Coverage of this session by Courtney Graham of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

2:10 —’s Megan Uithoven introduces Premier Farnell’s Global Head of Community and Social Media, Dianne Kibbey.

2:12 — Dianne: The element14 community is an external community for design engineers to share and collaborate.

2:13— Dianne: We have more than 360,000 global members, and each year we’re able to grow our engagement by 50 percent.

2:14 — Dianne: Our customer is highly educated and value the expertise of others. They’re also extremely opinionated, but this makes them great to have in a community. Our job is to launch new products and create more demand.

2:15 — Diane: We asked our customers to help with product launches. We wanted them to showcase the ins and outs of a product and conduct road tests for us.

2:16 — Dianne: We allow members to access new products with the condition that they test it out for us. It creates a huge amount of pride for the engineers in the community, and it creates a great amount of content for us.

2:17 — Dianne: Six times a year we host design challenges, we partner with industry technology leaders, and it allows us to showcase member talent.

2:19 — Dianne shares an actual case study from Raspberry Pi2. Premier Farnell is one of the few distributors to sell the product, and they had one week to get the content ready.

2:21 — Dianne: We live-streamed the conference to the community, we invited experts, and we promoted community engagement. We also wanted to help sell the product too, so we also hosted a Pi2 giveaway to create excitement and engagement.

2:22 — Dianne: All of this lead to a 70 percent share of voice and 50 percent of product sales from social. The launch was all about content and driving traffic back to the community.

2:23 — Dianne: We wanted to continue the momentum with over 5,000 new members so we launched 50 new projects with Pi2 and more design challenges. We also held a Halloween build event to keep that excitement around the product and in the community.

2:26 — Dianne: Here are the key takeaways from the product launch:

  1. Make members a part of the launch
  2. Content: Don’t tell them, show them
  3. Keep the interest: Is it sustainable and can you build on it?
  4. Embrace the trends of the industry and passion of your members.



Q: How did you start to build the community?

A: Dianne: Going back to the early days, the roadtest was the first big win we had. Members liked testing products and getting members involved. For Raspberry Pi2, we made it accessible with content and really getting the product in the hands of people.

Q: How did you secure buy-in for the community platform?

A: Dianne: We were lucky that we had a CEO that wanted to start the community, but we do have to go back and argue for the buy-in for other initiatives. It’s mostly showing the value of the community. We show measurements of click throughs from community over to the website and show how the community is providing value back.

Q: How many of your members are users of your products and how many are engineers?

A:  Dianne: Definitely a little bit of both, but hard to prove because we don’t have single sign-on. We track with an email matching so we can see who buys with us.

Q: How did you track sales from social media?

A: Dianne: We tracked those that came from social to the community and tracked click-throughs once they were in the community.

Q: How do you work through your content generation?

A: Dianne: We don’t use agencies so our content is done in-house. We have engineers that will create content for us. We also have a great network of bloggers, some paid. A lot of our content now is done by our members.


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