Among the fire hose of social media tips being circulated every day, Richard Millington's FeverBee blog is a must-read for online community and social business professionals.
While there isn't anyone who writes more prolifically about online community management than Richard, it is his data-driven approach to online communities of all types and sizes that has put him at the center of an industry that is emerging as an imperative to business growth, marketing success, and relationship building.
While I enjoy a good challenge from Rich from time to time, he is right about things more often than not mainly because he has the data-backed methodology to give me and Socious' customers the straight story.
Richard recently release a new book called Buzzing Communities: How to Build Bigger, Better, and More Active Online Communities. In it, he takes readers through the components of creating a successful online community with refreshingly little to no hyperbole.
I highly recommend this book. Here is a preview that you can share with your social network.
Strategy and Meeting Business Goals: You get the benefits you want from the community when it succeeds. Tweet This Tip
Setting Expectations: Many online communities are killed before they have had the opportunity to be a success. Tweet This Tip
The Right Strategy: Your strategy depends upon where your community is in its life cycle. Tweet This Tip
A Community with a Purpose: It's entirely possible for an organization to have a very successful online community that yields absolutely no benefits to the organization. Tweet This Tip
Important Distinction: Business integration and strategy are what are what separates a professional community manager from an amateur. Tweet This Tip
Prioritizing Community Management Tasks: Unless there is an urgent technical issue in the community, the community manager will undertake the proactive task first. Tweet This Tip
Online Community Growth: Growth doesn't mean merely persuading someone to visit the site. It includes convert a newcomer to a regular member of the community. Tweet This Tip
Lurkers in Online Communities: A member who doesn't participate is a lurker, and lurkers a hold very little value to the community. Tweet This Tip
Scaling an Online Community: Community volunteers are the most effective means of scaling an online community. Tweet This Tip
Consistent Value: For most online communities, content will be posted daily. Don't make three posts one day and then be absent for a few days. Tweet This Tip
User-Generated Content: It is essential that members have the opportunity to contribute content to the community. Tweet This Tip
Online Community Moderation: Today we know that moderation is about far more than removing bad stuff. Moderation is better defined as facilitation. Tweet This Tip
Conflict in an Online Community: Conflict in an online community does not necessarily hurt the community. Tweet This Tip
The Value of Conflict: Debates are engaging....Members are far more likely to leave an online community because the community is boing. Tweet This Tip
Social Density: Many online communities fall victim to having activity spread thinly across too many categories or groups. Tweet This Tip
Content Strategy: The best content for a community is content about the community. Tweet This Tip
Getting Communities Off the Ground: In the early stages of online community development, you will need to initiate discussions that will engage your members. Tweet This Tip
How Not to Engage Members: Member hate being told what to do. Tweet This Tip
Why Focus on Processes: Once your online community surpasses a few dozen members, you can't have relationships with everyone. Tweet This Tip
The Importance of Events: Events give online community members a reason to visit frequently to see what is happening in the community and provide motivation for lurkers to participate. Tweet This Tip
Customer Have the Power: Customers can now organize themselves against the organization. Tweet This Tip
Product Management: An online community can become an invaluable testing group for product and service development. Tweet This Tip
Creating Advocates: Members can feel involved and engaged, creating a sense of ownership that makes them promote the company to others. Tweet This Tip
Employee Engagement: Lack of employee participation has a negative impact upon a community. Tweet This Tip
Connecting Customers and Employees: If community members are able to directly interact with the organization's staff they become more likely to develop positive opinions of the organization. Tweet This Tip