This is a bit of a precursor to my session at CommsCamp on Monday, but also links in with a chat I was having with Stephen Hale yesterday.
It strikes me that there is a clear role for community management techniques within digital engagement that isn’t really being done effectively at the moment – at least I haven’t seen it.
The thing is that every time an organisation runs a digital engagement project, it has to build a new community, more or less starting from scratch – despite the fact that lots of people have (hopefully!) already responded to previous efforts.
In other words, digital teams are probably sat on spreadsheets of contact details for lots of people who are interested in having their say on issues, and by combining all of that data, it wouldn’t be too hard to know what sorts of issues various people are really into and thus more likely to respond to.
At the very least, bung all their email addresses into a Mailchimp list so you can let them know when the next opportunity to get involved is happening (of course, you might need some sort of tick box thingy so people can opt out if they want to).
But the opportunity is to get some real insight into what the people you are engaging with feel about issues over a period of time and not just in relation to single exercises.
This can be done through data and analysis – but it has to be recorded and brought together. On top of that there are the vital soft community management skills of making people feel like they want to get involved in a particular engagement.
A digital engagement interaction shouldn’t be a one-off but rather the starting point in a give and take relationship, the foundation on which future conversations can be built.
Hopefully on Monday we will get to go through how some of that might actually work.
2 thoughts on “Community management in digital engagement”
I agree with the need for better community management skills. But I think teams too often start from needing to set up a channel or community from scratch, instead of going to wherever that community already hangs out.
If there are half a dozen relevant forum threads or blogs, then a database isn’t needed – but regular engagement in that space is required.
It’s also important that this doesn’t turn into a mini industry of info management. Teams need to get stuck in and conversing with their audiences.
Hi Tim. Yes, engaging with existing communities is a must and scanning for those ought to be amongst the first things done in any online engagement exercise!