Content on the web is a way of facilitating many things. Ever since the boom of information technology, online content has evolved from simply sharing information to learning about every aspect of the world.
The next step of evolution is undoubtedly in online communities. The online community environment has excellent scope for growth now that people are looking for ways to share their views in a closed space rather than with everyone like before.
Here is a discussion on the importance of community management for better content reach. The blog is based on the expertise of Mr. Evan Hamilton, the director of community for Reddit, who answered several questions on community management. Illustrated below are tips to help brands simulate conversations about their products and themselves.
Mr. Hamilton talks about how each business must define its purpose for building a community from the beginning of its community’s growth.
Communities on the web service more than their primary purpose: product feedback, customer acquisition, content creation, engagement, and more. This, in turn, clearly illustrates the number of people that should become a part of your community.
For example, a product feedback community will only require a small group of people to ensure honest and constructive criticism. Hence, it is significant for companies to define what they want from the people they are engaging with through their community.
Defining your purpose also helps you determine the various factors that will need supervision within the community, such as people’s language and content shared within the group.
Social media has given everyone the empowerment to express their opinions in the most eccentric ways possible. A multitude of views leads to conflict, and as a result, a conflict resolution strategy is a must for positive community growth. The solution here is to find out the cause of the conflict and solve it through effective communication channels.
The best way is by setting clear rules and making no exceptions for anyone within the community. Mr. Hamilton advises brands to have practical yet easy punishments for rule breakers to show everyone in the community the company’s commitment to the people.
Several platforms offer options for a community to flourish. However, not all platforms operate intending to facilitate community growth, which can damage the creator economy for many users.
The creator economy currently has the biggest group of independent creators, curators, and community builders who will appreciate platforms that offer specifically tailored communities, such as those on Reddit.
Another reason for carefully selecting the right platform is to protect the work of the creators who are a part of your community. Third-party consumer platforms will have autonomy over such content pieces and their own rules for engagement, which hinders community growth.
Creators who want to share their thoughts in a community expect trust and transparency from the brands involved. No community member will want to engage with a company looking to profit from these conversations. Hence, make sure you genuinely disclose what you offer to this community rather than talking about what you want from it.
According to Mr. Hamilton, people need to trust your brand, and for that reason, full transparency is the right way to go about it. Instead of being a profit-making organization, try to be a human, even if it’s an artificial one while engaging with the community.
Engagement hacks are a way of driving community growth so that it becomes consistent. In other words, practicing engagement hacks will help you define your brand better.
While social media undoubtedly is an incredibly effective tool for interaction, personalized engagement in communities makes people feel special and gives them a chance to express themselves more freely.
Even hosting events such as Happy Hour Fridays or Greeting Mondays create connections. These engagement hacks must include topics or events where people can manifest their opinions in more words rather than cutting them short as a yes or no debate.
Community management is becoming a principal goal for future entrepreneurs and brands to promote community growth. More and more communities are regularly growing, demanding efficient management of affairs for promoting conversations and business growth.
Note: This blog is an excerpt from a session on Evolving Agencies: The Future of Content Is Communities with Mr. Evan Hamilton, the director of community for Reddit. The session was part of Elevate–a global virtual content summit organized by Pepper Content, bringing together industry leaders in content marketing.