Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Engaging Online Communities

A few months ago I went to an event hosted by the Press Association called: Engaging with Online Communities.  One of the most useful things to come out of the event was the panel's thoughts on how to start engaging online, in particular using social media like Twitter.

Whether you're new to social media or a bit of an expert, hopefully you'll find the top tips below useful.  Let me know what you think?  And what you'd add to the list.
  1. Be nice
  2. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to somebody’s face
  3. Try to create a safe space for people to learn that behaviour, an internal wiki or something similar
  4. Never drink and tweet
  5. Support people and review your policies regularly
  6. Talk to people, they will help you
  7. Empower individuals to be individuals within the umbrella of your brand/organisation.
  8. The trick isn’t a trick – be useful, or be helpful or fun. These tools are incredibly powerful, but they are not another way to shout at people.
  9. Talk to people who have already proved themselves as being good at engaging.
  10. Listen and respond
  11. Be honest and be human
  12. Don’t be confrontational
  13. Don’t be scared
  14. Have mechanisms in place so users can flag up any problems.
  15. When dealing with a crisis: listen to what is being said collectively, formalise that into a list of questions and answers, put it online and point people to it.
The panel was made up of Robin Grant from We Are Social, who specialise in helping brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media; Nick Haworth from Yell.com, who looks at new content strategies and how they can aid engagement; Dominic Campbell from FutureGov, who supports the Government's social media and change management strategies; and Chris Condron, Head of Digital Strategy at the Press Association.

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