Let’s be blunt. Your community managers should be around to help, not act like annoying sales people at cheap retail stores. So, double check and make sure your community strategy does not contain any of the five don’ts below.
1. Don’t friend request your users.
When a person joins a new social network the last thing they want is to be bombarded with strangers friend requesting them, let alone your community manager hitting them up. Really, what is the point of that, so your users have “friends”? Not needed. I am sure your users can find their own friends if you provide an easy way to find friends (i.e. allowing them to find their facebook friends on your site, search for people with similar tastes or live in the same area, etc.).
2. Don’t bother us by saying something totally useless.
When your community manager says something like, “I really like that dress you just favorited”, it sounds like she/he is just kissing our ass and we categorize it as spam. Instead, monitor your user’s activity and exchange in a productive way for both you and your users. If a user has not been active, you can reach out to them and ask if there is anything they would change about the site to get them to use it more.
3. Don’t bombard us with your seed content.
It’s great to get seed content on your site, especially when you are teaching your users what good content looks like, but when there’s 5 people who are adding all the user generated content, your site looses value. Try doing a soft launch in some major cities and enlisting a diverse group of people to balance out the content.
4. Don’t sit back, act all pretty, and rely on your community to do the dirty work.
It’s great to give your community the ability to flag comments, profiles, photos, etc, but don’t rely on them to do all the work. Spam is probably one of the most annoying parts about social networks and it’s your responsibility to monitor and delete and solve the problem permanently.
5. Don’t ignore your most passionate users.
There is always going to be some users that absolutely “get it” and use your site the most. These people are most likely going to spread the word about your site and these are the people who will have great feedback. When they send you feedback, write them back right away thanking them and keep in touch with them.
In conclusion, please make sure your community managers are engaging with your users in a productive, caring, and honest way. And as mentioned previously here, make sure you are monitoring and responding to your community when they are not on your site as well.