Think about your best friend. The person (or group of people) that you can honestly say are the best and know you better than anyone out there.
Now think about how that relationship was built. Did you click right away? Slowly warm up to each-other? Maybe you became friends through another friend. No matter how your relationship started, you are now best friends and a priority in each other’s lives.
When I think about being a community manager, it became very apparent that I needed to make my next best friend my community. Similar to an IRL best friend, this means late night chatter, super fun activities, and early morning recaps. Most of all this means TIME. The kind of time you would only give to a best friend.
Here are 10 ways that you can make your community you best friend:
– Put yourself out there. Let them get to know who you are. How can you be best friends with someone who doesn’t even know what you look like?
– Go to them. I don’t know about you by I’ve crossed countries, campuses and apartments to be with a friend. Find out where your community likes to hang out – Are they on Facebook, twitter, online forums… Whatever it is you better get your butt there and fast.
– Listen to what they are saying. I’ve written too many posts on this blog about listening but really if you don’t listen to your best friend, you’re never going to get to know them. You need to understand where they are coming from.
– Make it personal. Our members ask for help and advice all the time. 9 times out of 10 they include some personal touch – “my camera isn’t working because we dropped it on vacation.” It isn’t about sending them to a generic FAQ that is going to solve their issue. Talk to their issue and why it is unique to them – “wow I hope you had an awesome time on vacation. So sorry to heat about your camera,” and then the solution.
– Be fun. No one wants to be friends with a stick in the mud. So liven it up. The fun factor is what makes communities successful. Games, activities, creativity and conversation. Make it happen. Why would I want to be best friends with someone who didn’t want to do those things.
– Make them a priority. You can’t tell me your best friends are not a priority to you. If you make your community your number 1, they will trust you and that reputation will stay with your. They are part of a community that matters to you.
– Enjoy what you are doing. When you have to meet a best friend or have to go to work, what kind of mood are you in? Not one that will inspire conversation, engagement or UGC. Don’t ruin this for everyone. Get excited to be helping, enhancing and growing your friendship.
– Be available. You’re always available for a call, cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend right? Well you need to be available for that tweet, email, facebook comment, content and more. They conversations are going to happen with or without you. Don’t you want to be there for your bestie?
– Make the extra effort. Going the extra mile always makes a difference. You community will recognize and appreciate it.
– Smile. Enough said.
I know some of these sound very similar. But it is important that you think about themindiv to be able to successfully build your friendship.
What are you doing to make your community your best friend?