If you were to ask me to give one important reason why people want to be part of a brand’s community, I’d probably tell you it’s because people who believe in the brand like to feel as if they’re part of the brand and they especially enjoy sharing in their success. It’s like we’re extending an invitation for our customers to be part of our team.
The people who are part of our communities enjoy having a say and giving feedback and when they see us taking their advice, they take pride. However, one thing that can be disappointing is when the people we work with aren’t as publicly enthusiastic about the brand as the community team and members of the community themselves.
If the team isn’t passionate, it shows through
How cool is it when your CEO comes to chat with the community? Or when representatives from different teams or departments drop by and comment on blog posts or discussions on social networks? Even if it’s not their job to come by and chat, when they do it shows their passion for the brand and the people who support it. It also gives the community a chance to get insight on different areas of the brand they normally don’t have access to.
When a team participates in community events it shows their dedication and passion, which then rubs off on the community.
If your team doesn’t care about the brand, why should your customers? If your team doesn’t use the brand, why should your customers? If the team doesn’t want to be part of the community, why should anyone? I’m not saying everyone who works for you needs to start pimping products on their private Twitter accounts, but a little participation in community discussions goes a long way when it comes to brand visibility and trust.
Brand-wide participation shows unity.
The community team has a responsibility to encourage teamwork
The 9 – 5 or “not my job” factor is an important consideration. The last thing anyone wants is to take on additional duties they’re not getting paid for, or to have to work past business hours because some crackpot on the community team wants everyone to tweet. However, the community team shouldn’t feel as if they’re crossing a line by asking their co-workers to participate in community discussions or share news. Having a strong internal community is equally as important as having a strong external community, and shows that all involved will do what it takes for the brand to get ahead. Nothing is more frustrating to the community team than asking for participation from their co-workers and getting nothing in return.
A few ways to get your team involved with the community
When it does come time to ask other departments to join in community programs, don’t make it as if you’re asking for some great, time consuming favor. You’re asking for a few minutes of their time each day, so make sure their participation is easy and pleasant.
- Do most of the work for them: Arm your co-workers with links, prewritten tweets, bullet points, and stuff to promote each day. Create an internal community newsletter so everyone who works for the brand knows what’s going on and how to share.
- Ask for participation: Your co-workers might not be getting involved in community because they don’t want to step on your toes. However, if you ask them to participate you’ll find many are more than happy to get involved.
- Share a regular list of stuff to get involved in: One thing I like to do with my internal community is share a list of items to promote each week. If there are any promotions, news, launches, or discussions to get involved in, it was listed on the list as well as the various ways to get involved.
Don’t force participation
There may be people you work with who don’t want to participate in community discussions or events. Some don’t care for social media and some are adamant that it isn’t their job. You can’t force community. If people aren’t feeling it, it will show through in their participation (or lack thereof). Encourage the enthusiastic co-workers and hope the rest will see the light and join the fun.
Let me know your thoughts:
- How do you ask your coworkers to participate in the community?
- Does it make a difference to you when people who work for the brand (besides the community team) participate in discussions, meetups, etc.?
- Do you notice when a team doesn’t seem to be passionate about the brand they work for?