Over the course of one week, I took to my keyboard, put on my listening cap, and moderated. I experienced a week in the life of a moderator, and to my surprise it was fun, busy, and challenging at times. My responsibilities included moderating the #CMGRClass conversations on Google+ and Twitter. This was my experience.
The first few days
The conversation started off seeming like it might be a bit challenging. Moderating a conversation on multiple challenge with many people requires listening and participating while maintaining a good balance and free-flowing conversation. Once the conversation started, things seemed to smooth out as days went on.
One of the first challenges that I noticed was deciding where to post certain content and conversations, and when to use Twitter vs. Google+. Even more challenging was not getting caught up in one or the other and neglecting one of the outlets. They both needed to remain active.
Early on, I decided what content I would post where. Google+ would be used for posting most of the articles and reading content that would be educational and spark conversations, and Twitter would be used for more asking questions, and also posting lighter reading. I liked using Twitter for quick one sentence questions and answers because of its nature – the dreaded 140 character limit. Much more in-depth conversations were had on Google+.
It’s also worth noting which content was most successful. Those tweets and posts that included a specific call to action like a question or call for opinion tended to get more traffic and conversation overall. Those which simply included a link had less comments and conversation, likely because there was no reason for the community to interact beyond reading the post of linked article.
I wanted to be sure to post at least one thing each day. I tried to schedule a certain time each day where I knew I would be free to sit down, converse, and post. Things don’t always go as planned, though, so adapting my schedule was important.
What I found, was using mobile application for Twitter and Google+ were imperative to my success, because being dependent on a laptop or desktop computer was too restrictive. I now cannot imagine being a community manager without have a smartphone or equivalent mobile device.
As I mentioned earlier, posting and responding became easier as the week went on and as the conversation flow grew. I did not have a schedule, but went more with the flow of the conversation and the feel or attitude of the community to decide what posts people were reacting well too and when I might consider changing the type of posts I am posting.
Summary and what I learned
- To be a good moderator or community manager listening and understanding your audience is very important
- Moderating can be time consuming, but always being “plugged in” helps keep up with the flow
- Community management can certainly be a full time job, depending on the community, its involvement and the responsibilities
- Not getting caught up in one community is key to a successful widespread strategy
- Gabby Montano
- Lindz Silver
- Sarah Ostman
- Elaina Powless
- Kelly Lux
- Devon Balk
Google+: 12 original posts from moderator; 21 comments and non-moderator posts
Twitter: 11 original posts from moderator; 2 favorites; 3 retweets; 6 conversations (moderator involved)