Our very own Craig Dunn was delighted to be given the opportunity to speak at the ScotConf Social media get together yesterday at the Thistle Hotel in Edinburgh. Follow it on twiiter by using the hashtag #scotconf.
His topic was on building an engaged social space.
Here's a summary of the points he made.
1. Be transparent in your message - in the marketing you put out there to promote your social space be clear on the benefits for the audience and what is expected of them.
2. Carry that message through to the main destination - re-inforce this message when the audience arrive at the social space you've created.
3. Encourage interaction - Through content seeding and asking for help from the audience. Explain why you want their help and what they can expect from contributing.
4. Reward regularly - Reward your contributors of user generated content. This doesn't have to monetary, it can just be a note to say thanks, but could equally be other benefits, discounts, promotion on the front page.
5. Listen - Take on board user feedback, and act on it. If a user requests a feature then produce this if you can. Then promote it, and the fact that it was user driven.
6. Communicate - Allow users to be updated the way they want to be updated. So every time hot topics, or new features or rewards are added, make sure that users know about them and have the opportunity to read about them via e-mail, RSS, Twitter, your Facebook page, on your homepage.
7. Don't go all PR - PR has it's place, but unless you're clear to your user base that this is information from your company and placed by someone from your organsation then it can have huge negative effects.
8. Save money by using Open Source tools - there are a host of tools out there for building Social spaces - JomSocial - our particular favourite, Elgg and Ning to name just three.
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