Every Friday I post links to a few of the blog posts that I read during the week that I found interesting and insightful.
Included in this week’s round-up is a discussion about the use of ‘voting’ contests used by brands on Facebook; how to build thriving online communities; what happens when the corporate social media strategist goes away; how to build strong bonds with online community members; and why community mangers are Human Experience (HX) professionals.
I would argue that voting contests based on popularity actually erodes business value. By rewarding high vote counts brands open themselves up to diluting their core audience and hampering their ability to effectively benchmark and measure ongoing engagement. So what is the alternative?
Companies tend to forget the importance and the value of having a community manager. The community manager is the person who manages the company’s online reputation, ensures that comments are responded to and builds the community. Many people don’t take online seriously and believe community managers just sit on Facebook all day, but it goes much deeper than that. We help build the brand, we manage the brand in the online space and push content online.
While I’ve invested years watching these roles emerge, I’m here to tell you they’ll slowly fade into the background. Now if you’re already in this role (see this grand list I struggle maintaining), don’t fret, this will take years and maybe a decade to implement, as we know most companies don’t even have maturity in the marketing department (despite an average of about 3 years of formalized programs) –let alone the rest of the enterprise.
A community manager should cultivate positive relationships with top members in the community. These relationships provide the community manager with a great deal of influence over the community. They also boost activity, provide a feedback mechanism and develop volunteers.
In the sort term community management teams are doing a lot of the smoothing over between inconsistencies in the HX across organizational silos but long term, this will require strategic re-alignment in order to scale and an understanding of the business of community by the senior executive team.
Think there’s something missing from this list? Leave a link in a comment, or tweet me @BenLaMothe!