MacGyver is a beloved fictional character from American television with the knack for solving unconventional problems using his ever-present Swiss Army knife and duct tape. The name has been ubiquitously linked with creating on-the-fly solutions to complex or seemingly impossible obstacles.
While you can’t use duct tape to help you with community management, there are plenty of ways to step up your game and prepare for any situation that may arise. Use these three strategies to become the MacGyver of community management.
MacGyver uses a combination of resourcefulness and knowledge to resolve what are often life-or-death crises. Community managers might not be experts in chemistry and physics, but their understanding of the internet can be a lifesaver in a pinch and knowing the right way to respond can mean the difference between user satisfaction and disappointment.
Here’s a few ways to stay on your toes:
- Stockpile GIFs for quick use
- Create visually stunning content with free online resources like GIMP or Canva (depending on your skill level) to engage users
- Stay up-to-date with the latest memes and industry news
- Keep connected to what users are saying about your brand by using social listening tools or by following relevant groups on sites like reddit.com
The key to community engagement is to create an emotional link between your brand and users. Brand loyalty does not need to rely on expensive tactics. Use online resources to better understand your community and develop strategies to stay connected.
Know What You’ve Got – And Use It
MacGyver was known for getting out of sticky situations with nothing more than some dental floss and a screw driver. Sure, it might be easier to fight off a group of hooligans with an actual weapon, but when life gives you dental floss, you create a makeshift zip line.
When it comes to community management, its essential to know what’s available to you and understand the limitations of your role. Do you have the authority to provide users with sneak peeks of new products? Can you offer freebies to active participants? What type of swag do you have at your disposal?
Knowing what you’re allowed to do will give you the freedom to take risks and be bold.
Viewers of the original MacGyver were offered a cash reward for submitting scenarios for use on the show. One successful entry described how MacGyver could fix a vehicle’s leaking cooling system by cracking an egg into the radiator. In case you’re wondering: as the egg heated and hardened, it sealed the hole.
Starbucks has taken a similar approach by creating My Starbucks Idea. This community allows users to share their thoughts on how to improve Starbucks and also keep track of how the company is putting those ideas to work.
In the last six years, suggestions from My Starbucks Idea community members have led to the implementation of nearly 300 innovations – from digital tipping, peach green-tea lemonade, to the hugely popular FREE Wi-Fi. Just last month, the company announced they’ll be adding stevia sweetener and almond milk in their US stores.
By adding innovation and originality to your community management strategy, you’ll show users that you’re ready for any obstacle that comes your way.
Now get out there and make MacGyver proud!