It’s essential for recruitment companies to have a voice and to really engage their followers.
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Why businesses need community managers:
Well, there are several reasons that an organization might want a community. It’s a big responsibility. It’s like getting married. You don’t enter into this relationship lightly because it’s extremely difficult to extract yourself from a community once you’ve built it. So I think that there are some good strategic decisions and initiatives that need to be laid out and decided upon before entering into the relationship. But specifically, my belief is that there are a few reasons to want to have a community, and on a very high-level ranking, it’s my personal belief that any company that sells anything should want to have a community.
The perfect circle of community management:
I believe you have to give in order to get. It is a 50% and a 50%, something has to come from each side. Again, going back to that marriage analogy. So if you give, so that you’re building advocates, the advocates, the engagement that you undertake, the advocates are actually creating loyalty. So by the very act of you engaging with these advocates, you’re creating your own loyalty. And that is, in fact, what I believe the perfect circle is all about.
But specifically entering into community management is not just something you do on a lark, obviously. You have to have a strategy behind what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re trying to do. You have to build in a lot of different types of ideas, and the graphic that you’re referring to just talks about some of those specific things that need to be considered before undertaking such a relationship and such a commitment. So for example, what is the strategy for this group that you’re creating? What kind of data are you going to be tracking? How are you going to maintain growth?
And then we move and we have to think about relationship development. So how are we going to develop the relationship further? What kind of content are we going to provide them with?
It has to go across the entire organization. And so that’s the things that I think about and I talk about with my clients is before we undertake this idea to create a strategy for what your community should be doing for you, you need to think about all these other things. Because something forgotten here will be very difficult to implement later.
The benefits of an engaged community:
I think if you start listening and seeding the relationship, hearing what your customers are really saying and what they really care about, figuring out where they’re located, even thinking to yourself that every mention socially can be an opportunity for further engagement. It’s going to allow you to uncover key trends and topics, and if you do that, then you’re actually ready to start engaging that person to retain the relationship, to build a fan out of that relationship. And so, the way that you do that is by sharing content. Right? So that’s going to be retaining and sustaining the relationship because high touch can, in my case, equal a high reward.
So being a good community member with frequent communication means that these individuals are starting to get more and more loyal to your brand. You can then continue that process by then building advocacy. So now is the time when you’re ready to start deepening that relationship and really turning your power users into your ambassadors.
How do you know what content you should be sharing with your community?
Well, any good community manager will tell you that actually you don’t share content in that community. What you’re hoping to achieve is to pull content out of the community to create that Holy Grail of user-generated content, and I’ve just spent a week at Social Media Week London where they all referred to it with this hip acronym of UGC, and most of them said they had no idea how to get UGC. Right? So you have really big viral campaigns like the Share a Coke campaign. That was a fantastically successful campaign. I’m sure that you might have heard of it, or in fact, the Ice Bucket Challenge. So that had like 1.2 million Facebook videos that people were creating and putting up. But those are humongous, humongous campaigns.
So the community can give you that. And the way you might want to ask them is to ask them first, “Hey, everybody, we’re going live with this idea next week, this really great campaign. What do you think about it?” But mostly, the way that you’re going to get this user-generated content is with good moderation and by paying attention to your customer forums and your community forums or the things that your community leaders are saying. So if, as I said, one of them says, “Oh, I published a book last week.” That’s wonderful. Well done to you. Congratulations. Can you maybe point to an article that you’ve written about your book or maybe has an article been written about your book that we can share with other community members, people who love you best, people who are supporting you most?
But specifically the content, in order to generate those ideas, that moderation is key. You’ve got to be listening to those ideas, those little nuggets, getting that feedback from your community members. Maybe giving them briefings and asking them for this type of content. Most importantly, learning how to tell a good story. You’ve got to seek out great stories and know how to tell them. There’s lots of great stuff out there in the world today about content marketing, and learning how to tell a good story and the art of storytelling.