Essential Manager Tasks: How to Create Online Community Content
If you’re a creative person, you’ll enjoy creating content for your online community. In essence, any method you use to communicate with your members is content. It’s up to you to provide news, updates, and general conversation to your community, and you can do so via several methods:
Newsletters: Use weekly or monthly newsletters for brand news, updates, and discounts. Newsletters are e-mailed to members who opted in or gave permission to receive them in their e-mail. Newsletters are less conversational than blog posts and other web content, and they don’t allow comments by members. Brands that use newsletters usually do so to drive sales.
Blog posts: Brands use blogs for several reasons, the most important of which is to bring in readers who will comment on each day’s contributions. These blog posts become part of the community and ideally drive sales.
Blog posts have a more conversational tone than regular news articles, in the hope of stimulating discussion. Though brands often have staff writers, community managers also update blogs with news, anecdotes, and stories related to the community.
Videos: Feel free to find fun ways to use video to share with your online community. Provide a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on internally. Introduce and interview staff members. Remember to film footage at conferences and meetups so that members can feel that they were there. Show how your product is being made, or give tutorials on how to use your product. The possibilities for video are endless.
Social-networking updates: As community manager, you’re tasked with community outreach via the social networks. All your social-media tools — such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ — are content.