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- Listening to Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen http://t.co/8zrYGJOpSA 2 days ago
- Looking forward to hearing Google's Eric Schmidt, writing gu.com/p/3gvjf/tw in the Guardian, at the London Business Forum on Thursday 6 days ago
- Still being wowed by @sstealey as she announces ICMI's Global Call Center Awards Lifetime Achievement Awsrd #acce13 http://t.co/YQsKEtUMrr 1 week ago
Category Archives: Communities
We are all working so hard to identify and garden communities among our clients or websites users that we often overlook the community closest to us – our colleagues.
This is mad. And it misses a great opportunity to learn.
If your colleagues already have a strong network within their business sector, they will create very strong communities when they move online.
Each and every community will develop differently. Do not miss a bit of it.
You need observe how each community behaves, learn from their actions and pass on best practice.
Here are three ways to cultivate you community at work.
1 Set up a Twitter profile just for them.
The people I learn from/follow on my Twitter profile are exclusively social/new media. I find it really distracting when anyone makes any comments outside the subject.
Listening to my colleagues – working across 15 different business sectors – is impossible. Yet I want and need to listen to and learn from their conversations.
I have set up a new Twitter profile where I follow all my colleagues on Twitter.
I’m only just getting my head around. I get to see what kinds of Tweets they are sending out and can give permission feedback (ie only after asking if they want it). I circulate good Tweets by colleagues to spread best practice. And I reTweet one or two of the most appropriate Tweets from my social/new media profile. I congratulate them on their good ideas.
They certainly do not have to follow me – they might be so focused on their own communities that they might find me a distraction.
2 Ask you colleagues to write a guest post on your blog
Many of my colleagues have taken only one or two steps into social media – perhaps a fresh look at their Facebook profile and a stab at Twitter. A blog is just one step too far.
Ask them to write a guest post for you. What is their experience of social media so far - remember they are real practitioners not early adopters so their experience is key to further developments? There will be no shortage of subjects.
Get them to add links. Ask them to add a list. Encourage them to choose the picture.
Once you have pushed the “publish” button, show them the traffic on a daily basis. Send them links to blogs that have picked up on their post. Show them how to Tweet out a link to their guest post on their Twitter.
Watch them as they experience the excitement of blogging from the safety of your own blog.
3 Introduce your colleagues to the new contacts you meet
Inevitably you build new contacts through social media. They are different from you colleagues at work coming from outside the usual recruitment silos of our businesses.
Both sides have much to learn from eachother: the early adopters begin to understand some of the slowness of traditional companies; the corporates begin to see that the early adopters are actually just like them.
Invite them into the office. Ask them to give a talk to your colleagues. Suggest a work placement that they might find useful.
Picture credit: adele.turner
Do your RSS subscribers vary radically from one day to another? Does a sudden surge in subscribers indicate your blog posts are perfectly aligned with your community? Does a decline mean you are hopelessly mistaken in what you do ?
If your answer to the first is yes, the answers to the other questions are no and no.
Let me explain
I’ve only recently worked out how to manage my daily reading through RSS feeds. As a result, my former, half-hearted encouragement to sign up to my blog’s own RSS feed has been transformed. I have moved the RSS feed subscription icon to a far more prominent position.
Immediately subscriber numbers began to rise. Slowly, at first.
Then I wrote a post about six types of Tweets if you Twitter every day, my traffic shot up. At the same time, my subscribers doubled almost overnight.
Within a day or two, the subscribers numbers had halved. That’s it, halved!
What did it all mean?
At first, I told myself that there must have been a technical problem.
That was dumb.
My new habit of using RSS to suppply my daily reading has taught me just how easy it is to subscribe to AND unsubscribe from other people’s blogs. It also shows me that, however good one post might be, I just cannot sign up to every blog. If the next post is not for me, I quickly unsubscribe. I can only manage my reading if I keep the number of subscriptions to a minimum. Why would my blog perform any differently?
My blog’s post about Tweets obviously appealed. People subscribed. But, presumably, the majority of new subscribers were those interested in Twitter. When my next post arrived through RSS - a more general one about not overlooking the social network your community is already in - it did not meet their expectations. Those who only wanted to read about Twitter unsubscribed.
Why the surprise?
I am not sure why I was surprised. I have spent the last two months exploring the ways Twitter can help you to develop skills to cultivate a community. Twitter teaches you that the more narrowly you can identify your community and cultivate it with appropriate and quality Tweets, the faster your community will grow.
And my Twitter community has never been so robust. The number of my Twitter followers used to vary widely. Now the numbers continue to rise steadily. And only one person in the last month has decided to stop following me.
Like Twitter, like RSS feeds
My conclusion is this.
- Do not be delighted or impressed by a sudden upswing in subscribers – they will only drop off.
- Do not be put off if your subscribers suddenly decline – it does not mean your blog is no good.
- Do realise that there is no short cut to a decent following on any social media.
- Do focus your content on your community – the more you do so, the more your community will grow.
- Do craft your content for steady, robust growth rather than flashy leaps.
I will be using the number of my RSS subscribers in a far more sensitive manner from now on. No more rush for glory. Rather, I will look at it as a hypersensitive response mechanism influencing my posts from day to day.
By the way, my subscriber base has begun to go up again. Slowly, but surely!
If you think your followers/community on Twitter would be interested in this post, show them your value by reTweeting it to them!
Photo credit: Pandemia