At SXSW, Gamers Remind Brands What Makes Great Community Management
When you think about gamers or gaming culture, you might think immediately of teenagers, Mountain Dew and stacks of empty pizza boxes. However, at its core, gaming culture has continued to build on fundamental community management principles, and despite ever increasing needs to collaborate with marketing, PR and product development, few game studios have strayed from the idea that communities will always remain the most important piece of their culture.
For gaming communities, explosions in community growth, engagements and participation are closely linked to several basic principles of community management.
- Focus on networks in which your fans congregate. Don’t try to force communities to a specific network simply because your brand is more comfortable there.
- Recognize that people on different networks are interested in and are looking for a variety of different types of content.
- Strive to make everyone in your community feel heard and engage often. This becomes increasingly more important as your community grows.
- Remember that social communities are real people talking to real people. Be transparent, authentic and let everyone know that his or her input is valuable.
- Deal with fan backlash through discussion and acknowledgement. If your community is right, change or adapt. Again, transparency is key.
- Trust that community managers will develop effective messaging for your brand’s community. They are often the best positioned to understand a brand’s external voice, and can provide helpful input on the brand’s tone and persona.
As brands launch and scale communities in addition to working closely with other business units to create brand voice and related content, keeping these principles in mind will support your community managers while simultaneously keeping community members active and engaged.