5 tips from a HuffPost Live community manager

Engaging an audience is a multi-tiered endeavor. Mostly it’s about going above and beyond, while never losing sight of the individual.

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Here are five tips for building a community that I’ve found will work whether the communities are internal or external, online or offline. (Note: For internal communities, “brand” represents your company, and “community” represents your employees.)

1. Listen more than you talk.

Many people think community management is social media marketing. Though community management includes some marketing, the main distinction is that social media marketing is the bulldozer and community management is a magnet.

No community member cares about you or your message. They care about themselves and what it means to them. When we listen, and let our community know we are hearing them, we draw them in and keep them coming back.

2. Be proactive more than reactive.

The community manager is in a unique position. He/she is the voice and ears of the brand and the community.

By identifying a situation before it becomes a situation, you can prevent a crisis and deliver an experience beyond expectation. You see a shift while others see only a trend.

In short, proactive = productive.

3. Help beyond your brand.

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