Call it whatever you want, the digital and social tsunami that shifted the marketing process into different online platforms has come a long way from the skeptical beginnings a few years ago. This so called “fundamental shift in the way we communicate” is now ripe.
Long gone are the days where we used to start every pitch with an educational session about social media and why it is crucial to have a solid and well controlled presence on its platforms. And as anyone who is familiar with the whole shenanigan knows, community management and the community managers are at the heart of the implementation of digital strategies. They can make it or break it.
So, and in recognition of this major role, here is my list of 10 tips for successful community management !
1) Listen – No online community management work is done the right way if it doesn’t start by LISTENING to what people are saying about the brand you are representing. Just like in real life, being a good listener online will give you an edge over the rest!
2) Measure – Adopt analytical tools as a second bible. From Google Analytics to Facebook’s Insights to any other tool you might know or use. Knowing where your audience is coming from and how they react to what you do is MAJOR.
3) Build Trust – Know how to sound credible. Gaining people’s trust is almost 80% of the job. If they trust you, they will listen to what you have to say, try your products, participate in your competition and share your content.
4) Speak– Be talkative online. Look at every possible channel of communication you can use to be heard and use it. Start conversations or participate in ongoing ones! The train is moving with or without you so you better jump on board with some good communication skills!
5) Go With The Flow… Somehow! – A community manager can afford to be reactive to what is happening in the digital environment he’s in. If you end up in a sticky conversation about the latest Harry Potter movie, don’t bail, even if you are selling milk! Show people the person behind the brand and give it the human touch that is needed for users to connect to it.
6) Stick To The Plan – There are certain parts of the community management tone, style and image that are set in the Digital Communication Strategy that is prepared. Stick to how you should sound like and keep the same vibe and spirit of the brand in all communications you make. There are also certain major goals that need to be achieved, so you should make sure not to get lost in all the talking and keep a sharp focus on what needs to be achieved and on how to redirect people and conversations to exactly where you want them to be.
7) Be Proactive – Don’t wait for instructions if you feel that it will do the brand/campaign good to participate in a certain forum or to share a link on a relevant page. You are in a position that allows you to be proactive in many small things that can add visibility and value to your content.
8 ) Set Small Goals – As a community manager, have small daily or weekly goals for yourself. You can aim for 10 more Facebook followers today or you can work on redirecting traffic from twitter to a certain page more efficiently! Setting small goals would help you get closer to achieving the bigger ones in small but steady steps!
9) Take The Brand Talk Personally – When you are the online community manager of a certain brand, you should realize that to the world, you are that brand. They don’t see who is behind the computer typing those tweets or replying to those comments. That is a major realization that a community manager should make and he/she should live/eat/breathe/sleep/drink the brand when they are managing its online identity.
10) Play – Try new ways of engaging users for example. Play around with ideas and don’t forget to have fun! At the end of the day, it all comes down to loving what you do and, as a result, doing it well!