"Off-Site Meeting #3" was held to share knowledge of fan community operators.

Event Report

Background of the event

On November 12, 2021, eLifeheld "Off-Site Meeting #3" online. This meeting is held on a regular basis, inviting people in charge of corporate community management to discuss several issues in the management of fan community sites. This time, five people from five companies participated in the meeting, hoping to exchange information and gain new insights through knowledge sharing among companies that are in charge of community management and user communication measures.

List of participating companies
Asahi Group Foods, S.B. Foods, KAGOME CO.,LTD., Sogo & Seibu, Maruha Nichiro Corporation*Alphabetical order, titles omitted below (The number of participants on the day of the event was determined by lottery to limit the number of participants to enable as broad a discussion as possible. We had five company representatives from the above five companies, including those who are currently considering the project, participate on the day.)

The moderator was Mr. Shinya Mizuno, senior analyst, ITR CORPORATION. He has been involved in digital marketing at KAGOME CO.,LTD., and in the advertising department, he managed the fan community site "&KAGOME" as a "nakanohito"(community manager).

Shinya Mizuno
Senior analyst, ITR CORPORATION. / Representative, Mikke Tech .LLC

Worked in the Information System Division and Advertising Division at KAGOME CO.,LTD. He promoted digital marketing utilizing websites and SNS as well as information system construction including supply chain management. In the advertising department, he managed the fan community site "&KAGOME" as "nakanohito"(community manager). Currently, he is involved in IT market research at ITR CORPORATION. and writes articles and provides consulting services to companies on customer engagement with a focus on corporate communities.

There are two main themes for this discussion. "Revitalizing online fan communication" and "Internal awareness through inner marketing." Both are essential elements in the operation of a community website. The discussion was lively and heated, exceeding the time limit. We are providing excerpts and summaries of the day's discussion for the benefit of those who are in the same position and facing the same issues.

Theme1.-Stimulating online fan communication

Due to the long-lasting Corona disaster, the form of communication with users has become online-centric. Many companies are now unable to hold offline events that they were once able to hold in the past. Under these conditions, what measures are being taken by those in charge of running community sites? We also asked them what kind of results they have achieved in revitalizing communication with fans.

A1: We just launched the site this year, so we are still in a state of exploration. We are trying to make the site a place where users want to communicate and exchange information. How can we promote this movement? We are discussing this with the staff on site and formulating various hypotheses. One of them isTrivia-like quizzes have had a positive response. One of the hypotheses is that there is no expiration date on sake. Did you know that sake does not have an expiration date? Many users responded to the question, "Did you know that sake does not have an expiration date? We felt that people who want to deepen their knowledge prefer such informative content. We are doing a modest job, reviewing these results one by one.

A2: It has been difficult to hold offline events since the Corona disaster. This year we are switching everything to online events.The "cultivation consultation" for members was a success A3: We have been holding online events for the past few years. We connected online with professional cultivation employees at our research facility to provide consultation on vegetable cultivation. Members who were invited to participate as panelists were asked to speak about their concerns while being filmed in the actual cultivation process, and employees responded to their questions. Although there were four to five panelist participants, about 300 members were able to watch online. The chat received about 1,300 comments in one hour. It's a simple thing to do, and we are working hard to make it happen.

A3: What we have been working on for the last year or so isEmployees are beginning to actively respond to comments from members. A3: What we have been working on since the last year or so is the following. Until then, there had been communication among members, but there were few cases where the secretariat or employees responded to comments. Of course, we responded to necessary questions, but there was no two-way communication. Now that we are communicating with members, we feel that warmer interactions and a more special feeling have been created. We would like to continue this initiative.

All companies are making efforts to enthuse users and take measures to leave a lasting impression. What kind of content should be presented from the management side and how? What kind of content is being presented? What kind of content should be presented and what kind of themes should be presented? The theme of the event is the "what is the best way to get users excited about the event". That seems to be the secret for the management to make users get excited about each other, including following up with the people who posted the content. Another secret is, Circulation among users The other secret is circulation among users. In any community site, there are always new users and existing users. It is like the relationship between beginners and veterans. How can we get these two groups to interact with each other? Or you can look at it in terms of light users and heavy users. Social mediaIn the world of "the world of the Internet," about 80% of the users may be light users who specialize in reading, and 80% of them are looking at articles written by 20% of the heavy users. This is where the skill of the management is also tested. One way to get beginners and light users to participate is to conduct polls or quizzes, for example. If they just click, it is easy for light users to participate. By doing so, they feel that they are participating in the event and connecting with the people on this site.

