Managing an online community can be rough. Aside from dealing with the daily dose of trolls and toxicity, social media managers need to find a way to boost their social network’s traffic. It seems difficult to keep yourself motivated and optimistic when you have so many different tasks to work on, but in the online world staying consistent is vital for achieving success. There are a lot of ways community managers can engage with their online followers and build the foundations of a stable and successful social network community. Namely, here are some six helpful tips to achieve just that:
1. Strike while the iron is hot
Consistently interacting with your online community is the first and most important thing you ought to be doing. People generally thirst for new content and if you are too inactive or too lazy to post anything, they will quickly lose interest and leave. It’s your job to quench their thirst, so get out there and engage your community members as much as possible. Let them see how active you are by replying to their messages, and always give them a friendly pat on the back to encourage more of the same. If need be, make a posting schedule for each social media profile to stay on track. Also, posting some interesting trivia or quizzes for your members will keep them both occupied and entertained at the same time.
2. Let them do the marketing for you
Use the community to your advantage and let them do the marketing for you. Each member of the community has followers and friends of their own to whom they share different content. Spur them to share more of your content by either making them your lieutenants directly or indirectly. Directly by promoting popular members of the community to community managers which will help maintain a larger community as well as motivate other members to contribute more. Indirectly, by providing quality content to share, some random members will always help promote your community by default.
3. Tease with some eye-candy
Give your followers some eye-candy while they scroll down through their news feed. Photos are a great way of attracting people’s attention, just make sure that you use the ones under the Creative Commons Zero license, a.k.a. the ones that are free to use. You don’t want someone suing you for using their photos without their consent. Uploading photos of your own is your safest bet, otherwise you’ll need to search for them online. Stock images for free are really cool because you have a lot of different categories to choose from, and they are totally free for both commercial and non-commercial use.
4. Sharing is caring
Posting only the content you make is extremely time-consuming. There’s tons of quality content out there already being posted by someone else, and all you need to do is share it, with due credit of course. By sharing, you provide excellent content for your followers with almost no effort at all. Searching for hot topics is really straightforward, on Reddit for example, the more upvotes a thread has the better, on Facebook and Twitter it’s the number of likes and shares, and so on. Keep a close eye on these gems and show your community that you do care.
5. Give credit where credit is due
Track everything. Hand out giveaways to your loyal followers for each milestone you reach. Identifying and rewarding the top contributors will create a positive buzz within the community. Use this to your advantage and get some hype going. Creating an online contest would also be an excellent idea. Anything that will create some sort of event for your community’s enjoyment is welcome. It will boost your traffic and make your loyal followers even happier.
6. Hear them out
Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, be the person that grants them this wish. Make a live Q&A with your community members by either reading their questions out loud or listening to them directly. Let their voices be heard. This will inevitably bring the community together as a whole and make each member feel like they are a part of it. The stronger the bond between you and your followers, the better. You have to earn their trust and respect if you expect them to share your content and talk about you in return.
To sum up, the key to maintaining a successful network community is to constantly animate your community members and followers on a daily basis. Whether you do this by talking to them directly or by rewarding them is up to you, the most important thing is to keep them engaged at all times and get that positive vibe going.