How many times a day do you participate in some kind of online community? Whether we’re interacting over Facebook, Twitter, forums, or some other medium, many of us are using social media and social communities as a place to come together around our favorite brands, our churches and community organizations, causes we support, and more. You probably know from personal experience that some communities thrive while others never quite get off the ground. So what’s the secret?
A good community manager can make all the difference. These are the people who know that social doesn’t sleep. They’re in their online communities every day, interacting, sharing, encouraging engagement and interaction. They know their audiences and what kinds of content to share with them. If you’re part of an exciting community, chances are good there’s a strong community manager there, making it all happen.
Today, January 28, is Community Manager Appreciation Day. To show Business 2 Community’s appreciation for the work CMs do, we’re featuring top tips from community management experts who live and breathe this stuff on a daily basis. Got a tip of your own to add? Feel free to add it to the comments at the bottom!
Community Management Experts Offer Their Tips
Twitter: Use Twilert to set up alerts for brand mentions and keywords in your industry to monitor conversations and respond when appropriate.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Zero to Millions: The Secrets Behind Building a Business and Growing a Digital Audience
Google+: Apply for a verified page.
Pinterest: Convert your existing account to a Business Page for additional features – business.pinterest.com
Facebook: Rather than posting a link and relying on the webpage rich snippets, upload a photo instead and include the URL in the text update.
Keep it short, sweet, and simple!
03. Leslie Handmaker – Social Marketing Program Manager, Next Day Flyers:
Put a spotlight on your customers, everyone likes a little attention sometimes. These tend to get shared and they build customer loyalty.
Be consistently engaging in each network or community you participate in.
Don’t be afraid to dive into FB’s Ad Manager & Power Editor. As a CM, you should be well-versed in paid media for native ad.
Community Managers should think of themselves as “Community DJs” — you’ve got to play the “records” the brand wants you to play but you’ve still got to ensure that the community has a good time.
Whether you’re tweeting on behalf of a brand or just on your own, don’t forget to be human.
08. Mila Gates – Community Manager – @MilaCGates:
Check your links before you Tweet them- dead links mean dead leads.
A photo is worth a thousand words…literally! Images are more likely to be seen and clicked through than text.
Don’t ignore your account, even when you go on vacation. Your followers are still looking for content and may drift elsewhere if you don’t post regularly.
Keep your posts current. Any articles older than 6 months should be scrapped, unless you are doing an anniversary post.
The lifetime of a tweet is 3 hours, but reword your new posts or it will get old fast.
Facebook posts can reemerge at any time due to a follower suddenly noticing it. Write so it doesn’t sound outdated in a couple weeks, you never know who will be seeing it next.
Kindness always wins. A grumpy poster will probably never change, but your attitude towards them can.
On Twitter, always check handles and hashtags. The accurate ones can be seen by many people, which means the potential for more followers.
Add some personality to your posts. Your followers will respond better to you than if they think it’s a computer.
Always respond to direct messages. Even a “Thank You” will make them feel like you heard them.
If you manage multiple accounts, it is important to consider the following for each account: the personality, the tone and subscribers’ expectations. Your tweets must fit the context. Take the time to write tweets that match the personality of each account and the expectations of your subscribers. Your engagment will be much higher.
Practice what you tweet!
Craft brand stories that resonate with your audience. It’s not all about you, it’s about customer experience, service and word of mouth.
12. Farhad Divecha – AccuraCast:
Want to liven up your community? Post political, celebrity or social controversy.
Sharing from a community to your personal networks can drive more interest in the community.
On Google+, send out one well-timed invitation only. Multiple invites to a community can be irritating.
Tag influencers (who are already part of the community) in posts to draw their attention and build discussion.
Engage with your audience! Join in on the discussion and remember to thank your fans.
Use your social media presence to gain feedback as well as new ideas. Ask the questions that you want answered!
Stay true to you! Know your voice and be true to your company’s values.
The goal is to continue to engage consistently and respectfully.
Customers respond to incentives. An exclusive offer gives them a reason to engage & share w/ their friends.
16. Alex Pedicini – Community Manager, Ubersense – @AlexPedi:
Create and share content your community cares about. It’s important to take the time to find out what the community wants.
Keep it real. The average consumer can spot a phony from a mile away. Know your audience, own up to mistakes and always be authentic.
18. Velika Downing – Community Manager, Daily Bible Quotes:
Step into the shoes of the community. If the content doesn’t move you, chances are it won’t move others either.
Adding commentary helps establish voice – members want to know that they aren’t alone.
Use hashtags when there’s already content on Twitter around that topic so you can reach a larger audience, or to help people follow an event
Tweet timely, relevant, bi-partisan news-info.
Avoid relentless self-promotion which looks as pathetic as it truly is.
Answer DMs fast.
One key message per #socialmedia post, please…
Embrace the visual: Photos and videos are your best friends on #socialmedia
You don’t need a hashtag to search a one-word term on Twitter anymore. They’re fun with 2+ though.
People needing Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn content to share can put it on autopilot by attaching an RSS feed to a Hootsuite account.
Pinning images to Pinterest with hashtagged keyword can help you get your business traffic for free.
Use twellow.com to find the top experts in your field on Twitter for dialogue.
Connect to something tangible, give your potential customer a reason for visiting your brick & mortar via contests, sales or giveaways.
Use hashtags (#) in business signage, waiting rooms & content – customers will find you easier if you give them the ‘golden key’ using hashtags.
For success on Twitter, you must combine 3 things: quality, information, two-way conversation and personality! One or two alone won’t work.
Do the friend test before publishing any social content: if it wouldn’t sound right in-person, don’t share it online.
Don’t be afraid to get real. There’s enough generic quotes and posts about the weather – strike an emotional chord.
Think hard about psychology when planning social content. What are the pains, triumphs, everyday moments and hopes of your community?
Like in the real world, genuine compliments and kindness go a LONG way. Share, interact, listen, introduce and compliment often.
Be real. Let your personality come through – people don’t want to hear from a cold corporation/brand. They want to know that you care and that you value their business. And say thank you. Thank you goes a long, long way.
26. Rafe Gomez – Owner, VC Inc. Marketing:
Encourage discussion/interaction with your brand and between your followers.
Don’t overtly promote or sell your company/brand: you’ll lose your followers and never get them back.
Provide examples of how your company/brand has been a solution for other companies (B2B) or followers (B2C).
Offer links to content that would be valuable to your followers.
Discuss current events that relate to your company/brand as well as your followers’ needs/goals.
Make sure that your social media manager understands the unique needs/goals of your followers.
Make sure that your social media manager understands the unique value proposition (UVP) of your company/brand.
Tastefully and carefully integrate your company’s UVP into your social media messaging, where/when appropriate.
Stop worrying about numbers and focus on CONTENT. Online, content is key. Give your community knowledge before you worry about retweets.
28. Jayme Pretzloff – Marketing Director, Wixon Jewelers:
Be yourself and be different!!! There’s no need to conform to a mold of what you think others are doing. It’s impossible to stand out (and differentiate) from others unless you have something unique about yourself, blog, business, etc.
Activity can easily be mistaken for progress. Make sure your social media activity aligns with your marketing strategy and business goals. Are you attempting to improve brand perception or value? Are you generating leads? Where in the conversion funnel does your social media activity fall? Are you upselling?
TESTING! Find a way to test methods. There are stats about the best content, copy, and time to publish. Find out what works best for you.
A big thanks to all who contributed to this post!
Let us know how you’re celebrating Community Manager Appreciation Day in the comments below, and if you have any of your own social media tips to add, feel free to leave those there, too!