When we were little, we were taught to share with our friends. Now that we are grown up, and have marketing jobs, we seem to have forgotten that lesson. We put “lead generation” forms in front of our white papers, we require users to create logins to view our knowledge bases, and we close our product forums to the public.
And then we wonder, why is it so quiet in our forums?
This blog is addressed to my colleagues in community marketing, who arrived at their jobs by conviction or by sheer circumstance, and with whom I would like to share what I have learned so far in my career as a community manager.
To give it all away right from the start, I have found that seeing your customers as your business’ best friends, and sharing what you have with them freely will strengthen this friendship and make your brand stronger and more relevant.
How to share:
- Make a commitment to help your users succeed with your product
- Create an open community, not a walled garden
- Open your ears, not just your mouth
- Be accountable, deliver on your promises
A lot of what I’ll share here will be common sense, and some of it will lack any. I welcome comments and discussion, and will rely on you, my readers to keep me humble and teach me new tricks of this evolving trade.
Throughout my career, I have been an active community organizer, cutting my teeth on the open source Fedora Project, where I started up the Fedora Ambassadors, spent some years being a Community Manager at VMware, running a community of over 1.2 million registered users and managing the vExpert VIP program, and am currently Community Director at Nebula.
My main professional passion is building strong online communities.
You can follow me on Twitter @lxmaier