From Starbucks and Virgin America to Virgin America and GameStop, Fanscape has compiled some of the best examples of community management.
This is a company that completely understands the power of social media and the influence its supporters have on their brand. In addition to having one of the biggest followings on Facebook (over 15.1Million Fans to date) and over 1 Million on Twitter, Starbucks has its own idea generator community called My Starbucks Idea. The company also manages a number of other Facebook pages that cater to specific locals such as those in the Philippines, France and Argentina. In each platform the community managers actively engage customers, but also allow the customers to talk freely about their product.
Keeping customers informed about flight delays, special deals and issue resolution are at the top of the list for this airline. But it isn’t all they do to manage their community. The team has created an environment that mirrors the company’s exuberant nature and encourages the same enthusiasm from its fans. The managers seamlessly coordinate their efforts on Facebook, but if you really want the best, become a fan of their @VirginAmerica Twitter handle.
Community management has a lot of facets and you have to be able to balance them all in order to have a healthy community. One of the most important of these facets is maintaining great customer relations and the Bose community team is spot on. The company that specializes in the niche market of high-end noise cancelling headphones has taken to the Twitterverse (and Facebook) to ensure their customers remain happy. The information that is shared within this community inspires brand loyalty and the transparent nature of the customer communications creates brand evangelists.
As referenced in our October Industry Newsletter, GameStop has one of the highest levels of online influence in the retail space. This is because the community manager speaks the language. Whether it’s responding to a poll, discussing the best games, or taking advantage of the daily deals, the GameStop community has become one of the most active in the retail space. GameStop is one of our clients and we are very proud of the work they are doing.
At Sony PlayStation they not only seek out ways to engage the community they’ve fostered around their brand on multiple platforms (their Facebook page, their regular blog updates, their @Playstation Twitter handle, etc.), but they even introduce new ways to take advantage of the type of communication they see from their audience. Playstation.blog.share, for instance, is an initiative they started to give the PlayStation community a venue to suggest new software features and influence the future direction of the brand. Since launching the site in June, the community has already suggested nearly 5,000 new ideas and seen nearly 1.5 million interactions to date.
For a company that gets paid for monitoring the conversations of its clients, Radian6 makes a big impact in taking care of its own community. Headed by Amber Naslund, its set of community managers are at the forefront of thought leadership – discussing such topics as redefining community management, B2B Social Media, Program Execution, Nurturing Leads and everything in-between. Radian6 showcases some of the best in knowing your audience and creating content that is designed specifically for them. In addition to it’s highly-effective blog, Radian6 utilizes its @Radian6 Twitter handle to help distribute the content and to further connect with its community.
Much like Virgin America, the community managers at Skittles know their audience. In a relatively short period of time Skittles has gone from a delicious bag of rainbow goodness to a social media powerhouse. Everything they do is surrounds the “rainbow” of colors the Skittles brand represents. The great thing about their community is that they are not all about pushing marketing messages and they allow for a great deal of fan engagement. One only needs to go as far as the brand’s Facebook page to see that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Content is king and this community encourages as much of it as possible. This approach has endeared the brand to its legions of fans.
Hotels.com has made quite a splash this year in social media. The online hotel retailer’s community managers have delivered timely and relevant content that not only includes deals and resources, but also encourages feedback through engaging questions and topics and blog posts. The community’s involvement directly effects future content, as the community managers pay close attention to what their fans and followers are saying. This loyal online following is growing because fans see that they are shaping the direction of the community, and that they aren’t being force-fed information. (Full disclosure: Hotels.com is Fanscape client)