Many people falsely believe that any person surfing social networks can be a community manager. This is not the case at all! In this article, complete with infographics, we’ll walk you through the basics, including target audience and content relevance.
Why, Mr. Anderson? Why?
Social networks have opened a new window into the game community world. Theoretically, a company should have official communities wherever its gamers play, but don’t rush to create them all at once; one strong, active community is much better than several abandoned ones.
Game Community Managers have a lot on their plate.
— They’re responsible for keeping the players informed of any game updates or news, as well as teaching them about the game .
— It goes both ways; they’re also responsible for communicating vox populi to the developers. This means compiling all the feedback, comments, complaints and suggestions they’re flooded with into coherent reports!
— They need to be the player’s friend, psychologist and support agent rolled into one.
— Since the official page will reflect upon the company, they need to maintain the reputations of the project and brand at a high level.
— Ultimately, they are responsible for creating and maintaining the unique atmosphere and harmony within the community (of course, the users play a huge part here as well!)
No support agents, call centers, offline meetings or forums can replace the social network community, where players can get their answers promptly without dialing any numbers, leaving the house or otherwise interrupting their daily cat-picture-viewing routine.
One of a thousand
The first thing the Community Manager needs to do is define the community’s target audience. Facebook in particular offers a lot of advice and a wide range of tools for page administrators, allowing a variety of metric data to be assembled so the Community Manager has an accurate representation of the members and their interests.
The statistics show, in aggregate, demographic data (age, gender, relationship status, education, areas of employment), where the page’s subscribers live, their native languages, what their interests are, what other pages they view, what time of day they are usually online, and which content they like most of all. The new tool, Audience Insights, allows the administrator to gather all this information. It is even possible to find out which phrases seem to be favorites of your users, based on their region! Use all this knowledge to post content tailor-made to gain your subscribers’ affection.
When planning posts, one should bear in mind that Facebook has 1.23 daily active users (DAU), and that, on average, they are each subscribed to about 70 pages. So do not be afraid to experiment and stand out from the crowd! It also helps to have a thorough understanding of the peculiarities of the algorithms the platform uses to compile each user’s News Feed.
Make sure you have a good understanding of the personality profiles of your community members to understand how various groups of people will react to the content you post.
To keep the community active and the subscribers engaged, material suitable for the audience needs to be posted regularly. Most good ideas tend to exhaust themselves quite quickly. If you wish to keep your content fresh and interesting, you should look for inspiration in different places. Here are some basic areas to draw from:
This is a no-brainer. Your product should provide loads of content. In our case, users wouldn’t have joined the community if they weren’t interested in the game, so the primary purpose of it should be to provide them with all the tips, news and developments in gameplay that could help them get on top. Characters and plotlines can be developed further to enhance the game universe here.
Community members can also inspire administrators and even challenge their creativity. If you have active, bright subscribers, take advantage of it! Quote users, or display their photos or game-inspired artwork. Congratulate them publicly on any significant game achievements. Answer their questions, or simply open them up to the whole community for responses. This all falls under the category of “user generated content”. The more user-generated content, the better – it means your community is functioning as it should!
A good community manager literally lives in social networks. They know, off the top of their head, the exact dates any new members of the royal family were born, when the new Radiohead album comes out, why you should postpone your Heroes III HD purchase, and much, much more. They use this information for their page’s benefit, capitalizing on all the latest social network trends to engage users and gain exposure.
Greeting posts from Plarium game characters in the style of the original version of Facebook were made. We followed the #FacebookBirthday trend and managed to get a very good Engagement Rate (5-7%) without using the Boost Post option.
Everyone likes to get into the seasonal spirit. Be sure to post relevant content when there are holidays or other special events. Figure out where most of your users are located and try to be in tune with their calendar – don’t be posting about the heat if it’s winter there! Of course, you will likely have a wide variety of users, so don’t go so far as to alienate anyone. Including a picture or game art always makes the posts more visible and engaging, as well.
5. and 6. Humor and Contests
Sometimes, it’s good to relax the atmosphere with a nice contest or surprise activities. Generally, users feel positive about a bit of craziness in the community, as long as everything isn’t silly. If you can make them smile or laugh and give them a shot at a bonus or reward in-game, it’s a win-win. Encourage humor and creativity from the community members whenever possible – it will lead to more user-generated content.
7. Engagement and interaction
Ask questions to your community members to initiate discussions amongst themselves, and try to involve users as possible. Let them communicate and find out more about the project and each other.
Lifehack: even if your post did not get too many likes and shares, do not worry. You can find a couple of smart comments and continue the dialogue with commenters – this will increase the Engagement Rate, and the subscribers will appreciate the attention from company representatives.