Our pick of the top tips for community management

by Stratton Craig

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One quick Google search on community management and you’ll soon be bombarded with tips, dos and don’ts, rules and advice on how to manage your digital community successfully. And it’s no wonder since more and more companies are creating specific community manager roles to oversee their social media sites. From bloggers and journalists to social media experts, everyone is a-twitter (sorry) about how best to manage an online community. So, we thought we’d give you a handy round-up of the best community management tips around:

Get personal…

Many customers can be turned off by the coldness of corporate speak; so don’t be afraid to actually add a personal touch to your online presence. If you swap the technical jargon for a conversational style, not only will you seem more sociable and friendly, it will also mean you’ll connect with a wider audience. And it’s a good idea to physically show your face with pictures and videos – people like to know who they’re talking to.

…But not too personal

It’s great to engage with your online community but don’t take it too far. A company that is constantly trying to ‘add’, ‘re-tweet’ and ‘like’ everything and everyone can get on people’s nerves – the balance between genuinely connecting with as many people as possible and not becoming an irritant is tricky, but invaluable if it’s done right.

Be subtle

Obviously, the point of being active on social media sites is to promote your brand to your online community, but if you focus too much on sell, sell, sell then your online community will ignore, unfollow, dislike. If people feel like they’re having things forced down their throat, they’re soon going to abandon your community. Always promote in moderation, or subtly by incorporating your brand image into current media news or trends.

Avoid the negative

The internet is an open source, so it’s no surprise you have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes. Don’t be taken aback by any negativity you receive – it’s almost impossible to get 100% positive feedback, and what with all the conflicts that play out on message boards, you can’t expect to avoid negativity altogether. But the key is not to let it bother you. There’ll probably be no need for alarm unless there is an unenthusiastic response en masse, so keep calm, focus on the positive members of your community and never engage in public argument with anyone.

Get engaged

Don’t go buying any diamond rings, but do get involved with your community. There are so many different ways of connecting with your online community that it would be a crime to use a media site for one purpose. Twitter cannot only be used for updates on your goings on, but for re-tweeting other users with similar messages or interests. Facebook can be used for creating events, setting up campaigns or competitions, and posting pictures to keep your clients interested, as well as for connecting with other brands or companies. And today the ease and speed with which you can connect all number of social network sites to each other is so great, that you really have no excuse.

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