By Shannon DiGregorio Abram, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable.
In February, Jim chatted with J.J. Lovett, Director, Online Communities at CA Technologies as part of our ongoing Community Manager Spotlight webinar series. We are always amazed at the different paths that lead our members to community management – and J.J. is the perfect example. A retired US Marine, J.J. joined CA Technologies nine years ago and now is confident he has the best job in the world. He recently published a book titled “Developing B2B Social Communities: Keys to Growth, Innovation, and Customer Loyalty” – which explains how B2B organizations can use a robust online community strategy to survive and flourish in today’s changing economy.
Watch the video below to learn more about CA Technologies’ customer engagement evolution and how J.J. and his team have received an honorary minor in platform management through numerous changes over the past few years. The audience asked a lot of great questions, so many in fact that we didn’t have time for them all. J.J. has kindly sent answers to the questions we didn’t get to and I’ve included them below. Have a question for J.J. on his journey? You can connect with him on Twitter or leave them in the comments below.
1. What was the main driver to move to JIVE as your platform? Also, how does this integrate with your companies social listening initiative?
We had been developing our own social collaboration tool in-house on an open source platform. Given that it was not our core business, we saw an opportunity to move to a best of breed solution which would accelerate our roadmap by 12-18 months and allow us to shift from a focus on platform management and get more time back to major in community & content management.
We are in the early stages of integrating the communities into our social listening efforts – more to follow on this post-implementation in a follow on phase.
2. Regarding internal collaboration, what company cultural challenges have you come across, and how have you addressed those?
Our team is not the primary team responsible for internal collaboration efforts including community (we work with our company’s external communities). Getting people comfortable with a new way of doing business and engaging beyond the realm of entitled customers to a larger audience has been a primary goal for us. So, we work with the internal community and social media teams to educate on collaboration overall so people are ready, (more) willing and able to go out into the public domain and engage with our customers and prospects. In that regard, it takes a ton of collaboration with internal champions, legal teams, communications and so on to ensure that everyone is armed and ready to head outside of the firewall and engage. We’ve done this primarily by designing content initiatives by internal role/persona and doing proof-of-concept projects and then advertising the successes & benefits attained while formalizing the activity and then rolling it out to other teams within the business.
3. How has executive support has evolved?
Executive support has evolved over time and it has evolved greatly for the mutual benefit of the company and customer alike. For the online communities, historically we have had one or two executives interested in trying to help the communities along. With the rise of social engagement and the standardization of community interaction enabling software development company innovation efforts, the interest has become more widespread where we can certainly work with executives throughout the organization to work top-down as well as bottom-up to meet in the middle for success and advancement. Combine this with some new executives who have joined the company from other companies who leveraged communities for development, innovation, support, marketing, etc. and it becomes a convergence that has allowed us to advance community efforts within the company greatly.
4. How have you calibrated between content and people interaction? What predominates?
Early on we are content predominant – providing content for people to come consume and then also to interact on. When we start a community, we generally average around 70% company provided content with 30% then provided or contributed by the external membership. It takes a while (and a bit of refinement on the content) to achieve 50/50 parity for what we as a company contribute and what the membership posts/contributes. Once we achieve parity though, it is a rather quick swing on the other side to get to 70% externally contributed content. So the goal is to have engagement/interaction as the goal but it may take varying amounts of time depending on the maturity and stage in the lifecycle for the product/topic we are focusing on, the familiarity of the customer base with social engagement, and so on.
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