the brand that understands the importance of social integration and touted as the king of content marketing. So you might think that they’re doing incredibly well.

    — But what you find is that GoPro’s actual numbers aren’t that great. Sales are falling and they’re laying off employees.

    The reality is, funny, shocking, and silly things get a lot of activity, and we optimize for it. We don’t write helpful headlines any more, we write click bait that gets more clicks, likes, and shares. We’re optimizing for social — not for communities.

    — We’re all laboring under this myth: Engagement, in the activity sense, equals value: new customers, collaboration, innovation, etc. But it doesn’t. We all know there’s some correlation here, but there’s nowhere near a direct correlation.

    — In fact, the highest level of visible engagement equals the lowest level of mental engagement.

    — We have a choice between driving more activity and driving more behavior change (persuasion, influence, and habits.) How do we drive long-term behavior change?

    — Most communities look like this: Of all the people who join, only a tiny fraction of them become active members of the community. What that means is that at some point those numbers will plateau: the number of people participating will not continue to climb.

    — If we stop optimizing and incentivizing people to join and participate and take a mentally engaging approach, our true engagement rates will go up.

    — People have these three: competence, autonomy, and relativeness.

    — Competence is useful because it’s something we can do in every kind of community. If we can participate the skill level and set challenges that match that skill level, earn them recognition for when they do something useful, give them a sense of achievement, then they will participate in a mentally engaged level.

    — People continue to participate in a group if they feel they can make a meaningful change. When someone joins a community we want to know their experience and expertise. But people are shay about saying what that is for them.

    What we do is look them up and see what they’re good at, on LinkedIn for example. Then we can define that if there’s a discussion that they can make a unique, meaningful contribution to, we’ll reach out to them.
    Most of us have ways we can highlight people’s contribution. Then we can document them.
    Documenting advice and contributions is important. It becomes an asset that people will want access to and come back to. Then we turn that person into an expert within their group.

    — We can give them a blog, invite them to do a Q&A, etc. The more we feel we can act in line with what we enjoy doing without any pressure or coercion, the more we love to do it and the more we’ll do it.

    — How we design an autonomy supportive community: We have to measure, recruit volunteers, create automated messages ,feel understood, design options, and follow up.

    — Ask questions, listen, and create options for how people can participate. What we want to learn from automated questions is to make sure people feel understood.

    Then, we find a specific place where they can participate. But it’s not enough to find a place where someone participates just once.

    — Richard shares some things to consider: How often do members reference the past of the community, mention members by name, have inside jokes, etc?

    — We don’t just want to have content about the topic. We find the best content for a community is content about the community. The more we mention people by name, people will call them out by name.

    — The problem with letting a community manager answer every question directly, even if it’s right, is that it makes it pointless for anyone else to participate in the conversation.

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  2. The New Rules of Marketing and PR keynote presentation and Q&A session delivered by David Meerman Scott at the Business Marketing Association 2009 national “Unlearn” conference. Scott spoke June 10, 2009 at the sold-out conference held in Chicago’s Drake Hotel. Since the BMA is a business-to-business organization, Scott’s keynote is tailored to a B-to-B audience. Scott argues that when others spread your ideas and tell your stories online, buyers are eager to do business with you and all kinds of doors begin to open.

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