Courtesy of Greg Verdino of crayon comes news of a white paper (pdf) from Elastic Collision, a virtual worlds agency, on real-world SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) building business equity in virtual worlds like Second Life.
As Greg says,
You can grab the complete report at the Elastic Collision site, but here are the tips and a few choice quotes to tide you over… (Incidentally, you can swap out the words “Second Life” and apply most of these principles to pretty much any form of social media.)
Get to know the cultural landscape
“Educate yourself about community norms and important milestones in Second Life history… Design content around the needs of residents rather than focusing solely on the aspirations of your marketing department.”
Improve, don’t invade
“Second Life is a collaborative experience, and leaving residents out of decision making is a serious error… Be prepared to engage with residents, instead of creating a build, walking away and working why no one visits.”
Brands aren’t coming to virtual worlds for real conversation, they seem to think it’s a new sales channel (American Apparel learned that lesson quickly enough I think).
Definitely worth getting the white paper, methinks, and applying it to any community of interest, be it online or not.