Ahhh, a New Year is upon us, and with it comes a tidal wave of resolutions and vows, sacrifices and goals. “I will exercise more!” “I will make nice with my in-laws!” “I will not drink so much!” … and so on.
Resolutions are just that – things we resolve to do, or… to do less of… typically after learning the hard way what we were doing didn’t work, and it’s high time to try something different.
Here’s a list of 6 New Year’s Resolutions for B2B Community Managers to consider while charging forth into 2012. Some ask the community manager to be more buttoned-down and calculating— others seek to draw out compassion and patience.
The overarching goal is to help mold a more actively engaged community manager, one who seamlessly blends both science and sensitivity on a daily basis.
- I will establish realistic social KPIs. You cannot know if what you’re doing works, to what degree it works, and of equal importance – if it isn’t working – if you don’t have clearly established Key Performance Indicators. Willy-nilly tweeting and arbitrary Facebooking simply for the sake of participating in a hot channel is so 2008. Check out SEOmoz’s Tracking the KPIs of Social Media for an in-depth look at this crucial system of goals, metrics, and measurements. Be committed to creating thoughtful and attainable KPIs, executable strategies, diligent monitoring, and honest self-assessment.
- I will appreciate quality over quantity. Social media is about making friends, but let’s be real… it’s chiefly about making sales. The intersection between these two concepts? Making social media friends who matter,i.e. socially engaged, ideally authoritative, like-minded people probable of evolving into friends, fans, customers– even willing and enthusiastic brand evangelists. Make a commitment to roll up your sleeves and kick it in their natural habitat, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or runaway forum comment threads.
- I will make friends before selling. When you do identify watering holes populated with social media friends who matter, make a conscious effort to not hop into conversations wielding your 2012 Product Catalog like a Viking sword. A superb first social media tactic is to make friends before selling. Earn the trust, respect, and interest of your target friends by leaving your goods and services at the door, at least for a little while. Challenge yourself to not sell, even soft-sell, until the third or fourth touch. Remember: The best way to befriend someone is so do friendly things, which leads to…
- I will listen. Simple, but absolutely essential. Listening to potential, existing, and even ex-customers is a crucial social media tactic every business must embrace if it aims to succeed. Consumers are leveraging platforms like Facebook and Twitter to be heard. Your job is to listen, engage, respond, and solve.
- I will embrace the smiley face :) . If customers aren’t connecting with your brand to, despite your social media efforts, do a quick social media presence audit. Does your tweet stream read like a stuffy scrolling press release? Are the majority of your Facebook posts links to branded content? There are easy ways to make online voice more believable and beloved without sacrificing credibility. One way is to change up your voice (“We are proud to announce…” vs. “[Brand Name] is proud to announce…). Another is to make use of that little emoticon known as a smiley face. Even an exclamation point here and there can make all the difference. If you want consumer engagement, give your consumers an online personality worth engaging.
- I will keep my cool in the face of foes. As you enter the New Year, make a resolution to keep your blood pressure low and your sanity intact. PR disasters and social media crises happen. Your job as the community manager is to be the calm, controlled, and composed face of the brand— during good times and bad. Bookmark the Community Manager’s Guide to Intra-Community Bloodshed for crowd-control tips and soothing mantras for when the going gets tough.
Happy New Year!