You are doing an incredible job in leveraging your community, building deep knowledge of your customers, and discovering powerful insights. The data you gather enables you to understand your consumers, anticipate their needs, foresee upcoming trends, and keep up with the ever-changing landscape that is the market place.
Insights are power, and they can transform your business, but that power is most useful if it is shared across the organization so it can be actioned when making and validating business decisions. We’ve learned that oftentimes, there is not enough visibility into the insights you gather. People outside of your team do not know where to find information on the research you run; even if they knew where to look for it, they wouldn’t be able to understand the full impact without the context of the community’s demographic, past research, and the insights captured through relationship memory.
A solution that many of our clients adopted to eliminate this all-too-common challenge of data silos and facilitate the accessibility and visibility to the data they gather is stakeholder hubs. With every new technology however, a new strategy must be implemented to ensure you are getting the most from the time and energy you invest - a strategy that can take time and resources to develop.
As a Customer Success Manager, working with wonderful brands across various verticals, I get to experience the adaptation process alongside my clients and support the development of the strategic vision for the stakeholder hub. I am exposed to it all, so to save you some time and help you hit the ground running, I gathered four best practices that will enhance your stakeholder engagement and management while showcasing yourself and the powerful data you gather.
1. Make the hub the epicenter of company communication.
Instead of simply sharing a bar chart from Alida Alida Sparq, add additional details and interpretations of what you discovered. The insights come to life as you share the data in the context of the community you know so well. For example…
In addition to sharing insights, we highly recommend adding different types of dynamic and engaging content. By increasing the variety and scope of content posted to the hub - by both you, and other departments - you can significantly increase the number of visitors to the hub and thus, the overall interaction with your insights.
Collaborate with your stakeholders and those subscribed to the hub by encouraging them to develop their personal profile and submit their own ideas and content. Make the hub THE location for exclusive, diversified information:
share success stories from other departments, stakeholder announcements and achievements, updates on company initiatives, or a video of your CEO talking at a conference. Encourage colleagues to post updates on their work or share articles they wrote and want to showcase. The benefits of this are twofold. On the one hand, colleagues can build their personal profiles to become thought leaders within the organization; on the other, this is a great way to reduce some of the pressure on you to generate content.
2. Understand what your stakeholders want to see on the hub and monitor engagement levels to adjust your engagement strategy
What insights are interesting to your stakeholders? Are they interested in demographics? Community size? Overall response rates? Verbatims from the MEE? Bar charts from different surveys? Comments on the brand? All of them? None of them?
First step– ask! Reach out to your stakeholders and ask them what would be valuable to them. You might consider sending them a survey – or simply creating a post and asking them to leave comments!
As you post insights, monitor the engagement level of every post. What posts are getting the most views? Which posts are stakeholders commenting on and liking? Fine-tune your communication strategy to ensure you are working with your audience and developing content that is relevant and useful to them.
3. Comment, Tag, and Engage With Your Stakeholders
If you’re running a research project for the marketing team, consider tagging the team members to ask for their feedback on the hub. Facilitate conversations by asking prompting questions. For example, are they surprised by the results of a study? Do they have follow up questions for the community?
The early days of the stakeholder hub will require more effort in tagging and commenting as you create a culture of collaboration and discussion. Once some of the early legwork is done, the organic conversations will begin to happen!
4. Keep the hub at top of mind
Socialize the hub and make it top of mind by integrating it into existing workflows. For instance, we’ve seen clients introduce stakeholder hubs as part of onboarding new employees to their organization.
Here are three additional effective ways to ensure that the stakeholder hub is always at the top of mind:
1. Post new content on a consistent basis based on the information that your stakeholders want to see. Send newsletters with diversified information (varying subject lines and topic matter) to make the communication relevant and valuable to your stakeholders.
2. Socialize the hub to increase its influence across the organization. For example, you could do a lunch and learn and collaborate with your colleagues to discuss opinions and ideas on a particular topic. Then, share the experience and the learnings on the hub.