Strange Love: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Community Management
Top 3 tips for building a healthy relationship with your social media community:
Checking my phone every five minutes. Scanning Facebook nervously for new messages. Careening wildly between pure elation and utter dejection. Wondering if maybe we should just break up already, and forget the whole %@*&ing thing. Sound like love?
It is—sort of. It’s a strange version of it; and one that only community managers can fully understand.
When I began my relationship with the five Facebook communities I currently manage, I was arguably more nervous than I’ve ever been on any first date. What would I say? Would they like me? Will I seem too eager? How much is too much? What if I say, do, post, link to the wrong thing? And so on and so on.
Clearly, I was a hot mess. And I know I made some pretty goofy mistakes in those first few weeks (that’s a whole other blog post right there). But luckily for us community managers, ours is still a relatively new field, and it’s continuously changing as social media continues to evolve.
In other words, to some extent, we’re all making it up as we go along. And when you realize how exciting that is, you can really let go, stop worrying and fall in love with your job.
Here are 3 of my top tips for building a healthy relationship with your social media community:
1. Put yourself first.
Let me be clear: this isn’t about being selfish. It’s about creating compelling content. Whether you’re crafting a post or responding to a comment, ask yourself, is this something I’d be interested in reading? Is this how I’d like my question to be addressed? If the answer is no, start again. Don’t stop until you’ve created something that would make you happy.
2. Little things mean a lot.
You’d be surprised at how big an impact even the smallest gestures can make on your fans. From simply liking their comments to finding information for them, when you respond to people personally, you create an immense amount of loyalty for the brand you represent. We once had a fan who wanted to know where she could get a pair of jeans like the ones shown in our post. It only took a few seconds to find her a link to a pair she could buy online—she was thrilled, and so were all the other fans who’d been paying attention.
3. Play a little hard to get.
This is a bit controversial amongst those who work in social media, and by all means, it’s best to take my advice here on a case-by-case basis. But I promise you that you don’t always have to respond right away. Community managers can burn out easily and quickly if they try to address every comment and every timeline posting immediately. Trust me on this one: if someone can’t print their coupon, they can wait until you’ve had time to look into the issue properly. Give yourself a break, and enjoy your weekend. As long as you let them know they’ve been heard, it’s all good.
There’s lots more where that came from—stay tuned for more social media “relationship” advice! And let us know if you have any questions—we’d be happy to help.
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Over the weekend I had an epiphany: I am not a traditional shopper and I don’t even think I know how to shop traditionally anymore. This really got me thinking about how different my consumer process must be from when my mother was my age.
As I look down at my iPhone - connected to GPS and with a camera + voice recorder built-in, and then at all my social apps; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc...I realize that I have the ability to share my everything with the world.