When you nurture social media community, there’s a lot to think about. Communities and moderators collide on social media channels, it’s one person’s style against the other with no hard or fast rules. Nurturing social media community takes gentle enforcement with just enough engagement to attract the lurkers and a welcoming gesture every now and again to keep those a bit shy engaging.
Google+ Communities spawned a fire storm last week when everyone flocked (yes we did, albeit there were a handful of naysayers and bah-humbuggers) to either launch or join a community. (This is your own very special invite to join my Bloggers Unite! Google+ Community.)
When groups, chats, or communities have one moderator, it’s simple. No one steps on one another’s toes; no one has to ask permission or forgiveness…it’s just one style and no one else. When there are two or three or more moderators, what are the rules? There are none; you go by instinct, yet it may be valuable to have a conversation about:
- Daily question of the day—should you take turns or the one in the earliest time zone engages in the morning?
- How fast should a moderator remark on a comment by a community member?
- What should be the tone of the comments – formal, friendly or a combo of both?
- Should both moderators read and remark on all the posts or can the team divide and conquer?
- How long and engaged should comments be from moderators?
I have a suspicion that no moderating team on Google+ has had any such discussion, and that’s OK. Everyone is testing and feeling their way because as said up top – there are no hard or fast rules.
Nurturing Social Media Community
Let instinct guide you, and this is what you may get for the first rule book:
- In the morning, do ask a question of the day to try and engage the community. Hopefully, someone will share experiences to kick start comments.
- When a new commenter posts an article, link or content, give it a bit of time before immediately commenting. No need to pounce on someone right away.
- Everyone should try to read new posts by folks and make a quick comment about content.
- When time is of the essence, go ahead and use the +1 as acknowledgment. At least the person posting knows someone is paying attention.
- There is no need to put forth the expectation that every single item posted will get a response; if it’s poor quality or goes against the grain of the community, then a moderator shouldn’t necessarily promote that.
- If a post feels like spam, it probably is…moderators need to take action, especially if it’s blatant.
- Banter is perfect, but there is a time, place and frequency for it. It’s up to the moderators to elevate a post to LOL status, or keep it on the down low and move on to the next comment.
- When new folks comment, and someone strongly disagrees, it’s up to the moderator to bring balance to the discussion. One thing to avoid is blatant disrespect of community members.
- One thing about Google+ Communities (and Google+), anyone can join a community; groups are not locked unless moderators designate it as a gated community. There is likely to be spam and a bit of heckling; moderators need to be on guard for that and protect the integrity of the community as best as possible.
- Every now and again, moderators should welcome new members and share the rules and tonality of the group. Each Google+ Community has a different tone, and it’s easily apparent in comments and posts throughout the stream.
- If moderators see the stream taking a nose dive, they ought to jump in and balance with neutral language to ensure everyone remains positive.
This is my instinctual nurturing of a social media group…who has more experience and can lend some actuals?