I’ve been speaking to news organisations’ community editors on the lessons they’ve learned from their time in the job. Today, Angela Connor, Managing Editor/User-Generated Content WRAL.com and GOLO.com
1. Acknowledge good work
As a community manager, it is important to make your members feel valued and appreciated. When you come across a great blog, interesting comment or great photo, send your compliments to the author, and do it publicly on their profile page or directly on the content.
Remember, you’re the community leader and your opinion matters a great deal. So don’t be stingy with it. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, and it will make that member feel valued and vested. Once that happens, they’re in for the long haul.
2. Ask for help
As the person responsible for the well-being and growth of the community, it’s easy to feel and operate like an island, putting all of that work on your own shoulders.
But as the community grows, so does the number of stakeholders. Use them to your advantage.
Contact your top posters and most involved members and ask them to greet and reach out to new members. Ask them to work on a community-driven FAQ. Tell them what kind of content you’d like to see more of and ask them to help you build it.
Not everyone will jump right in, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the level of response.
3. Know when to walk away
Community management is a tough job and there are days when it can be extremely stressful. From trolls running rampant to direct abuse from visitors and an overflowing inbox filled with pettiness, sometimes it can really take its toll.
When you find yourself feeling like your head is going to explode or as though you’ve reached the end of your rope, get up and walk away. Or better yet, log off the site and just take a deep breath.
Find a message board for community managers and vent with like-minded souls familiar with your plight. And remember, there’s always tomorrow.