Daily Archives: April 8, 2014

You’ve Got the Power, Now What? How to Harness Your Influence as a Community Manager

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“Flat-Pack This. Ikea unfolds its potential in China and Israel..” Industry Leaders Magazine RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. .

Building is hard work. Building a house is hard work, building a “do-it-yourself” table from IKEA is hard work, even though they tell you it won’t be, and building a community from the ground up is hard work for a community manager. So once you have invested time and energy, and the structure of your community is built, you must use your newfound leadership position wisely.

In chapter five of Buzzing CommunitiesRichard Millington explains how to harness the influence of your community. As well, he exposes the powers of persuasion and divides them into three categories.

  • Content Creation

A big part of contributing to your community is putting out relevant, timely content. You can send news articles out through email, or create a Google+ page like we do for #CMGRClass. I think it is important to note that every community is different and you must find what makes your community unique, and figure out what makes your audience tick.

Overall, one strategy to encourage engagement and bridge the gap between the community manager and the community is highlighting. “You can highlight trends or opportunities within the community and shine the spotlight on members whose actions merit reward” (77). When you highlight your community it allows the individual members to feel special and gives them an opportunity to be heard. It also encourages them to visit the community every day because members love when content is about themselves.

On campus, one of the organization I am involved in has the motto Live With Purpose. This phrase can be adjusted ever so slightly to fit community management and evolve into Write With Purpose. What this phrase means is to use the insights learned about your community to share information and create content users want to read. Don’t just put content out for the sake of sharing. If you share meaningful content, your users will appreciate it and reciprocate with quality content of their own.

  • Administrative Rights

You are probably the admin on all your community’s social network sites, and most if not all community wide emails come from you. Therefore, it is your job to remove people and posts that are not appropriate, or you feel do not positively contribute to the community as a whole. Now, this is a large burden to bear, but it is a necessary one. Communities can easily get off track, or be filled with negativity if somebody is not there to monitor it all. Who would want to consistently visit a community only adds negativity to their life? You must set a standard for how community members will behave, and lead by example. Millington specifically says that, “The biggest influence upon a member’s behavior is the behavior of other members” (80). The community manager can also grant rights to other members that they deem appropriate.

  • Access to the Company

As both a part of the community, as well as a part of the company from which the community stems, you’ve essentially “Got the Power.” You’ve always got the inside scoop on breaking news, as well as everything going on inside of the organization. You are the liaison between the company and the community, and the expert on whatever topic your community was built upon.

You also must be passionate about your community. You should be passionate about the topic of your community, but also passionate about talking to people. You should want to help your community members connect, as well as make sure they have a positive experience with your brand. Being passionate about something ensures that you will preform to the best of your abilities.

What do you think about Millington’s categories of persuasion? Do you have anything to add to them? Leave your comments down below!

Brand Ambassador Programs: The Key to Any Fan’s Heart (and Connection)

According to GC Marketing Services, a brand ambassador is defined as someone who positively represents the brand; someone who both markets and educates potential customers about that company and their products or services.

TheKeyToMyHeart

http://www.mixedplateblog.com/2010/01/art-mind.html

You’ve probably heard of positions that are similar to brand ambassadors, such as campus representatives or campus influencers, for many of the different brands you know and love; they sound like pretty cool gigs, right? Being involved with your favorite companies and sharing your brand obsession with others, I could dig it.

But, you may be asking yourselves, what is the importance of these brand ambassador programs to fans of that brand? Well, these types of endeavors are important because they increase the connection a brand has with their audiences. How? I’ll prove it to you in three ways, which are mentioned in this article:

  • Membership is exclusive
  • Ambassadors receive direct access to the brand
  • Ownership of the brand is transferred to the ambassadors

1.) Membership is Exclusive 

Believe it or not, it can be quite competitive to be selected as a brand ambassador, for certain companies. Why? Companies want brand ambassadors who are truly dedicated to their company, people who are the cream of the crop. In other words, brands would rather have fewer people who are more connected to their brand than to have more people who are less dedicated to their product or service; it’s more about quality versus quantity.

What does this mean for the fans of that company? If fans are selected to be brand ambassadors, it already increases the meaning of the connection they have with that brand. It means that there is a reciprocal relationship between the audience member and the brand; the brand is important to the fan and the fan is important to the brand. When someone realizes they matter, their engagement with that company is going to infinitely increase.

2.) Ambassadors Receive Direct Access to the Brand

Once selected, brand ambassadors get some pretty cool incentives and access to the brand they love. For example, some contacts with brand executives will be provided, marketing materials and strategies are given, and even free promotional material are received to give out to potential customers.

For someone who is obsessed with a brand, this a dream come true! One can talk to the people who make this brand a success, be involved in discussions with these executives, and be in on, and ahead, of the products and services the brand is producing.

http://cheaptravelcodes.com/ethical-marketing-and-brand-ambassadors/

http://cheaptravelcodes.com/ethical-marketing-and-brand-ambassadors/

By being up-to-date with their beloved brand, any audience member would have a more meaningful experience, through the brand ambassador program.

3.) Ownership of the Program is Transferred to the Ambassadors

While being an ambassador may not seem like a position of authority, it has the potential to be. An ambassador is someone representing a brand; someone who is innovative, dedicated, connected to the brand, and helping to improve the brand by connecting with current and future customers.

Brands and companies are changing their tones; they don’t want their corporate executives to be the people running the ambassador programs. Ultimately, brands want their most passionate customers, the brand ambassadors, to be the ones connecting to other customers; brands are realizing that their ambassadors have a lot of potential and influence on members of an audience, ones similar to themselves. Basically, more power is being given to the customers and ambassadors, and to fans of a brand, that is a very cool and powerful thing. brandAmbassador

Recap:

All in all, brand ambassador programs are AWESOME, because they give fans of a company an experience that they never could have gotten otherwise. By being an exclusive member of the brand, getting direct access to the brand’s powerful people and products/services, and eventually being granted ownership of part of the brand, the ambassador program, fans and audiences are gaining influence in the companies they love. Therefore, having more meaningful engagement and experiences with their beloved brands.

In sum, power to the people, customers, and fans. And remember, the way to any fan of your brand’s heart? Make them a brand ambassador, it will be a win-win for everyone involved.