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How Companies Should Participate In Communities

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

I remember drafting this 3.5 years ago. 

Every rule still stands.

  • Respond to discussions about the brand. Most communities have a search feature. Use this to figure out what people are saying about the brand and respond appropriately. If you can’t respond to a complaint directly, ask the member how they would like it to be resolved.
  • Participate in debates not connected to your products/services. This is easy, safe, territory and establishes your credibility as a serious participant in the community.
  • Make friends. Be genuine members of the community. Make friends with others. Engage in the off-topic areas of the community. Congratulate people on their achievements. Suggest things in the community. Be a person first, a company representative second.
  • Ask for opinions on products/services. Be careful with this. But, occasionally, ask people for their opinions on a specific aspect of a product or a service. Giving members options or choices works better than generic What do you think of our new {widget}.
  • Ask for help. If you need people to help your company with something, ask for help.
  • Offer something exclusive to the community. If your company has the means to offer some exclusive products or run a competition, contact the community admin and see if they are ok with you doing it.
  • Give exclusive information. Give members of a community some exclusive information about your brand or product. This doesn’t have to be big, but just things that will solicit interest and start some rumours about your work.
  • Contact the community owner/admin. When possible, contact the owner/admin of the community. Ask if you can do anything to help or if there are any special brand guidelines to be aware of.
  • Disclosure. Use the signature to reveal that you are an employee of the company you work for. Where relevant, include it in the text of your messages e.g. “I agree, at Widgetco we tried both of these options….”

Read more here: /how-brands-should-engage-with-online-communities

 On October 29th to 30th, the world’s top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?

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