Two Rules of Community Engagement – The Secrets of an Evangelist

By  –

Formation of communities is one of the many ways that distinguish humans as social creatures. Communities generate and preserve a common set of value systems that are important to the group. This creates a sense of belonging, dedication and commitment essential to a successful community.

shutterstock_95035678.jpgMembers often need inspiration and a reminder of their shared goals and values. This is why a healthy community builds morale and motivation through consistent engagement. A healthy community, like a family, doesn’t looks to suppress criticism or deny flaws.

Smart companies buy into the importance and value of using online and in-person communities to drive their business and brand. They hire interesting sounding titles like an Evangelist or Community Manager to serve as the main interface. These professionals spend their time engaging and collaborating with the community. They strongly believe that how a company engages with their community is a major factor in long term success.

The truly successful Evangelists and Community Managers live by two simple rules. These rules allow them to tap into the collective energy of a community to improve their company’s brand and market position.

1. Become a Part of the External and Internal Community

Successful Evangelists and Community Managers engage, embrace and extend their external community. Any company that only leverages online community tools enjoys the simple benefits of a push-based social media strategy. However, having a blog or a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Linked in is only good if you are able to support it.

A smart Community Manager starts by finding out where the bulk of their audience is. Once this is understood they can begin investing in a smart engagement strategy. This means you won’t spread yourself thin simplify for the sake of being everywhere your audience may be. True success is going beyond simple social networks and becoming an integral part of the communities where your customers spend their time.

As an active part of the community, Evangelists help to provide a sense of identity, security and a consistent interaction point for all community members. Website visitors need to know that there is someone at the other end of the community who’s listening, who will respond and engage; the Evangelist fills this role.

Successful Community Managers immerse themselves deeply into the community to create lasting and meaningful relationships. This includes bolstering a constant and useful dialogue designed to keep members informed. Not surprisingly this leads to valuable community-driven insights on everything from simple website changes to new products.

Successful Evangelists work towards the long term success of the company through contributions to the internal community. In the near term they provide useful and compelling engagement data and customer feedback. A Community Manager knows if they can’t track an engagement and tie it to the overall goals of the company there is something wrong. They use the data for tracking but also helping the company understand what the right questions may be and delivering what the community needs. They become an essential go-to person for customer feedback.

2. Engage and Engage Some More

An Evangelist knows that dismissing anyone in their audience isn’t going to get their community work very far. Dictating instead of offering choices and acting like the audience doesn’t matter won’t work either. Why would anyone return to a community knowing they are going to be ignored or have their contributions not be appreciated?

Building a stronger community, just like a family, means first being open, honest, transparent and paying attention. For example, user generated site activity (such as a simple count of the number of hits on a site) doesn’t translate into a community. Being able to demonstrate regular, consistent and sustained engagement is the core of a healthy community.

The best communities coalesce around leaders and those leaders inspire leadership in others. Community Managers understand that tools and techniques can help with this. But often the simplest tools are the best.

For example, content curation is one of the most effective techniques to start with in order to maximize company investment. It rewards contributors, identifies influential members, keeps the conversations going, brings in new members and keeps other coming back. An example of this is to assign key engaged audience members to be responsible for specific content generation and upkeep.

This entry was posted in condominium, HOA, Home Owners Association, project management, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , by smallmanconstruction. Bookmark the permalink.

About smallmanconstruction

Tim Smallman, the general contractor behind Smallman Construction and Electric, has been in the construction industry for over 20 years. In 2003, Tim decided to leave the corporate world behind and get back to what he loved most about construction: helping his friends, neighbors, and anyone in need achieve their home and business improvement dreams. By founding his company on a principal of customer service, open book bidding, and integrity, Tim has been blessed with a great deal of success. This success has enabled him to expand operations and create an electrical division in 2006. Tim has made San Carlos his family's home for many years. They spend a considerable amount of time supporting their community and striving to make it a great place to live and work. Tim is active in the San Carlos community, coaching youth sports, participating in the Kiwanis Show and the Chickens Ball since 1989, with the proceeds going to the San Carlos Schools and other charitable organizations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s