The  Golden Rule  of  Community Building |
The Golden Rule of Community Building |

Social media is about creating communities of loyal and engaged fans. But as with most things social, building an online community is much easier said than done. There are many facets to the mastery of community building, but there's really only one rule you should keep in mind at all times as a community manager: Treat others as you would like to be treated.Much like you, your fans are human beings. Human beings tend to expect to be treated as such. Social media gives you the opportunity to interface with your customers as humans on a personal level — building relationships based off of communication, value and respect.

Are you using social media to deliver quality customer experiences? Fans are flocking to social channels to resolve their customer service issues and to voice feedback. Are you listening? How often do those queries get responses? 100% of the time? Or is it more like 10% of the time? Unanswered inquiries lead to unhappy fans. Not only are they left without resolution, but you've also conveyed the message that they aren't valued enough to elicit a response. Certainly not how you want your fans to feel!

How you treat your fans is also directly related to the content you provide. Is it relevant to them? Or is it the hard sell all the time? As tempting as it may be to blame your diminished reach on the latest changes to Facebook, it may not be that simple. If your content doesn't resonate with your fans, they'll have little inclination to interact with it. It's more important than ever to provide content that is interesting, relevant your brand, and valuable to your audience.

Quality customer care doesn't end at resolving service issues. Don't forget to acknowledge your fans! After all, if it wasn't for them you would be talking to yourself! A simple thank you or similar expressions of appreciation can go a long way to make your fans feel valued. They might be only one of a million followers, but that one fan has a voice and that voice is amplified through social media. Simple shout outs, Follow Fridays and featured fan content are all great ways to keep your fans engaged and feeling like they matter.

Building communities isn’t easy, nor is maintaining them! Community managers, you know this! However, if you keep in mind the golden rule of community building your communities will be happier and more engaged.