Sometimes it’s important to take a step back from the what-ifs and possible scenarios and get back to the basics. You may not be a seasoned community manager; perhaps you’re an indie dev in need of some community management, or maybe you just want your digital presence to solidify and develop your brand.
The best part about applying the following best practices in your daily routine is that often enough they’re applicable to roles and industries outside of traditional gaming community management!
Successful community managers are organized, thoughtful and personable. Honing those skills will not only make you a better community manager; it will make you a better professional (and who knows, maybe even a better person overall).
Can exercise empathy
One of the biggest challenges for community managers is dealing with frustrated and disappointed players. They may write hurtful or disgusting things and target you at a personal level.
Understanding and keeping a level head when reading and responding to these comments is critical for both your personal and your brand’s image.
If there are ever technical issues with your game or digital community, be sure to apologize and offer a token of appreciation in return for your players’ patience. On the flip side, remember to show appreciation for positive feedback. If users take time to give you personal praise, a public display of appreciation isn’t just polite, it’s professional.
On a similar note, occasional gifts and generosity go a very long way in terms of community morale. Organize giveaways and contests for digital rewards. Seasonal gifts are also a strong motivator for users to maintain an active community presence year-round. Check out games by Blizzard; they are particularly effective at keeping users hooked.
It may seem obvious, but managing a community takes excellent organizational skills. Ensuring that site updates go smoothly, that posts feature the right copy at the right time, that events start and end at the right time and – most importantly – that users feel properly looked after, is tough stuff.
Effective community managers make themselves present when needed, but 90% of the time operate secretly in the background, making sure everything operates like a well-oiled machine. While not everyone can have a dev-lead community like Overwatch (which may not have been a voluntary decision, but who can say), it’s important to not develop an overbearing personality.
A personal strategy I use to stay organized is to make use of only one digital and one physical calendar. At the beginning of each day I make sure my week is synced up between the two, and the physical one stays at my desk for quick reference.
Embrace daily routine
Following the previous point, maintaining a regular daily schedule is a hugely important aspect of providing consistent support to your community. There’s nothing wrong with using task management tools to stay on top of your to-do list, and there are a number of free options out there as well.
Users appreciate regular communication and reliable community management. To-do lists sorted by priority are effective at ensuring your daily and weekly management tasks are delivered on schedule. Syncing your deliverables with patches, notes and other development updates is an important detail for creating a consistent and cohesive user experience.