If you’re like me, you have a New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s to eat healthier. Or to read more books. Or maybe you want to learn how to speak a new language. Admittedly, these are all resolutions I’ve had in year’s past.
You’re also like me if you’ve had some New Year’s resolution failures. I’m looking at you, Spanish language. It’s easy to get excited by the promise of a fresh start only to burn out by February. But that doesn’t mean all resolutions are doomed to fail. They simply require an action plan to keep you motivated all year long.
Here’s five New Year’s resolutions for community managers and some advice on how to ensure you succeed.
Find the Influencers
It’s not what you say about your brand that matters, it’s what others say about it that really counts. Establishing relationships with key influencers can boost community membership, generate new leads, and improve customer perception of your brand.
1. Dig around online to find influencers who can make a difference for your brand. Start your search on Twitter or Instagram, and analyze the number of followers and quality of comments.
2. Make sure you’re looking for influencers who are in your league. If you’re a budding community, find influencers who have moderate-sized with lots of future potential.
3. Determine how you’ll attract them to your community. What will you offer them for their participation?
Take Customer Service Up A Notch
89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. And while you may think your customer service is top tier, making small changes to your current activity can make a world of difference.
1. Develop specific targets and goals. Rather than making a vague goal like “improve customer service,” create smaller, more defined objectives. Ex. Reduce response time for product questions or negative feedback.
2. Mark down your current response time to use as a benchmark.
3. Implement processes to reduce failure. This could include creating a document with pre-determined responses for your member’s most prevalent questions. Make sure you tweak your answers when you post to avoid sounding like a robot.
Reconnect with Colleagues
Since you spend most of your time online, it’s easy to feel more connected with your community members than your colleagues. But having a good relationship with your coworkers is essential to your success. You’ll stay informed on what’s happening within the company and get the answers you need – fast.
1. Get to know your peers. Get reacquainted with colleagues in your office by bringing in an afternoon treat or suggesting a lunch meeting to pick their brain.
2. Make your interactions about more than just work. Don’t just go running to your colleagues when you’re in a panic. Make a point to create real relationships – you know, like you do everyday online.
3. Provide them with data and insights into what you’re doing. People become more invested in a project if they know the end goal. If you reach out to an analyst for some technical information, share the results of your research with them.
Create Real Connections
This is what your community is really all about, isn’t it? People want to connect with people – not just with a brand. And by being an active, engaged part of the community, you’ll improve customer perception of your brand and strengthen brand loyalty.
1. Make a list of questions to ask yourself before you hit send. Is this response authentic? What can I do to go above and beyond the call of duty?
2. Find opportunities to brighten someone’s day. Did one of your community members give your brand some impromptu praise on the message boards? Show them you value their input by giving them some free swag. Something as small as brand stickers or a low-value gift card can go a long way.
3. Don’t focus only on brand-related content. Your brand is the reason people join the community, but they remain there for something more. Online communities often have off-topic threads. Humanize your brand by being part of the bigger picture.