The golden rule of community management and social media monitoring is listening. You’ll read that little tip in almost every article on the topic. But you can’t be all listen and no action. Striking the balance between listening and talking (typing?) will be key. The hitch in this plan is that balance will be different for each community, based on its type, size, age and multiple other unique categories. Yes, you should thank community members for sharing their feedback and promoting your product and/or service. But you can’t thank everyone, constantly. But if you don’t thank your community, you’ll seem disengaged and ungrateful. You can’t just thank your big-time followers with thousands in their network, but you can’t ignore your influencers, either. It’s up to you to decide when it’s appropriate to listen and when it’s appropriate to enter yourself into the conversation.
Take action (both ON- and OFF-line)
So, you’ve listened. You’ve monitored. You’ve supervised. Now what?Insert your own personality into your community, as long as it’s in small doses. Consumers, users, readers, whatever you want to call them – the majority don’t write on a Facebook Page just to splatter their thoughts on a white wall. They want to be heard, they want to have a conversation and probably most of all, they want to be entertained and informed. So take action. Give them what they want. And have fun doing it!
Offline, make sure that your actual, physical voice is heard throughout your business. As I mentioned above, you’re the expert. Just because your coworker read an article on Mashable and now thinks “everyone” is on Google+ doesn’t mean your company necessarily needs to be there. As the community manager you have to learn how to encourage ideas and feedback from your coworkers but also know where your company’s community exists. This comes as second nature when you understand your community.
The frontier for community managers is unsettled. We’re working in a world where the rule is, there are no rules. So you have to create your own. These are mine. What are yours?