By Shannon DiGregorio Abram, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable.
New feature time! Twitter brings together questions and answers in ways that were impossible before the advent of social media. We love to follow along with several weekly twitter chats – #ESNChat, #CMGRChat and #CMGRHangout to name a few, it’s amazing to see the connections and conversations that take place each week. Sometimes though, you’re struck with a tough community question and you want (need?!) an answer right away.
Last week we got a great community management question via Twitter from Susan Silver, Community Manager for adventure gaming magazine @Gygaxmagazine. Susan asked, “I’ve been struggling with outreach. What is the proper etiquette for asking someone to join your community?” This is a question that both internal and exeternal community managers struggle with – even if participation is encouraged or required by management oftentimes a community manager will still be tasked with driving actual adoption and continued use.
We threw Susan’s question out to our followers and got some great responses:
There is some great advice there – first, connect with people in an authentic way. Develop relationships and then show the value the community offers them. The “what’s in it for me” is a powerful tool – showing people value and empowering current community members to share the benefits are great ways to connect people with a community they might need, but not know about yet.
We also debate the question internally a little bit this week – here’s some additional advice from Hillary Boucher, Community Manager at TheCR Network: “Specifics depend on the situation and the audience, but I would lead with a value offer. Share something they want or need and that the community provides.”
And my two cents? I think connecting with people that have specific struggles or challenges and identifying ways your community has helped others solve for or overcome them is a great way to not say “Hey, join our community because we want more members!” but rather “Hey, check out this group of like-minded people that are facing the same things you are! We can make your life better!”
Any other advice out there? If you’ve got a question you’d like highlighted on “Ask TheCR” you can tweet it to us with the hashtag #askthecr or comment here.
TheCR Network is a membership network that provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders. The network enables members to connect and form lasting relationships with experts and peers as well as get access to vetted content.