Last week I wrote about a Deloitte report that found plenty of unrealized potential in the customer communities hosted by companies in an effort to boost customer loyalty and interest in their products. Most communities had fewer than 500 members, found Deloitte's study, and many companies find it difficult to engage these customers.
Yet the success of communities like Dell's IdeaStorm, which helped the company reverse negative customer perceptions of its brand, plus the popularity of communities created by customers themselves for brands like IKEA and Harley-Davidson, will surely inspire more companies to launch communities.
ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe offers a list of a dozen best practices that should improve the odds that such communities will succeed. A few of my favorites: