Founding members and getting the word out


(Chris Detzel) #1

Hi, My name is Chris and I have currently started at a company that caters to electricians. I live in Dallas, Texas and my role is a Global Community Manager. We have close to 30k employees and a big part of my role is building relationships with internal employees that talk electricians or have expertise in the electrician field. Since I’m only a week at the job, I have a lot of people to find and relationships to build. I have a lot of the names of people, that I am reaching out to now. We would like to start pushing electricians to our new community site to start talking to each other and let them know our company have experts there to help them. The community site is there and ready to go. My ask is this:

  1. How do start to get the electrician to your site?

  2. How do you get employees to evangelize your community to the customers they see each and every day? I have access to each countries marketing departments and we could do email blasts. What are the most effective ways to get this done?

  3. What are some strategies and activities for the first few months that I should work on to get as many people signed up to the site as possible?


So, what are you working on?
(Sarah Hawk) #3

You’ll find some useful information and strategies in this thread. In short, you invite them personally. Once you have a good core group of founding members you could do some other kind of marketing (social media outreach, social ads etc) to get the word out.

[quote=“Chris_Detzel, post:1, topic:2258”]
How do you get employees to evangelize your community to the customers they see each and every day? I have access to each countries marketing departments and we could do email blasts. What are the most effective ways to get this done?
[/quote] An email blast won’t hurt but depending on how engaged your audience are with your brand, you may not get a huge response. Do your employees speak to customers frequently? Repeating the message (once you have built trust) is important. Have you established what the motivation for the electricians is? Why will they want to visit the community? What need are you appealing to?

Does the community have a content aspect? Is there a blog attached, or is it a stand alone forum?

@ale_fattorini will likely have some insights here.


(Chris Detzel) #4

Thank you for the quick list of things to think about. Althought I can’t answer all of the questions you posed, I will go back and have answers for them this week.

Do your employees speak to customers frequently?The employees that I would like to start building relationships with, do have direct access to the customer. These people are inside sales, people at the counters, outside sales.

Repeating the message (once you have built trust) is important. Have you established what the motivation for the electricians is? The motivation is that they can talk shop with other electricians and engage with our experts.

Why will they want to visit the community? What need are you appealing to? I neeed to thnk about ths a bit more.


(Sarah Hawk) #5

This one is key. If you don’t nail that, you probably won’t succeed. You are asking the electricians to spend time during their already busy day to engage, and you’re asking them to create a new habit. They have to be strongly motivate by something to do those things.


(Nick Emmett) #6

Hey @Chris_Detzel, great to see you in here and posting.
Following on from @HAWK a couple of things from me:

One of the first things you need to establish is your WHY. What’s the community’s purpose for being? What is your company hoping to get out of it? Is it more sales? Higher retention? Less support calls? elements of all the above are likely included, but it’s a really key question to be able to inform how you progress and who you pull in. What sort of questions do you want people be asking and answering?

Also, don’t aim to start too big, starting smaller is better in the long run - so aiming at establishing who your founding members will be is key here - do you guys have social media channels, are there people there who are already brand advocates? Dont forget you internal founding members, those people who are likely to be engaged from an internal perspective. Some good ideas in this article about where to look.


(rhogroupee) #7

Just a quick concrete tip that I’ve seen work before (if you aren’t doing this already)…include the URL for your community on the business cards, invoices, and emails that get sent out. If you have brick and mortar locations, include information about the community at the register and make sure the salespeople are community champions too, so they can say things like, “you can get some great how-to videos for that XYZ you just purchased, on our site…here’s a card with the URL.”

I’d also make sure that your community is super mobile friendly…sounds like your key audience is not prone to sitting at a desktop.


(Chris Detzel) #8

Thanks Nick. Also thank you for turning me onto Feverbee!


(Chris Detzel) #9

I think you are correct @rhogroupee. We do have a mobile app. Thank you for the additional insight!


(Alessio Fattorini) #10

Close your forum (invite-only) even just for the first period and look for your members where they are, reach out them personally asking "Ehi I’m building a private community just for expert like you (somewhat about your space), can I invite you so you can give me some feedback about? "
I assure that no one said me “no”, you have to try to appeal to his EGO :slight_smile:
Linkedin group, Facebook group or twitter hashtag are good places to go on


(Todd Nilson) #11

You will probably want to be thinking about a plan to communicate the community to your employees so that they can effectively evangelize it. This, of course, means thinking about the why of the community as mentioned by others. It sounds like you’ve got teams in multiple geographical locations, so it may not be practical to visit offices live but you may find it effective to set up a series of webinars to introduce the community, talk about why it will be of value to the electricians your employees interact with, and provide them with ideas about how and when to communicate the new community to the electricians.


(Chris Detzel) #12

Thanks @Todd_Nilson. I think we do have a good plan, or at least I am starting to understand that plan as I talk to a lot of the employees. I think the Community is setup very well and has buy-in at very top level, which is a start. The big thing now is to get people that deal with customers on a daily basis to talk about the community and get them use to going to the community. The main goal is to get customers loyal to our brand, to get electricians to talk to each other and to get our experts talking to our customer. Ultimately we need to become more intimate with our customers so we can get them what they need. Thanks for all the help!


(Alessio Fattorini) #13

Just sent a re-engage email to my Q1 2016 members following your suggestions.
See how that goes


(Sarah Hawk) #14

Great! How do they differ from the digest emails? Have you personalised the content at all?


(Alessio Fattorini) #15

I took a multiple approach some emails by mailchimp with a CTA towards a generic discussion
Some other personal emails based on individual interests and skills.


(Anton) #16

We allowed for “personal pages” (read “microsites”), and even created a dedicated categories for all such pages.

People show off what they do professionally, tell stories, share emotions. This works as a clue that sticks people to your community.

I split messages into separate topics when it goes too far from being for personal page - this will also expand on your topics coverage.

As a result, people also link to their personal pages - so you get ads out of the box.