Community Management is one of the most important skills to master for every company that aims to be social. After all, community management is nothing else than a fancy word for “connecting and talking” with your crowd of followers.
1. It takes time and patience
Let’s face it. It is not going to happen overnight. To build a vivid and active community of devote and passionate followers take time, especially if you are not P&G or another brand that everybody knows and want to interact with. Success is built with daily efforts and you have to be ready to give more than what you can take.
2. Create Trust: Connect with the followers
You don’t have to talk only about yourself, try to be genuinely interested in what your followers think and want, try to understand who they are and what are their expectations. You have to be authentic, be ready to give more than what you take: share articles that are not just about you, promote your followers: if someone is carrying on an interesting activity or has shared a brilliant article, let him know.
3. Forget about the money, it is all about the conversation
Forget about quick fixes and monetizing. As Michael Brito pointed out in a very interesting article about community management, “the biggest mistake a community manager can make is to start screaming “one-way” marketing messages at the rest of the community”. It is a conversation or better, it is a “two-ways” interaction between you, the face of the company and your beloved users. If you try to sell products most likely you are going to lose followers.
(add on 24/02/2012):
4. Set the rules
A community manager is also a moderator. What I have noticed in a research study that I am working on now is that very often there are no clear rules of engagement. That’s too bad. A community manager should not only engage the users of the community but also set the limits of the interaction.
5. Be a leader
I will come back on this concept in a more detailed post because it will be interesting to study the implication of leadership applied to community management. However, I have to say, when you put yourself in the community manager position, you are a leader, you have to lead the interactions within the community.