For example, &KAGOME, operated by Kagome, Inc.
"We give the title of 'Review Guru' to those who fulfill certain conditions, such as those who have given us quality comments in their review submissions and those who have written many reviews.
At "Dear-Natura &me," operated by Asahi Group Foods, Inc.
"Those who are certified as ambassadors are given priority to participate in events. We ask them to write an article about it, and then we ask them to comment on it. We also give them points called 'tweets'. The more you log in, post, like, and take action, the more you accumulate. Depending on the number of 'tweets,' you can participate in members-only campaigns and events."
You can earn points and badges for every comment and action you make, such asEach company has its own unique way of tickling the user's fancy. The "tweet" system is a great way to earn points and badges for each comment and action you take.

Theme2.-Internal awareness through inner marketing

As for internal marketing or internal awareness, it may be an unavoidable path. A community site does not necessarily lead to immediate sales, but it does require a budget, and if it does not show a certain level of effectiveness, it will be difficult to gain recognition. We asked what you are thinking about activities that will encourage and encourage internal cooperation.

A1: As for KPIs, we have been tracking the action rate since the opening of the site. As a rule of thumb, we have maintained a KPI of 10%. As for internal awareness, the main focus is on steady individual activities. Mainly, we manageThe Advertising Department is trying to communicate with enthusiasm the details of its efforts, its history, and its findings by utilizing the monthly report issued once a month. . We also introduce the existence of fan sites and what can be done within them to departments that we have the opportunity to collaborate with on other business matters. In the future, we would like to proactively reach out to and collaborate with departments that are usually difficult to connect with fans in the course of their work.

A2: Currently, we are asking each business to set up a contact person and ask for cooperation. We believe that the best way to deal with internal matters is to make steady We also put up posters in the multi-purpose space. We also put up posters in the multipurpose space. I also actively respond to consultations from departments. I am also in charge of Social media, so when I am asked if I can do marketing for this product, I advise them that Facebook is a good place to do it, or that it might be a good fit for the community in a polite manner. Even if I am asked for advice that has nothing to do with the community, I will respond by saying, "There are ways to use community sites. Rather than just blindly telling the entire company, I would like to politely tell them.

A3: Since the launch of the site, we have been sending out a weekly report.We've had such an increase in membership in the last week. This is what we have been doing. This is the type of product that was posted" in the form of a weekly report. A3: We have been doing this every week since the launch of the site. We think it would not be effective if we blindly sent it to everyone, so we share it with those who seem to understand it to some extent and with the members of the stores we worked with.

While listening to the ongoing situation of the participants, Mr. Mizuno also shared his own experience at that time. He said, "We tend to talk about KPI's and say, 'How much are your sales increasing? But community sites are not the only way to spread word-of-mouth communication, or to spread enthusiasm to the light users.There's a ripple effect that can't be tracked by numbers. I think it's a good idea to have a community website. I think it's a good idea to have an internal We should have an axis that says which marketing issue is to be solved by this fan site. I wonder if this is the case."

Participant's voice

Here are some of the comments we received from the participants of this event. We are glad that we were able to hold this event.
We heard valuable stories. I learned a lot from listening to the stories of people who are actually running the business, such as how they are feeling the same way. I would definitely attend again."
Similarly, we have only been running for a month and are still in a flurry of activity, so it was very helpful to be able to talk with people on the management side.
We will look at each company's fan site. We hope that our site will generate a lot of enthusiasm from the fans and create a hit.
It was very helpful to see how you set rules for fans to enjoy your sites.
Thank you very much for sharing your success stories and your concerns with us. We hope to make use of this information when we implement the program in the future.

Organizer's Postscript -Reflections on Offsite Meeting #3

The companies that participated in this event were from a variety of backgrounds: some have already been operating community websites for several years, some launched their websites this year, and others are currently considering the possibility of establishing a community website. Each of them had their own problems, but by talking with others in the same position, they were able to empathize with each other and get hints for solutions, which I believe made the time very meaningful. eLifeWe will continue to hold meetings like this one, as well as various other events and information dissemination. If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to discuss with other companies, please feel free to contact our staff!

Thank you for reading to the end.

Related Information List of Participating Company Projects
Dear-Natura&me (Asahi Group Foods)
Mania-ku (Sogo & Seibu Co., Ltd.)
Oishiine! (Sogo & Seibu Co., Ltd.) " Oishiine! ( Maruha Nichiro Corporation)

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