Aaron Strout, Vice President of Marketing at the social networking-focused marketing firm Powered, provided LoveToKnow Best with his expert list of the best online communities with a promotional goal. Aaron has 15 years of marketing experience; before joining the social networking world, ten of those years were at Fidelity Investments. He also brings to the table community manager experience, spending a year in charge of the community at We Are Smarter Than Me. Aaron shares, "Now as the head of marketing at Powered, I practice what I preach by creating valuable content and engaging my constituents in conversation to drive awareness and leads for Powered."
1. Beinggirl/Procter & Gamble
P&G has done a great job at creating a community where pre-teen/teen girls can go to chat about things they care about like boys, music and movies versus a feminine hygiene community. However, P&G provides a gentle reminder that if these girls ever want to have a conversation about this sometimes uncomfortable topic, there are areas to go and experts to converse with.
Website: Beinggirl/Procter & Gamble
Nike has created a community focused on lifestyle (running) vs. sneakers. From what I've heard, the results have been amazing.
HP is a customer of Powered, but the company has been running a small and medium-size business community now with us for several years. Given the dearth of business-to-business communities out there, this one has done pretty darn well.
Atkins is another Powered client. The thing I like about what Atkins is doing is driving product sales and loyalty and defining important market research insights while providing a "well-lit" community where people that are participating in the Atkins lifestyle can come together.
5. Dell’s Ideastorm
Dell is one of the original leaders in tapping into its customers to source new products and services.
Website: Dell's Ideastorm
Edmunds provides a fantastic mix of expert and consumer-generated content. To me, this is the way of the future.
8. Microsoft Windows
This community is most exciting because Microsoft is finally understanding the fact that it has to have a conversation with its retail customers (it's been a leader in the developer online community space for years).
Website: Microsoft Windows