Community is Not About Talking

Originally uploaded by nangiaphotos.

I was not planning to post tonight, but I read this great post by Mack Collier and the title popped into my head. Mack is talking about how a good community evangelist can transform the WAY that your customers relate to your brand … and he provides a great example of Mario Sundar’s new role as LinkedIn’s community evangelist. With a single, strategic hire, LinkedIn have transformed not just the way that the company talks to its network, but also, transformed the MANNER, method and TONE through which its network of members converse with each other and with the company.

But what is most heartening, is that LinkedIn is not just talking. LinkedIn is LISTENING. Even better … action is taking place, feedback is being received and improvements/changes are being made. The feedback loop is working and it is being amplified by a million individual trumpets …

Is this going to drive a unique competitive advantage for LinkedIn? Is it going to re-energise or re-activate low-velocity users of LinkedIn’s services? Is a community evangelist a wise investment?

Time for me to stop talking!

4 thoughts on “Community is Not About Talking

  1. Gavin here’s the thing: By hiring Mario, and having Mario do what he does best (get out and engage and listen to his community), LinkedIn is suddenly relevant to me, and to a lot of other bloggers.
    How much on advertising would LinkedIn need to have spent to get my attention? Far more than what they can pay a community evangelist.

  2. We had one of our most successful events in July of 2005 here in Philadelphia. One of the three facilitators I hosted for the Networking Boot Camp was a techie who got (back then) how to use LinkedIn. Our sessions were very kinesthetic so we had three large groups rotating between sessions — 20 minutes each. Imagine moving 200 people! It is way useful to have someone in your midst talking and listening about the usability of a tool. It brings it to life and drives what *you* will do with it home. [I never sleep ;-)]

  3. Companies that take the time to listen get better input every time. This doesn’t mean DO everything your employees or customers request – just show you heard them! asked for improvements. A customer asked why he had to make five separate purchases when wanting to send gifts to five separate addresses. Why couldn’t he just make one purchase with multiple shipping addresses? Amazon’s reply? Great idea! Done! I expect Amazon heard many inane suggestions – but weeding a garden allows the best to grow.

  4. “Is this going to drive a unique competitive advantage for LinkedIn? Is it going to re-energise or re-activate low-velocity users of LinkedIn’s services?”
    Wow! All valid points. I believe my role could be put to good use by taking user comments and helping funnel that into the product development process, that could drive unique competitive advantage.
    I know for a fact, my personal and public interactions w/ users have driven a revival of their LinkedIn usage. So, i believe this could work 🙂
    BTW, I love the picture. Thanks, Mack for the thought-provoking post.

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