If you want to build and cultivate a successful online community for your business you should consider a two pronged approach. The first is to make people feel like they are part of something unique. This means recognize top members, engaging the community, planning events and much more.
The second part is concentrated on community management that tilts away from marketing and towards customer service. It has often been said that “Customer service is the new marketing.” and that phrase couldn’t be more true when it comes to community management. If you are making your existing customers happy, in a public way, then that can be the best kind of marketing for your business.
Every successful online community has a caretaker, or Community Manager. A great Community Manager can enagage the fans, keep conversations flowing, and to act as the peacemaker when tough situations arise. Community Managers need to rely on the community itself to ultimately take ownership and drive progress, because ultimately more successful online communities want to be taken care of, not managed . In Essential Skills of a Community Manager, Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) says, “the best community managers are like a good party host mixed with a fine restaurant host.” An effective community manager has to have the long-term vision to foster the type of community that will be the brand’s voice for you.
What best practices for Community Management do you recommend?