Listening to your Audience or Community

I enjoyed being moderator for #CMGRclass and I particular liked the topic of Listening to Your Community, the readings I read, and the discussion amongst my classmates.

I opened the week by asking my classmates what are the things the communities they belong to do that bother them as well as asking what types of things would they do as a community manager to personalize the experience for their members. I received good feedback from my classmates.

In summary, #CMGRclass does not like:

  • When a community has conversations do not welcome differences of opinion
  • When community members are disrespectful to each other
  • Template responses that are not personalized
  • Unwanted advertisements
  • Receiving too many automated emails

#CMGRclass does like:

  • When CMs get to know some of their members on an individual basis
  • When CMs guide the conversation, not dominate
  • When companies/organizations use humans instead of automated systems
  • Direct interaction between follower and community manager/organization
  • Listening to feedback from your community

Steve Rhinehart gave a good example of how a coffee company has exceptional customer service and how they do that because they listen to their community. I enjoyed this quote from his post:

“It really goes to show how a bit of effort, a drive to create happy customers, and a bit of social networking can really make a company stand out, even one of the small guys.”

Jessica Murray stated that companies that have an engaged social presence gives her a warm and fuzzy feeling that makes her more likely and even want to do business with them. I agree with her—if social media is done right, companies will develop relationships with their customers that can lead to brand loyalty.

I really liked the Forbes article The 4 Pillars of Community Management, one being listening. By listening to feedback and social media metrics, you can evaluate your community. These were the tips:

  • Speaking directly with users, whether that be via social media, email, on the phone, or in person.
  • Asking users for feedback, either directly or by polling.
  • Measuring the brand’s social media analytics.
  • Monitoring online presence of the community — e.g., is your business what comes up when current or potential users are searching?

Overall, I learned that managing a community can be fun, but time consuming! However, if you as well as your community are engaged in the subject and interacting with each other, the discussion will be great and members can greatly benefit from each other.

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