The balance between listening and talking is a tricky one for many community managers, especially new ones. As community managers, we get excited when people participate, but if we start to jump into every conversation or reply to every thread it can be a little overbearing and can shut the conversation down too early. I try to listen first, and respond later to give more people a chance to participate.
A few tips for finding the right balance between listening and talking:
- If you are consistently the top contributor as the community manager, take a hard look at whether you are posting too often.
- Wait a bit before responding (unless the request is urgent) to see if someone else wants to chime in with a response or an answer.
- Read the entire thread before responding to make sure that you are listening to all of the various opinions, especially before making a decision that impacts the community.
- The Role of Listening as a Community Manager
- The Right Mix: Listening and Creating Content
- The Whuffie Factor (turn the bullhorn around)
Part of a series of community manager tips blog posts.
Photo by Flickr user Ky used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.