community

Start Me Up: a profile of Bothsider

Love for debate and disagreement could be described as one of the factors contributing to the success of social media.

Looking to harness this love for reasoned discussion, Bothsider is a nascent network that allows users to ask questions, agree or disagree with other users and explain why.

Starting a social network and getting ‘traction’ must be difficult with so many players having come and gone, and big hitters still dominating audiences.

So I caught up with Mark Gavagan, Founder, to ask him a few questions.

Do big retailers need to create social value to succeed?

The high street debate is one that attracts much comment on the Econsultancy blog.

Feelings run high when it comes to ensuring the survival of stores in our towns. The situation has yet to crystallise, though it’s clear there are business models that aren’t best suited to bricks and mortar any more. 

Alongside the trend towards experiential retail (shops doing more than simply selling stuff that consumers can buy cheaper online), a trend towards creating social value in the community may be emerging. 

High street vacancy rates are steady in the UK at 14% in 2013 and independent stores such as cafes are on the increase. Part of the reason for this is social and local. 

Most of us still value our retail centres as places to take a ‘humanity bath’, meeting people outside of the office, the church/mosque/synagogue and your neighbourhood. 

But what else can big retailers do to engender a closer community? Does every store have to get involved? What about digital technology, can it play a part at a community level?

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has released a report detailing the business case for socially aware retail. The report includes the results of six months of research with three ASDA stores. 

Whilst most of the findings are relevant mainly for larger focal points, chiefly supermarkets, here’s what I gleaned…

Lego: building a customer community, brick-by-brick

Everybody loves Lego. It’s possibly the most warmly regarded brand on the planet. I can hear that unmistakable rummaging of a thousand pieces of plastic as I write this sentence. Ah, bliss.

Lego’s online strategy and how it can improve its social reach has been discussed on this blog before, and it looks as if Lego is now making huge strides in its sociability with the crowdsourcing site Lego CUUSOO.

According to Brickipedia, the brilliantly named Lego Wiki, the word cuusoo when translated loosely from Japanese means to ‘wish something into existence’. This really is the perfect way to describe Lego’s crowdsourcing initiative. 

Seven interesting approaches to blog comments. Which is best?

Whether comments are made on a blog, or spread across the social web, every business wants customers to make a (positive) noise about them.

But while they are great for increasing engagement, comments come with problems of their own.

In a week which has seen YouTube finally take steps to clean out the well of eternal torment that it uses as a comment section, and Popular Science is doing away with the chatter altogether, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the various systems in place around the web designed to keep us talking… 

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How to deliver excellent social customer service

Customer service has evolved. Instead of returning to a store or calling a helpline, people are increasingly turning to social media to resolve their gripes.

So it’s perhaps no surprise, then, that 80% of companies plan to use social media for customer service.

And when you hit that sweet spot and create a well-oiled social customer service machine, the pay-off is huge: 71% of customers recommend a brand that gives them a ‘quick and effective’ response on social media. 

Here’s a list of important things to consider. 

Explain like I’m five: How Community works

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/0963/eli5-blog-third.pngYou probably haven’t heard of Explain Like I’m Five. Only about 250,000 people have.

ELI5’ is a subreddit, a stream on the content behemoth Reddit. And it’s an amazing example of community in action, one that’s been taken to a new level by the people running Reddit recently, with a small move that should be front of mind for any brand attempting to build a community. 

Digital Vision report: building a community culture

Digital Vision winner Allison Saur applies her insight into Native American tribal practices to create a template for the construction and maintenance of culture in virtual communities.

In the second of her three reports, Digital Tribes II: Community Culture, released today, Saur describes the difference between community and audience building, and outlines specific tools for developing and strengthening a community through techniques such as creating shared narratives, values, belief systems, and ritual.

The following is an overview written by Saur outlining the second part of her series.

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Keeping children safe online

Sometimes, those working in and around social media every day can forget just how much many, if not most, of the population may take the internet for granted.

Especially teens and tweens, who, posting from the safety and security of their own bedrooms, can feel free to say, do and broadcast what they like without worrying too much about the consequences.

A-Z of Pinterest-ing brands

So, Pinterest is still the buzzword of the industry and something that looks like it might stick around a little while longer. 

It’s also something that Econsultancy’s explored from various different angles, but we’ve not actually gone into too much detail about the companies using it.

There’s a handful of extremely comprehensive lists floating around the web, but I thought it might be interesting to see if a full A-Z list of brands and organisations could be compiled. 

Surprisingly, it turns out you (almost) can, which is quite something, considering for how little time the platform has been around… 

Q&A: Catherine Glover, Director of Social@Ogilvy, on knowledge management in the social age

Rapid knowledge sharing is vital for marketers producing cutting edge technical and cultural products. The social environment these goods are intended for is evolving constantly, and production methods have to evolve with it. The goal of knowledge management is to extract the best knowledge of all employees, and redistribute it throughout an organization.

Social media is terrific at this. However, all of the approaches, methods, and tools used so far have often had a limited technical shelf-life. Econsultancy spoke with Catherine Glover, the director of social@ogilvy, about the rise Truffles, a centralized in-house knowledge management system and its eventual obsolescence and replacement by team-level adaption of ad hoc solutions. 

This interview is an excerpt from Econsultancy’s latest Smartpack: The Social Shift in Internal Communications.

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How to run a Twitterchat: 11 practical tips

Twitterchats are organised, non-linear, fast-paced conversations using Twitter where participants discuss themes and questions about a given topic. 

With its speed, ease of use, accessibility and limited character format, Twitter provides an effective tool for individuals to discuss or unite around a theme or topic and Twitterchats have evolved from webchats and forum discussions. 

So, how do you plan and run a Twitterchat?