Community expert Caty Kobe from FeverBee recently joined us at #Bufferchat to talk about community management. Caty—along with our amazing Bufferchat community—shared great advice, blog and book recommendations.
Read on for the highlights, or catch the full recap here!
What advice do you have for someone building an online community?
- If you’re building a brand community, please do your homework first!
- Take the time to research your customers & target community members. Learn who they are, what they do, and what they think.
- Everything you do as a community builder should be about the community. Everything.
- You should be giving to your community members far more than what you’re receiving from them.
More great insights:
- “Take time to get to know your community members! Listen, empathize, ask questions.” @shannnonb
- “Treat every community member as a rockstar, have a strategy and expectations and be patient.” @djksar
- “Be present & available to your community. Consistently provide resources & knowledge. Share your joy & excitement.” @MarissaBurdett
How do you pick the best social networks or platform for your community?
- “You want to be where your audience is. If your audience uses Twitter, a Facebook group isn’t going to get you anywhere.” @danielleirogers
- “The birth of a great community are the 1 to 1 conversations that turn into relationships that grow into a community.” @iSocialFanz
- “Facebook= personal touch, Twitter= open conversations, LinkedIn= professional networking, Pinterest= visual interest” @liliholl
- “You have to set your metrics for success. Social platforms are similar, but can be used for very different things.” @Steven_Paul
What qualities make for a strong community?
- Relationships BETWEEN members. A space where people feel safe to contribute.
Other great insights:
- “A strong community is one that supports and helps its members no matter what. And the members support one another.” @v4violetta
- “Setting community guidelines upfront; consistent, helpful conversations; offline meet-ups.” @henrynatalie
- “A desire for everyone in the community to better themselves while helping others grow.” @the_chrisbryant
How do you keep in touch with your community’s needs?
- Put yourself in your community member’s shoes for a min. Esp if you’re running a brand community!
- Also consider the vocal minority vs. silent majority question. Use both qualitative & quantitative data to keep in check.
- Listening is one part of the equation. Acknowledging, processing, & acting on what you’ve learned is crucial.
- There’s lots of listening happening. Make sure you’re keeping track of the feedback, and following up accordingly!
More great insights:
- “Engage and check in with your community often. Actions speak louder than words.” @Christine_Chen6
- “keep in touch w/community via multi-touch & options: email to social, their choice . Often dictated by reason/purpose” @mediacollective
- “As community managers we are in the biz of customer service! Good CS always starts with attentiveness!” @ayylookitstoni
What blogs or sites are great resources for community-building tips?
@cmx blog is also great. They publish a lot of fantastic case studies
- Managing Communities by
@patrickokeefe is one of my all time favorites
@thecr’s blog is great too… they do great recaps and the research they publish is second to none
- I also follow vendor blogs. You’ll see a lot of product info & case studies that you could translate into inspiration!
- Some self-promo: I publish the
#fbpodcast each week which is aimed at bringing more resources to the space.
- Really anything related to social psychology, business, and design can help inspire your community game.
- I really love looking at business books for community inspiration. Switch is an all time fave
Book recommendations for community building:
- Return on Relationship by Ted Rubin
- Buzzing Communities by Rich Mullington
- The Art of Community by Jono Bacon
- Likeable by Dave Kerpen
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- The Culting of Brands by Douglas Atkin
- Design for Community by Derek M Powazek
- Community Building for the Web by Amy Jo Kim
Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat! Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.
Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!