AMA #CommunityEngagement for Businesses

Angela Scudder Colby-Rinker
May 10, 2018

My job;

Localized PR and marketing,  content quality control, and process oversight. I am a doer! Your relationship with your community has to be consistent. The more someone hears your name, the more they trust you as a resource in your business.  And that's the biggest challenge to tackle in any business. 

The more exposure you have, the stronger your relationships are, the more beneficial to your business. Let's talk authenticity, challenges, and ways forward! Together, we can create avenues for human connection and better business!


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How long do you stick with an idea for the community engagement before giving up due to lack of resources opportunities?
May 6, 12:14PM EDT0

Giving up? What is that? ;)

I could write a book on this question. In short; just pivot and try again. There are always options for resources and opportunity. 

#mindset

  

Last edited @ May 18, 7:45AM EDT.
May 18, 7:44AM EDT0
What has been the most satisfying moment in your work and why?
May 6, 6:14AM EDT0

I had a client have a REALLY good 'aha moment' the other day. After going through her strategy and all that we were going to do together, she looked at me and said, "There's so much more we can do! I feel like I haven't been doing much of anything or that I have been doing it like everyone else and that probably didn't distinguish me."

I actually hear this a lot. And it's the BEST feeling every time. It never gets old!

Last edited @ May 20, 8:09PM EDT.
May 18, 7:48AM EDT0
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
May 6, 12:33AM EDT0

I think its about growing skills. Or also coming to terms with skills you can't grow. For instance, I can't do finances well and I can't fix my computer when it's giving me grief. Building a business is hard enough as it is and sometimes you need an extra set of hands to get somewhere in the day. 

All in all though, I wouldn't change a thing. I was very sick a couple years ago and life was filled with uncertainty. Making it through gave me my brave!

I feel lucky to have found my purpose, created a business that uses my innate and learned skills, and knowing it's getting somewhere. I will never forget or take advantage of what a gift this all is. 

Being useful to others is an honour. 

Last edited @ May 20, 8:17PM EDT.
May 18, 7:30AM EDT0
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a success in whatever career choice you have got?
May 5, 2:13PM EDT1

I think I am almost at a 'recipe' for delivering my services, but these are people we are working with. We grow, change, and evolve. That's why we have strategy, projects, and the re-evalautions of both. 

We have to be goal oriented and solution focused. I wish I could make it more simple, but we are complex creatures even in collectives. 

Last edited @ May 18, 8:53AM EDT.
May 18, 7:06AM EDT0
You mentioned about the content quality control. How do you see the importance of content quality control in developing the community engagement?
Apr 21, 9:11AM EDT0

It’s important to highlight what a client does best and how that is useful. Even if the business function is the same, every business owner is different in this way. For instance real estate agents; are you the agent that has lived in this particular suburb your whole life? Or are you the agent that has strengths in negotiation?  Every business has priorities that are worth sharing, and we can align businesses with their suburb and community through targeted quality content. 

Having this aspect entwined with my business means I have to get in there at times. And this is a skill that has grown and will continue to grow. When I tell clients that they need this video or graphics that read a certain way, I cannot expect them to know the best ways to go about it all. There’s been mistakes made with this to be honest.

To operate a business, you have do your service and promote that service. By having a hands on approach at Well Wishing Solutions, I take some of that pressure off to ensure it’s steered in the right direction. I want it to be done well!

May 18, 9:00AM EDT0
How can a business measure community engagement at the company? What are the metrics for the evaluation?
Apr 21, 8:16AM EDT0

I am working on that. We can track engagement online, but a study case is in the works! 

May 18, 7:23AM EDT0
What according to you are some of the social economy community engagement projects in today's time?
Apr 20, 8:55PM EDT0

I apologize, I am struggling to answer this. It's just not totally in the framework of what I do. For me it's about making the most of an opportunity or creating that oppportunity. 

One standard project or initiatve isn't my thing since I opperate on a local spectrum. I think there are projects that foster good community though, but it takes people to enforce them.

Like facebook groups and the way they bring like-minded or physically close people together are so useful for businesses. I love a repost group on Instagram, too. A common hashtage to bring people from all over together is a virtual community. 

I think community is everywhere. It's more about my clients' role within the community and how to get targets to recognize it so its useful for the business. It's about presence and exposure. 

Last edited @ May 20, 8:06PM EDT.
May 18, 8:01AM EDT0
How can someone convince companies and get sponsorship for community engagement?
Apr 20, 6:12PM EDT0

It's in their best interest if you look at it from their angle. It gives them the opportunity to get more information that markets and directly appeals to their targets. 

That's how you grow a productive business. By understanding the target market. 

That said, do NOT just throw money at the problem. Sponsorship is well travelled. Use the money to interact and engage. 

Last edited @ May 20, 8:04PM EDT.
May 18, 9:04AM EDT0
Have you come across any website that integrates its own exclusive content with strong community engagement?
Apr 20, 10:52AM EDT0

No, have you?!

May 18, 7:09AM EDT0
What would you say are some of the new products that facilitate community engagement?
Apr 20, 12:53AM EDT0

To be frank, a tangible product doesn't exist. You can't push a button and have it activate for you. 

