Social Media Community: How to Generate Feedback and Elicit Conversation
There’s a famous line by the English poet, John Donne which reads, “No Man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” I think that line aptly describes social media and the ways in which marketers could not exist if it weren’t for community.
It is our job as social media marketers and social community managers to cultivate the experience of community by delivering meaningful content. Whether our content is completely original or has been crowdsourced by a number of contributors–there’s a critical element that needs to occur when we publish and post on networks–namely, we need to engage.
Genevieve Coates, @genevievecoates, a Community Manager at Radian6, has a recent post, “Question your Social Media Content” where she offers 15 different styles of questions that fit into a tweet to help generate feedback:
- Did you have any favorite parts of the eBook?
- Would you care to share your thoughts?
- Did you find <insert topic> was what you expected?
- What types of items would you add to the list?
- Are there any parts of the post that you are using in your day to day?
- Have you found that <insert topic> works in your buisiness?
- How could this post speak to you more?
- Any thoughts you would like to add?
- What are your thoughts on the topic?
- Did you find this is true for you specifically?
- How does this relate to your industry?
- Do you think others would agree?
- Anything you disagree with in the post?
- How much time does your company spend on these topics?
- What are some ways that have worked for you on this topic?
Genevieve says, “No matter what way you ask the question, be open to hearing your community’s opinions.”
Creating and Shaping Content
This year at GigCoin, we’ve written 60-75 indepth blog posts about social media marketing and business topics, and have also shared a large number of tweets and facebook updates. We developed our content through researching topics via the web, books, whitepapers,industry reports. We’ve also interacted with contributors we met through our Gig testers, survey takers and brand ambassadors; Help a Reporter Out (HARO); and through phone and email interviews conducted with industry experts.
We’ve loved working on every single post and every update we’ve published in 2011. And, we couldn’t have done it alone. It’s people who help make and shape content--our shared experiences, what we teach and what we learn from one another.
Tagging Contributors, Community Members and Influencers
It’s good community practice to take the time to respond to blog comments, and publicly thank those who have contributed to your posts and whose work has inspired you.
You can do this right within your tweet with 3 important twitter conventions. As @benjmartin describes: use @username which will show up in their mentions feed, retweeting, adding their username to the front of the tweet and adding the letters “RT” to the very start, using hashtags, community-generated tags.
On Facebook you can tag and link names in a comment by typing the “@” symbol, pick the friend you want to mention from the dropdown menu and the person you tag will be notified about the comment.
Radian6 has an excellent resource, Four Steps for Creating Content for a Social Media Community which identifies these steps:
- Build a content strategy–do some upfront thinking about why you’re creating the content and how to best approach it.
- Go beyond text–consider podcasts, video and infographics.
- Organize and Share Content with your Community–maximize your content by sharing on multiple platforms.
- Build Community Relationships through Content
Radian6 identifies step 4 as the learning step: “As you share your great content with your community, they will begin sharing back in the form of feedback. This is where an open ear and an open mind can help enhance your brand. As you listen to the feedback, whether it’s online surveys or tweets, consider how applying these changes can positively impact your business. It will also please your community to know you’re implementing their ideas.”
We know that there’s a tremendous of content vying for the reader’s attention these days and a limited amount of time to read the material that comes across your desk and screens. We thank you for the time you’ve spent engaging with our content, for every like and share you’ve clicked, for every comment and re-tweet you’ve made.
I’d also like to thank my @GigCoin colleague, Julie Diaz-Asper, @JulieDiazAsper, who has provided me with a treasure trove of topics for blog posts throughout the year and who has been committed to tapping into a wide range of material to help organizations of all sizes and industries.
As we plan our editorial calendar for 2012 we’d love to hear from you. Let us know–what social media topics are of most interest to you?