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Developing B2B Social Communities: Keys to Growth, Innovation, and Customer Loyalty

Book Description

Developing B2B Social Communities: Keys to Growth, Innovation, and Customer Loyalty explains why business-to-business companies need a robust online community strategy to survive and flourish in today's changing economy and shows you how to design and execute your company's strategy successfully.

Seminars, publications, market research, and customer care centers remain important tools in every B2B firm's toolbox for understanding, attracting, and serving customers while keeping them loyal. But in a world of fierce global price competition, increasing transparency of business practices, and ever-rising complexity, these traditional customer interaction channels are no longer enough for most B2B companies. That's why smart organizations—both large and small—are tapping into online communities to gain a huge competitive advantage: the ability to get much closer to customers and become more valuable to them.

Developing B2B Social Communities delves into the generators of business value in online communities: immediate customer access to expert information within the company and from other customers; inexpensive delivery of custom technical help; demonstrations of how customers can to get the most from their products; and forums where customers can share tips, air gripes, reveal unmet needs, and suggest improvements.

Three veteran community managers show you how to harness the knowledge of the crowd to help shape your company's strategic direction, develop new products and services, identify trends, sell more, serve customers more efficiently, and provide better product support. Fleshing out precepts with real-world examples and case studies, the authors detail the transformational opportunities—and pitfalls—for creating online communities.

What you'll learn

  • Why B2B companies of all sizes now need to make online communities an integral part of their operations to maintain or expand market share.

  • How to create, launch, and manage customer communities.

  • How to integrate communities into the business processes of an organization so they have the greatest impact.

  • How to create clear strategies for the social community that support larger business goals.

  • How to define and measure what you gain from hosting online communities.

  • How to develop operational best practices that will provide the greatest ROI.

Who this book is for

This book is for all professionals in B2B organizations who are charged to improve customer service and loyalty, engage in ongoing research and collaboration with customers, increase sales, identify new product ideas, promote product utilization, provide superior customer service, or monitor industry trends. Readers who will benefit from Developing B2B Social Communities include community managers, C-level decision makers, strategy professionals, marketing directors and executives, customer care professionals, senior technology leaders, and actual and prospective community leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. Foreword
  5. About the Authors
  6. About the Technical Reviewer
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Preface
  9. CHAPTER 1: The Human Need to Connect
    1. From the Political Animal to the Social
    2. Hardwired to Socialize
    3. Back in the Conference Room
    4. Your Company Is Made Up of People, Just Like Your Customers
    5. Summary
  10. CHAPTER 2: Community as the Centerpiece for Customer Engagement
    1. The X-Factor: What Makes for a Successful Community?
    2. Online Community: The Base for Social Engagement
    3. Summary
    4. On-Domain Platform Requirements Checklist
  11. CHAPTER 3: Community Models
    1. Showing Your Cards: Which Privacy Model Is Right for Your Community?
    2. How Will Your Community Be Governed?
    3. Which Finance Model Is Right for Your Community?
    4. Summary
  12. CHAPTER 4: Life Cycle and Maturity Models for Online Communities
    1. A Four-Stage Community Life Cycle Model
    2. An Alternative Four-Stage Community Life Cycle Model
    3. Assessing Your Community Maturity
    4. Summary
  13. CHAPTER 5: Community Management
    1. An Investment in Social Capital
    2. Community Management—Active and Passive
    3. Racing—A Team Effort Much Like Community Management
    4. The Established Principles of Community Management
    5. Summary
  14. CHAPTER 6: Case Study in Focus: CA Technologies
    1. In the Beginning It Was Confusion
    2. A Social Suite Solution
    3. Listening to Our Users
    4. Supporting Our Users
    5. Motivating Our Users
    6. How MyCA Is Structured
    7. The Community Engagement Model
    8. Learning about Our Membership
    9. Measuring Success
    10. Summary
  15. CHAPTER 7: Business Impact through Community
    1. Reducing Customer Services Costs
    2. Crowdsourcing Product Enhancement Ideas
    3. Incorporating User Data into a Social CRM
    4. Customer Retention and Customer Loyalty
    5. Thought Leadership to Engage and Inform
    6. Embracing a Culture of Transparency
    7. Improving Social Business Maturity
    8. Summary
  16. CHAPTER 8: Developing B2B Social Communities
    1. How to Be Valuable
    2. Know What You Have to Know to Go Where You Want to Go
    3. This Is Beginning to Sound Like Math
    4. Metrics
    5. Reporting
    6. Tools
    7. Developing Measurable Business Goals
    8. Summary
  17. Index