11 influencers from online communities you need to know
Starting an online brand community can be a daunting project with a large investment at the beginning. Even though communities consistently show strong ROI, the specifics of how to implement them, what strategies to use, and what features are needed can be difficult to determine. It helps to find an expert to talk to, so here’s a list of some of our favorites.
Many people we talk to ask about this, so we’ve invited our favorites to join the conversation here. Many of those in this post have over a decade of experience in online community building and have accomplished, and written, so much it’s difficult to capture all the details in a short, referenceable document — we’ve done our best to capture it here.
Rachel Happe, The Community Roundtable
Rachel is a prolific, candid, and knowledgeable research analyst and thought leader in the community world. She is the co-founder of The Community Roundtable and produces its frameworks, research, and training. The Community Roundtable is an extensive source of insights on brand communities today.
Favorite Content: The Annual State of Community Management Report (over 10 years now!)
Recent Highlight: Community Careers and Compensation 2020 Report
Great for: Networking, Strategy, Advice/Consulting, Training, Benchmarking, Content
David founded CMX six years ago and has spent more than a decade in the Community Management space. Last year, CMX was acquired by BevyLabs and the annual CMX Summit surpassed 1,000 attendees — it’s clear, David is having a growing impact on our industry.
Favorite Content: Community Industry Trends Report
Recent Highlight: The Difference Between Field Marketing and Community-Driven C2C Programs
Great For: Networking, Training, Content, Did I mention Networking?
Richard Millington, Feverbee
Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, one of the most popular communities blog, author of the popular Buzzing Communities, and a frequent speaker at online community events around the world. His posts focus a lot on psychology and Feverbee just launched online training courses on that topic.
Favorite Content: Buzzing Communities, a book dense with insights and easy to read. A must-read for people new to the community world.
Recent Highlight: What Does Great Engagement Look Like?
Great for: Content, Advice/Consulting, Networking, Training
Wayne Kurtzman, IDC
Wayne Kurtzman is an experienced technologist, practitioner, and analyst of enterprise collaboration and social media solutions. He’s also an adjunct educator and is responsible for the IDC Social, Communities, and Collaboration practice. He is part of the IDC Future of Work and Future of Customer and Consumer teams.
Favorite Content: The Benefits of Collaboration, Quantified
Recent Highlight: IDC Market Glance Update: Future of Work, 1Q20
Great for: Advice/Consulting, Content
Jono Bacon is a leading community and collaboration speaker, author, and podcaster. He is the founder of Jono Bacon Consulting which provides community strategy/execution, workflow, and other services. He previously served as director of community at GitHub, Canonical, XPRIZE, and OpenAdvantage. He has an extensive client list and publishes a ton of content on a wide variety of community and customer experience topics.
Recent Highlight: Conversations with Bacon podcast
Great For: Content, Advice/Consulting, Training
Nick Hill, Khoros
There are a lot of experts to choose from here at Khoros. The goal of this post is to help further the conversation on communities by providing multiple perspectives, so we picked one! Nick has spent over a decade designing, coding, and building communities for some of the world’s biggest brands at Jive, Lithium, and now Khoros. The Khoros team (including Nick and this author) put out a lot of content geared towards all phases of community building across public social and brand communities. In addition, Atlas is a 70,000+ member community where you can connect, engage, and learn from a wide variety of digital professionals.
Favorite Content: Science of Social Blog Series
Recent Highlight: Gamification Best Practices from 3 Leading Brands
Great for: Content, Networking, Training, Vendor
Emily Collins, Research Director, Forrester
Emily comes to Communities from a loyalty and advocacy program perspective. This is different from the primary focus of an online community, which usually starts with support and call deflection or self-service. Therefore, she brings a fresh perspective and a lot of really interesting stats, especially if you’re trying to convince your marketing team on the value of a community.
Emily’s Blog: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/author/emily_collins/
Favorite Content: Predictions 2020: B2C Marketing
Great for: Content, Advice/Consulting
Jessica Liu, Forrester
Jessica (Jessie) Liu covers the “brand-owned communities” market from the perspective of the B2C marketer, with a heritage in social technologies. This extends way beyond the social networks themselves and is increasingly including Communities. She is a vast resource and can help marketers take the power of communities beyond just customer engagement and care.
Jessie’s Blog: https://go.forrester.com/blogs/author/jessica_liu/
Favorite Content: Make Social Media Bigger Than Marketing (Forrester Research Access Required)
Recent Highlight: Social Suites Technologies Are Coming Together
Great for: Content, Vendor Selection, Advice/Consulting
Jay Wilson, Gartner
Jay Wilson focuses on helping clients achieve the best possible results in social marketing, with an emphasis on measurable results and impacts on customer experience. His background has focused on leveraging social media insights to inform advertising, marketing, and customer service efforts online and offline.
Jay’s Gartner Profile & Blog: https://www.gartner.com/en/experts/jay-wilson
Favorite Content: Top Strategic Predictions for 2019 and Beyond: Practicality Exists Within Instability
Recent Highlight: Defend your Brand in the Era of Fake News
Great for: Content, Advice/Consulting
All the people at People & Company
People & Company is an innovative new partnership of some icons in community building. Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto comprise People & Company with experience at Instagram, IDEO, CreativeMornings, and Facebook. They are a new team of highly-experienced individuals and have been extremely prolific with high-quality content of a variety of types.
Favorite Content: Get Together Book and Podcast
Recent Highlight: Turn Your Customers into Your Community
Great for: Content, Advice/Consulting, Networking
Patrick O’Keefe, Community Signal
Patrick O'Keefe has been managing online communities for more than 16 years. He authored the book Managing Online Forums and has spoken for major corporations and universities. His content is ideal for anyone who’s daily job is managing online brand communities.
Favorite Content: Managing Online Forums
Great for: Content
Thanks to everyone who joined us for this online influencer spotlight!