Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Good Habits for Online Community Managers

Establishing an online presence isn’t nearly as difficult as it once was. Free WordPress themes   make it easy to set up a website and start producing content, and free accounts for social media sites make it easy to spread the word about your content.

But simply getting started online and maintaining a good presence over time can be two completely different things. Online community managers need to have a number of good qualities for keeping up a strong online presence.

1. Great Communication Skills

Communication is the foundation of the job for any online community manager. The individual needs to be able to communicate well with colleagues and community members alike, as delivering the proper message to the online community requires strong communication throughout the process.

First, they need to be able to understand the brand’s goals, and they need to be able to communicate ideas regarding how the brand will be best suited in terms of online content. Once these ideas have been established, it’s important to be able to communicate well in a variety of settings. An email newsletter allows for much longer communication than a tweet, for example, but the community manager needs to be able to craft each equally well.

2. Commitment to the Followers

Authenticity is vital when it comes to online communications, and the online community manager needs to be able to communicate honestly with followers. In order to do this, there needs to be a legitimate interest in the field and the content that is being produced and shared. That way, rather than just tossing out links and hoping people click and share them, the manager can be providing content that they really feel will benefit users. That content tends to be most successful.

In addition, the manager needs to be able to see things from followers’ perspectives. Just as companies need to know their customers, community managers need to know the interests and needs of their followers. Sometimes, these won’t totally line up with the individual’s own interests. That’s why it’s important to be able to view things from a different perspective.

3. Unfailing Persistence

There is no such thing as a day off when it comes to managing an online community. Users expect to see new content and communication on a frequent basis, so the community manager needs to be able to handle lots of forms of communication all at once, all the time.

In addition, commitment is vital because online communities don’t develop overnight. Rather, it can take months and months for a website to really build up a following in the online community. Sometimes, putting lots of time into online content and social media activity and not getting very much response can be very discouraging. Eventually, though, the work will pay off, so persistence is vital.

4. An Understanding of the Tools Available

As important as it is to be a strong communicator, it’s equally important to have the tech side down. Community managers need to know which tools are most effective in which situations so that they can take full advantage of the resources available.

In social media, there is a huge amount of options available. In addition to Facebook, sites like Pinterest and Instagram have caught on with large numbers of online users. Knowing which sites work best for which content is vital.

In addition, it’s important to be able to use the backend tools, as well. Google Analytics, for example, can give great insight into the success of online content—if the individual knows how to use Analytics the right way. Google Analytics is the biggest one, but there are a number of tools that can make the job a whole lot easier and the content a lot more effective.

About author
Anny Solway is a dedicated writer at ThemeFuse – a leader in the WordPress premium themes area. She likes to discover new ideas about internet marketing, social media and blogging.