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What is Online Community Management? Posted in Community Management, Digital Marketing Basics, Concocted by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg, 4 comments
Published on 24 August 2010

Online Community Management is a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. It’s fun and everyone loves a party. To keep the festivities going everyone has a part to play. Let’s do some role playing!

  • Mad HatterMad Hatter: Online Community Manager
  • Guests: Community
  • Table/Party: Social Media Platform (Facebook page, Twitter account, forum, blog)
  • Tea: Your product/service
  • Cookies: Prizes

As the host, Mad Hatter needs to keep his guests at the table at all times chattering away and drinking tea. To keep them at the table, his guests need to be entertained. There are simple ways to do this:

  1. Keep the topic of conversation interesting. Mad Hatter needs to constantly create new content.
  2. Indulge in small talk. Mad Hatter needs to respond and engage with all the guests. Any guests who don’t feel welcome will leave the party. Make every guest feel important and they’ll stay.
  3. Keep the tea cups filled and the cookie jar full. Your guests won’t stay for long if you leave them hungry. Mad Hatter needs to feed their appetite with giveaways and competitions. Lure them in with quizzes, polls and questions. In other words, offer your community something in return.
  4. Eavesdrop on the gossip. As a community manager you need to follow every conversation about your brand. Monitor them and, if needed, join in.

Why, you ask? Why do we need to throw a tea party? To sell more tea of course!

Online community members visited Web sites nine times as often, stayed five times as long, and represented 65% of sales, a recent McKinsey & Company survey found.

So, keep the music playing, the laughter rolling and your tea tasty and sweet. Do this and your guests will want to take some home. If they’re satisfied, they’ll be back for more!

And now, for your enjoyment…

Read more posts by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg

Yolandi Janse van Rensburg

Yolandi is writer of the Heavy Chef Blog. Yolandi is also a copywriter and community manager at web marketing firm, World Wide Creative. You can find Yolandi on Twitter @Yolandi_JvR

Related posts:

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  2. Beware Bozo – The Community Troublemaker
  3. Your website is an online community when…
  4. Brand-owned Online Community for Movie Buffs
  5. My formula for creating online community

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  1. Ettienne says

    Good, simple analogy.

  2. Marina says

    And perhaps the mosts critical challenge for the Mad Hatter – to avoid gathering a group of people who couldn’t care less about tea but will talk nicely to him to get free cookies…

  3. Yolandi Janse van Rensburg says

    True Marina, in the end you want to gather a group who would be loyal to your brand. Free cookies will offer a strong, positive reputation and encourage those people to become brand ambassadors. In the end you will always have those who lash on for the free stuff :) They won’t mind too much once you’ve established a strong, loyal community.

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