Summary: Community Building & SEO on #SEOchat with @emcgillivray

How does your community manager work with you (the SEO)?

At @SEOmoz, we have a large community team but only 1 SEO @ruthburr. But all our community team members once were SEOs. Such a huge part of making sure we’re all working together.

A community manager focuses on building your followers/community no matter where they are (social media, onsite, etc).

@dan_patterson: Mine actually consults with me pretty regularly about things, especially architectural stuff. We also tend to get together whenever I’m doing any kind of social push so she can keep an eye on it as well. That definitely helps to have all community people be former SEOs. I’ve had to do a lot of internal education but it’s been well worth it, and they’ve all caught on *really* well.
@emcgillivray: That’s awesome to hear that they’ve caught onto SEO. Since we serve marketers, an SEO background is pretty essential.

@scott_dodge: It’s probably more common for in-house peeps, I’d assume
@dan_patterson: Agreed. IMO community management should almost always happen in-house. So in the agency situation, it would be the SEOs job just to make sure that the community peeps understand the basics.

How do you leverage your community for your SEO?

One of my favorite things at @SEOmoz is our user-generated blog YouMoz amazing content from our community

Be authentic; show you care; listen, listen, listen; join the conversation; be generous; be fun; build relationships.

@dan_patterson: All depends on the channel your community is in. For social media channels they help with natural promotion, for an on-site community they help with content generation. Both have great value.

@Joel_BAYADA: The community is also a great temperature gauge for what content is in demand
@emcgillivray: I love using the community for this. As someone concerned w/ voice, I love seeing how community dialog changes.

@Clickside: Leverage the extended SM community as well as ur own. Blogs. Forums. Chosen correctly they can produce powerful links back.

@corey_northcutt: Promoting content for organic links, crowd-sourcing optimized content, gathering feedback, fostering relationships.

@tannerpetroff: Let people know there’s a real person behind the organization who cares about them. People link to WHO they like.

@kenjansen: How do you handle different voices?
@emcgillivray: We have guidelines, but believe people should have their own voice. Though when responding as @SEOmoz, we are Roger. But pay no attention to the people behind the curtain πŸ™‚
@kenjansen: If you’re going to leverage comm you need to allow various voices. Conveys an actual comm & could reach new grps.
@kappaluppa: I think if you’re going to leverage comm you need to allow various voices. Conveys an actual comm & could reach new grps.
@emcgillivray: We definitely encourage everyone on staff to interact with our community as themselves.
@KeriMorgret: People submit to YouMoz for publishing on our site, we review and offer suggestions if needed.

@KeriMorgret: We don’t write the posts, but we do often return first submissions with requests for more details. The goal is that you shouldn’t be able to tell who is helping Roger type. πŸ™‚ There’s an intensive training period @seomoz where you are locked in a room with Roger until you can channel him.

What tools do you use to manage and/or grow your community?

I’ve used a large variety of tools: manage filter, @followerwonk, hootsuite, google alerts, cotweet.

@Clickside: I usually use Hootsuite to manage/grow social communities. Sysomos as well for monitoring.

@corey_northcutt: HootSuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, CrowdBooster, FollowerWonk, BuzzStream, MailChimp, Google Analytics..long list.
@iGoByDoc: Don’t forget SocialBro!
@emcgillivray: Well, we’re hoping that slowly everyone becomes TAGFEE πŸ˜‰
@emcgillivray: Excellent list! Can’t forget our Analytics.

@dan_patterson: I’ll throw out a plug for Trackur, I know that’s one that our peeps are checking out right now. I got to play around with Radian6 once back in my agency days. That’s one intense tool.

@FogelRivka: Tried & true: content is king. we’ll pair it with promotions for likes or conversation (much like this one, #seochat)

What does it take to be a great community manager?

@dominic_m: Authenticity, empathy and passion for the your industry.
@emcgillivray: Empathy is hugely important, especially when the job crosses into customer service.
@dominic_m: yep and if you can’t listen you can neither help nor produce great content

@kappaluppa: does it matter if aud knows you schedule posts? I know several who mention it often. What does it say to authenticity?
@dan_patterson: Personally I don’t think that would be a problem as long as it’s mixed with real interaction.
@emcgillivray: I’m a believer in the balance of scheduling out posts & posting them yourself as long as you’re authentic.
@iGoByDoc: Agree there, as long as you are available for response to the authentic automated posts
@kenjansen: The thing I don’t like about auto post is that you look…bad…when something big and unexpected is happening and flooding twitter.
@emcgillivray: IDK. I don’t feel the need to comment on all current events. Like Tues, no need to say anything about the US elections from the company account. Oh, yes, didn’t American Apparel give a discount for Hurricane Sandy #facepalm.
@Ravenjeremy: “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin”.

@Ravenjeremy: You need situational awareness to decide when respond or get backup, and a GOOD sense of humor. Or the video reply from bodyform
@emcgillivray: Humor is so key. I love being able to send out funny cat photos to my community πŸ™‚

What’s your favorite example of company going above & beyond for its community?

Women’s Inspiration Day by KOTEX where they reached out to random women on Pinterest is a favorite of mine

I’m also a huge fan of @ladygaga’s community team & how she brings her fans together. Always cutting edge.

@Joel_BAYADA: american heart association does a nice job

@dominic_m: @37signals Extremely useful content + blazing fast and useful reaction
@emcgillivray: Yes, I love what @37signals, especially their bold moves w/ their product

@Ravenjeremy: I love the way that @thinkgeek interacts with their customers, has great content and caters to their interests.
@emcgillivray: Yes, @thinkgeek’s brilliant. I swear I open every single email from them being like “oooh”.
@KeriMorgret: I’ve met the main social person for @thinkgeek and she’s great (great speaker, too!)

@emilygbush: @onlineprnews always gets back to you quickly and has solved every problem i’ve had.

@KeriMorgret: @sproutsocial has also done a great job with community

@WebToDesigns: Does it have to be a company? could it not just be an individual?
@emcgillivray: There are definitely individuals building their communities, like writers, musicians, etc. Those are great too! πŸ™‚
@FogelRivka: and isn’t it important here to give the company individual faces? so they kind of travel together
@emcgillivray: When we go to events, we’re definitely working as the public face of the company & our community. Oh, we always joke that we get 100 tweets before a single support ticket if something major goes down on our site πŸ™‚
@FogelRivka: in realtime? even little things like purchase and delivery hiccups

What have you learned from your community?

I’ve learned a lot about empathy & love, even on those really bad days #seochat example

@kenjansen: Write things people want to buy/read/consume versus guessing what SE wants

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