Category Archives: Community Management

SpiceHeads want you to talk with them!

Last week, I wrote up a topic for our community (Spiceworks) in an effort to help new brand reps (what we call “Partners” or “Green Guys/Gals” in the community) understand that it really is all about the engagement aspect when it comes to chatting in the community. I have seen more than a handful of them start up and use a lot of tactics I see used in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and, most of the time, it appears very broadcast-oriented. It wasn’t about chatting with the community, it was talking at them.

Anyways, I didn’t want to lose this one because I really like it and love the direction the conversation has gone. So I wanted to archive it on here so I can reference it later. If you are reading this, though, I’d recommend checking out the actual conversation:

If not, here is what I wrote to kick it off:

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One of the challenges I sometimes see is when a Partner first joins the Spiceworks Community and engages with the social strategies they use in other places. While that content is informative, it is written more in a “talking to” than “talking with” method. And then SpiceHeads, being the helpful people they are, give them constructive criticism of why they dislike being talked at. Sometimes pages and pages of it. And it came to the point where we created a few rules within the community to help alleviate the issue such as:

Knowing a rule exists and knowing why it exists are two different things, though. And I hope that this conversation can help shed light on the latter and explain why it is beneficial to engage in the community versus just broadcasting information.

The quick points that you’ll see discussed below are:

  1. Don’t talk at me
  2. Engageable Content is King
  3. I would rather be on Page 1 than Page 10
  4. Increase your Social Reach

Don’t talk at me.

  • The first example is easy. No one likes being talked to. I talk to my daughter and she just rolls her eyes and counts the seconds till she can get back on Instagram. But when I talk with her about something, it is completely different. She’s engaged in the conversation and tends to remember the things we chatted about longer. The rest of us are really no different and if you are looking to inform SpiceHeads, engaging with them has a much longer lasting effect.

Engageable Content is King.

  • One of the things to know is that getting people to respond to you is really the lifeblood of the community. Forgive me SpiceHeads, but I’m about to reference other social communities and I know how much you love to chat about them here. But it is something I see that brings the point home a lot faster. Getting someone to respond to you is much like getting a “share” on Facebook or a “retweet” on Twitter. It is that element that really brings attention to the conversation. The next two points cover the major reasons why that is.

I would rather be on Page 1 than Page 10.

  • Think of it this way. Say I have a blog post that is extremely informative or an event my organization is going to host. If I just post the information, some people will read it but if it doesn’t really have that engageable element, they won’t reply to it. And then my conversation quickly falls from page 1 to page 2 in a matter of minutes… and for some discussion groups, much faster! But by speaking with SpiceHeads, you not only get them replying to it, you generally get some great information and feedback from them. For example, If I’m trying to explain to someone why my product is a good fit for them, the more data points I have from them, the better I can show them why. But sometimes SpiceHeads just assume you know everything so you have to ask them key questions to help fine-tune that answer.

Increase your Social Reach.

  • Another good reason for talking with SpiceHeads is they have Followers of their own. Right now, I’m just shy of 630 followers so when I post something, all of them get it in their feed. But, if I do it right, maybe I get someone like Gabrielle.L to reply who has 232 followers. And then maybe David Scammell and Bob Beatty who have about 700 followers together. And if I’m lucky, Rob Dunn and Scott Alan Miller engage in the topic as well. Cumulatively we have about 8,500 followers between us. Granted, there is some overlap there but by conversing with these other SpiceHeads, my message has reached a lot more people. And if the topic is a good one and enough people talk with me, that conversation might even get featured on the Start Page which puts a lot more eyes on it.

There are other reasons I can bring up and, as you can see above, I can ramble on and on about Spiceworks and my opinions on best practices. But the ones above are the items I find myself bringing up often with people new to Spiceworks and looking to reach IT pros. And in these chats, there are two conversations I do find myself constantly using for reference (both of which are good reads):

With that in mind, I turn to all of you. What is it about quickly infoblurbs (a few words and a link) that you dislike? Or what is it you like when you see Partners engaging with you?

Speaking of Partners, those of you who have found success in the Spiceworks Community, do you have any hints or tips on things you’ve found that works well when trying to answer an IT pros question or sharing your own content?

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If you’ve read all of this, I highly recommend reading the responses to the article which are equally if not more so helpful!

So You Read Message Boards For a Living?

Kill Ten Rats posted this on their site so I am just going to give you a snippet of it then have you go read it. It’s a good read:

MMO community managers have an ugly job. Public relations is never the cakewalk that it seems from the outside, but dealing with the teeming internet hordes is not always as pleasant as eating bees.

I have never had the job, but let us pause a moment to consider some of the things we put our poor community managers, board mods, and developers through. Anyone can feel free to add horrors that I have missed in the comments (or via e-mail). (If this is your job, we understand if you feel the need to use a pseudonym and censor specifics, but we will not be releasing IP addresses and we understand that any example does not relate to specific people, but rather is a statement of general tendencies or extreme cases, probably exaggerated for effect. Or maybe you want to make an example of someone.)

Read the whole thing here: So You Read Message Boards For a Living?