ISITE Design put on this great event with a focus on building community around your brand. Of course – this means leveraging social media and all of the speakers focused on building Web community.
The format was great in that longer presentations were interespersed with “lightning talks” or, short 5 minute presentationsthat mimic the popular Ignite format.
I took some notes from most of the presenters, but my biggest takeaways came from the following people:
Scott Kveton – lighting talk
Demonstrated the kind of impact social community is having in such a short amount of time. Case in point: the Obama ’08 Presidential campaign has absolutely nailed a Web community strategy with everything from the Fight the Smears site to the official Obama ’08 iPhone app that enables Obama supporters to get more involved.
Dawn Foster – lightning talk
I didn’t talk to Dawn before her talk, in fact – I don’t even know Dawn Foster. But, since she mentioned two of our clients – I have to give her presentation a thumbs up!
Mentioned our client Tripwire’s State of Security blog as a really great blog that sounds like it would be boring but it’s actually an entertaining read. Takeaway? Just because your topic isn’t sexy doesn’t mean you can’t inject personality.
Mentioned our other client KEEN Footwear and how enthusiastic their fans are. They’re so excited about their KEEN shoes, they’ll climb a mountain and take a picture of their KEEN shoes and post them on Flickr.
These are two examples of embracing your community, or your community embracing your brand, and encouraging participation.
Jeff Chausse – Web Director – Harmonix Rock Band 2
Jeff’s presentation “Rock Your Brand” emphasized a key point – your community does not care about your product features
Build community about what people care about. One of Jeff’s examples – Winnebago owners don’t want to talk about the little kitchen. They didn’t buy the RV because they WANT a little kitchen, they buy the RV because they want to tour the open road. In turn, people don’t buy rock band because they like banging on plastic buttons, they buy it because they want the rock & roll experience.
You have to have people building & developing your community – it can’t be automated. Yes you can have social features on your site – but they need to be unique & relevant to what you do / offer.
People need to leave your site and your community in order to spread the word. people who mix & mingle on your own site are fans – but they’re already preching to the converted. you’ve got to create an “outpost” – anywhere that isn’t your site (facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr, etc). Create the tools that make injecting your brand into these communities fun & easy.
Were you at the conference? What did you take away?