The need for online communities in businesses is growing, particularly in the B2B sector. In the spirit of transparency and Web2.0 thinking, I have decided to publish this document that goes through the planning stages for a social media network.
Whether you feel there is a need to allow your customers and partners to interact more closely, whether you need a bug fix tracking system or a wiki where experts can post best practice applications, you may well find that a social media network will fit the bill and improve the interaction between you and your customer base. Going forward, do you need a blog, wiki, forum, or combination of these? Maybe it is something completely new.
A lot of this information is based around the research conducted by Forrester, and in particular the technographic ladder they have developed:
I would encourage you to read Groundswell, if you haven’t done so already. It is packed with action plans and case studies that are particularly useful at the planning stages.
This document should help you during the planning stages to isolate exactly what community you can sustain. It will also help when you sit down with one of the miriad of vendors out there, to help identify whether their solution will work for you.
View Social Media Network Requirements (Google Doc)