Split second decision-making is a part of community management. You must be ready to put out metaphorical fires, spark conversations, and fuel your brand’s overall goals.
While it’s wise to have a proactive plan, you should also have a keen sense of what not to do in your community’s forum. Let’s focus on three of the major don’ts of community management.
1. DON’T lose sight of your targets
Businesses use their online communities for different reasons. Some want to generate leads while others are focused on building brand loyalty. Don’t get stuck in the day-to-day efforts and forget why you’re managing the community in the first place.
Start by defining your targets and develop achievable goals based on your company’s needs. Write down the steps you need to follow in order to achieve these targets.
Putting your targets on paper is a critical step to success. There’s a 33% increase in goal completion if you write them down, created an action plan, and made yourself accountable.
What are your company’s goals for its community? What are you hoping to achieve through your efforts? Knowing the answer to these questions is the first step to community management success.
2. DON’T work without a strategy
Whether you’re running a promotion, contest or campaign, it’s important to strategize. Community managers with a strategy are able to plan, prioritize, execute, measure and optimize. If you’re working without a clear strategy, you won’t know if your actions are paying off.
The Science of Social Media podcast by Buffer recently featured an interview with Everette Taylor, Vice President of Marketing at Skurt. Prior to making any decisions, Taylor considers the acronym ICE: Impact-Confidence-Ease.
Before any marketing campaign is started always ask:
- How much impact will it have?
- Do I have confidence in this campaign?
- Is it easy to execute?
Creating a detailed plan allows for further analysis and refinement. It will add clarity to your process and help you understand why certain actions succeed where others have failed.
3. DON’T feed the trolls
How you handle trolls can impact your brand and its reputation. There are a few tactics you can use to defuse a potentially negative situation.
Use Truth to Fight Fiction : Trolls love spreading misinformation, but you can fight back against rumors by using fact-based information. After the release of Apple’s iPhone 6, rumors circulated that the product could easily bend when placed your pocket. Apple quickly addressed the issues through the media by explaining that a total of nine users had complained about problems. By facing the issue head-on, the company was able to stop further controversy.
Find the Humor: Humor can transform a negative situation into an engagement opportunity. By recognizing the problem and replying in a fun way, you’re showing the community that your brand is accountable as well as entertaining!
To make sure your humorous reply doesn’t get lost in translation, get feedback from a colleague prior to posting.
Block or Ban When Necessary: If an online user has intensified their trolling, it’s best to block or ban them. Threats and hate speech should constitute an immediate ban. Remember, you’re in charge. To keep a community lively, active, and fun for everyone, you need to moderate trolls and bullies.