Keynote: Making Wuffie: Raising Social Capital to Win Online

Our next keynote this morning is by Tara Hunt, Co-Founder, The Citizen Agency, Author, "The Whuffie Factor".

So Tara Hunt begins her discussion today explaining what is Whuffie that roughly is described as social capital, reputation, access to information, and information publicly available from you. Clearly, this concept is applicable today, it is how we recognize and engage and interact with each other in online communities today.

The sheer volume of users on social networking is growing so quickly and expanding at a rate that this social capital becomes important to manage the interconnections between individuals on this site. Now companies are faced with stepping into social networks and mistakenly use these traditional efforts and ultimately fail in their goals. Here she talks about her steps to making Whuffie in order to create the necessary reputation and authenticity vital to successful participation in social networks.

So here are her pillars in of Whuffies:

1) Turn the bullhorn inwards - traditional marketing has focused on one-way communication from companies to their customers. This results in negative responses from the public, and less likelihood of engaging in these communications. So the importance is to treat customers as partners, as unique individuals and to create a two way communication. Here are her rules for better commenting:
a) Get advice and input from experts but design for the broader community
b) Respond to all feedback, even when you respond by saying , "No thanks."
c) Don't take negative personally; remember that when people give feedback, they are doing so because they care and have taken the time to improve their experience
d) Be sure to acknowledge and recognize those whose ideas you use.
e) When you implement a new idea, make sure that you highlight it, and ask for feedback.
f)Make small, continuous changes rather than waiting to implement everything at once.
g) Don't just wait for feedback to come to you, go out and find it; people are probably talking about your product elsewhere
h) No matter how many people like you, you will always have someone who doesn't - mind the haters.

2)Become part of the community you serve: getting out of the office and actively meet and engage the people you serve. The hard part is where is this community? If you start with what problem you are trying to solve, then you can answer, who is my customer, and then you can consider where they are. But rather than as a marketer or sales person, participate like a common participate, rather than simply trying to sell your products or service.

3)Build amazing customer experience: Invoke powerful, basic emotions. Some simple steps to do this:
a) Dazzle in the details
b) Go above and beyond
c) Appeal to emotion
d) Inject a little fun
e) Make something mundane fashionable
f) Let people personalize
g) Use humor to share
h) Simplify
i) Make happiness your business model: increase autonomy, competence, and relatedness
j) Be a catalyst

#4) Controlling the message? No, embrace the chaos....benefits include being better prepared for the unexpected; join in the conversation is happening and ultimately welcomed for the effort; and create and opportunity for collaboration

#5) Finding your higher purpose: While businesses are based on the market economy and pursuing profits, whuffie is based on the gift economy. More whuffie given, more whuffie received. As you give more within your community, the more you will receive. So here are 5 gifts that give back to you:
a) Doing well by doing good
b) Think customer centrically
c) Help others go further
d) Spread love: help people become better people to other people
e) Value something better than yourself

Each of these pillars of whuffie result in better word of mouth, repeat sales, improved customer service, and improved bottom line.



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