The Common Rules Of Engagement

Crispation sur XAfter the keynote presentation at the Digital Marketing Conference, someone called out a question to Michael Brito, of Edelman Digital: “Are there any common rules of engagement?”. For a bit of context, Michael was presenting on “The Rise of The Social Customer” (see slides here). Not only was he talking about the role of the empowered, social consumer, but also about the business infrastructure that must be built in order to integrate the social customer into the fabric of the company’s internal functions: operations, product development, customer service.

He responded with some good feedback. His greatest point was that when you engage in social media as a company you have to be authentic. (more…)


Day In The Life Of A Community Manager, Pt. 1

I’m currently sitting at my Conduit trade show booth (as you can see), waiting for the next round of conference attendees. For a while now I’ve been thinking about writing a “day in the life” series where I can talk shop about the daily goings on as a community manager (thanks @feedia for the idea nudge). This, my lucky friend, is the inaugural post. And in it I will outline the basic gist of what I do on a typical day. Although no day comes close to qualifying as typical…

For all my fellow future community managers out there, I hope I can shed a bit of light on what your work may someday look like. (more…)

Creating Great Content for Your Online Community

Bibliophile: A lover and collector of books.In order for online communities to thrive, there has to be good content in order to drive participation and discussion. Consider this quote from the SocialMediaExaminer.com, where Susan Cato, Senior Director of Web and New Media Strategies at CompTIA, puts it plainly:

You can’t have a social media strategy without a content strategy.  

A pretty audacious thing to say. But think about it. For any online community, what are the dots that connect its  members? Without content to kick-start the sharing of our ideas, thoughts, visions, arguments, or laughs, any online community will become a virtual ghost town. So let’s take a look at what to consider when developing great content for your online community.


Social Media Marketing: Sorry, Still Mass Media

I’m currently taking a professional development course at Portland State University called “Social Media Marketing” to brush up on the latest trends in social. It’s part of their Digital Marketing Strategist professional certification. The focus has thus far been how social media has usurped mass-media. Traditional forms of mass media have changed. It’s now social, spanning various digital mediums and social networks, and most importantly, there is now a conversational component. Everyone has a voice. The proposition is that mass media is no more. It’s social media.

Many examples were given about how Coke or Ford or Pizza Hut have created these amazing social media campaigns that have increased sales and brand awareness.

The sales pitch for this new form of media is that it’s better because it’s more social. The dialogue is more two-way. In class, we’re talking about how you can create a social media campaign to assist in reaching your big business goals. Lots of digital marketing consultants are talking about how content is king;  How creating a mix of various types of media, such as case-studies, interviews, videos, white-papers and webinars can really push the needle on engagement and drive towards your goal.

I’m also hearing a lot about the importance of community. “This company reached out to their community”; “That company promoted a contest with their community”. “Their community is 139,000 strong”.

And the term “engagement” is the big buzzword. “”Photo images improve engagement 54% over text posts”. “Videos increase engagement 32% over text posts”.

But just how social is this type of media? Is “community” really the right phrase to describe fans? And what does engagement really mean? (more…)

Determining Your Metric for Engagement

The above is your ticket to determining online engagement. Simple. Something any online marketer, community manager, or social media strategist will know, right? Looks pretty daunting to me. Does determining engagement have to be this complex?

As you may have noticed, I’ve been very focused on online community engagement. While I’ve touched quite a bit on developing strategies around increasing engagement, as well as measuring engagement, I have not yet delved into an actual formula one might use to measure it. Here we’ll take a look at some different views on the equation one might use to calculate this abstract but important metric.

And by the way, the above formula isn’t a rubric for engagement. It’s actually the fourier series, completely unrelated to engagement, at least as far as I can tell. But doesn’t it look cool?

I believe there are two methodologies to consider when looking at engagement: (more…)