On Tuesday, I shared my first six tips for successful community management. Today we continue the series, wrapping up with the remaining six tips, to give you twelve total tips! These were of course written with the Twelve Days of Christmas in mind, so please feel free to continue singing along as you read the final half of this blog.
On the seventh day of Christmas… Have a plan for when things go wrong
Although in enterprise social they rarely do, have a plan in place for when things do go wrong because one day they might. I’m a big believer in empowerment and accountability, and I don’t think we should ever delete a members post because we don’t agree with it or it’s not the company line. Try rewarding positive behavior whenever you see it, and when something isn’t right, manage it through a constructive and open dialogue. Know when it’s time to take the conversation off-line and be open if that needs to happen. If something needs to be deleted or moderated, have a plan in place with your HR department to deal with that. I believe that Community Managers should never have to make that call alone, so have a plan in place to get the right people involved should you need to.
On the Eighth day of Christmas… Pause before posting, especially in the heat of the moment
If the going gets tough in a thread, pause, clear your head, and use a sounding board to sense check your course of action. By sounding board I mean a friend, a colleague, a peer, or your manager who might be able to give you some wise advice before you stumble. Even if you think you are in control, this can really help bring another perspective to what you are trying to do.
On the ninth day of Christmas…. Be the Concierge of your community
You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) answer every post and question in your community. The healthiest community is in fact when you don’t need to answer any questions because your community members, advocate network, your managers, and other employees are all contributing and answering questions on their own! Act as the concierge, the doorman, and the welcoming committee! Direct traffic to the people who can help and catalyse new connections and relationships within your network so the community becomes self-serving.
On the tenth day of Christmas… Create a network of community managers
If your governance plan doesn’t include a community ownership model, it should! When a new community forms, one or two evangelists should self-nominate to become to the lead community member (or community manager) for that community. They, led by you, will help this community thrive, grow and achieve success. Try to get this included in their performance agreement so it’s measurable and a real part of their job. These are your network of community managers. You should share as much knowledge as you can with them, flood them with tips, tricks, engagement strategies, and help material that they can pass onto their community and become known as the steward in their thriving digital workspace.
On the eleventh day of Christmas… Celebrate success!
Nothing demonstrates the power of enterprise social communities more than a solid testimonial or success story. I love to capture these with my HD Flip Cam to make simple, short videos that tell a story and capture the hearts of your employees. If you can’t make a video, simple interview style pieces will help to illustrate what was gained and how things got better by using the tool. Ask probing questions that bring out the success part of the story and always tie it back to the platform!
On the twelfth day of Christmas… Be a story-teller and encourage creativity!
The community manager role is multi-faceted. Above all, in everything you do, be a story-teller and encourage people to emotionally connect with your community and share their stories too. Some great engagement campaigns are things like: a sharing photo competition, online Q&A with the CEO or other senior execs, conversation around stories that are in the media (even better if positive and about your company), discussions around holidays or events at the office, sharing recipes or other personal artifacts that people love – you get the drift. If you keep the idea of creating narrative, being light-hearted and promoting dialogue, you are bound to get a positive and thriving response by your eager community members!
So whether you celebrate Christmas, or another holiday, take my ‘Twelve Days of Christmas, Twelve Community Manager tips’ back do your own network and give them a try! Do you have any of your own you care to share? Tweet them to me @lukesinclair or @newsgator!
Note: Luke is our resident guru Director of Community and he bodes from Australia. He insists on maintaining Australian spelling in his posts, so please excuse what may be considered typos by some of here in the United States!