May 18, 9:42AM EDT0
How can social startups build up a community and engage users?
Apr 19, 11:43PM EDT0

Well Wishing solutions was named after one specific fundamental; making friends

We were moving to Sydney and my Dad gave my daughter a couple of rolls of American pennies to throw in fountains to make a wish. We arrived to find that was not common practice here.

As a family starting from nothing again and with no friends, my daughter adopted a practice to give a penny to her new friends. It was a talking point and helpful in her introduction. 

And that's really what Well Wishing Solution is; it's about making friends and building local networks through content, campaigns, collaboration, and events. To show value in the collective and connect. 

That's what social startups should do to engage; make friends. 

May 18, 9:41AM EDT0
Are there any community engagement platforms that provide functionality to create and foster thriving communities?
Apr 19, 9:00PM EDT0

We are working on that. It's still very early, but a membership or resource site and an app are in the works!

It's really exciting to be able to give people, businesses, and companies a portal where they can continue to evolve their connection to their desired targets, suburbs, and communities. 

May 18, 6:58AM EDT0
What do you think are the top pitfalls that companies should definitely avoid when executing their engagement strategy?
Apr 19, 6:55PM EDT0

Do what works, and it can't work if everyone else is promoting themselves in the same way. 

Make time to show how good, different, and worthy you are at your work. 

Last edited @ May 20, 8:01PM EDT.
May 18, 9:35AM EDT0
What are the dos and 'don'ts' that businesses need to consider while designing gamification, for customer community engagement and employee motivation?
Apr 18, 8:02PM EDT0

Truthfully, I have never used the word 'gamification', but I think I get what it means. Come back to me if I don't! 

I put some fundamentals and tips elsewhere, so I will dedicate this space to the 'don'ts'. A big one is to look or be aware of how you are perceived. Be awake to what your prospective clients sees. 

Do they see someone that can talk to anyone? Are they good at their job? Are they there because they want to be? Do they have good skills and passion? Are they solution focused and honest? Are they trustworthy?

Or, are they along for the money and their big ego?

Last edited @ May 20, 8:00PM EDT.
May 18, 9:32AM EDT0
What did your path to what you’re doing today look like? What gives you purpose in your work?
Apr 17, 3:47AM EDT0

I worked in fundraising and community relations first. I had to get very used to asking people for money and giving purpose to their funds. I have done it with big companies and with individuals. For local and for international. Everything from care packages for servicemen overseas, local high schools, electricity in North Africa, health initiatives in Africa and Asia, as well as peace and conflict projects across the world.  

I was tired and needed a change and thought I would enjoy real estate. Real estate is about approach and understanding people. It's a job of perception, which is necessary in fundraising. In fact, I came to realize that almost all of those skills I gained in my prior profession were incredbily useful to me in real estate. 

Also, my mom was such an inclusive person and the apple didn't fall from the tree. I am doing what I should be and that's a great feeling!

Thank you for this question.

Last edited @ May 20, 7:56PM EDT.
May 18, 9:28AM EDT0
You have worked in Real Estate industry prior to working as an Engagement Strategist. What’s the biggest lesson you learned from your previous job?
Apr 16, 4:30PM EDT0

People want to work with their 'friends'. Plain and simple. 

Business building is about trust. And that conversation should start well before they walk into their first face to face appointment.

May 18, 6:41AM EDT0
For someone who might be new to this term, how would you explain community engagement? What is the main purpose of the Community Engagement Programme?
Apr 16, 10:12AM EDT0

This is a great question. I am often asked and re-asked what I do and I used to want to run and hide. Now, I say what I do with confindence and if its not understood, we can will work through it.

It's taken some practice. And even still, there will always be a version of people that just don't get it because I don't fit in any one column. 

Ultimately, I work with agents and businesses  to improve their visibility through community based strategy. My clients and I create and execute a yearly plan so that they are integrated. I work best on individual projects highlighting agent points of distinction and content that speaks directly to their targets, using teachable fundamentals. This ensures that local opportunities can be used to interact and engage with as many members of a targeted suburb as possible.

The idea is to evolve and gain a level of exposure so that they eventually become drivers of community, and equally so in their business.

May 18, 9:22AM EDT0
What are the methods/techniques you often use as a Community engagement specialist?
Apr 15, 11:04AM EDT0

Beyond quality content;

This changes over time as engagement evolves. In the beginning, it’s about showing up and being present. Demonstrating that social investment consistently is a powerful tool, especially as you start to become more visible to people. As a business owner you are the common link within your community.

It’s also a helpful start to share social spheres through collaboration. An example of this would be to use a local photographer to take your company picture and creating an online community post that allows members to get access to you and show that you want to be involved. 

As you transition to an influencer I often suggest contributing to suburb discussion by letting people into your physical and virtual space, whether that’s your office or a hired venue. Even a Facebook group can allow people access to you and consider you are a local resource. Sharing local support, stories, and experiences humanizes you.

Another good tactic is in the information itself. It should be more than name and contact that you collect. That’s how you tailor your message to align yourself with those that use your services. I find that many of my clients have shared interests with their target market and that should be conveyed more of often. 

Timing also contributes to strategy making process. Any business owner is time poor, so I have to be sensitive to everything I am asking you to do. We have to find ways so that you are interacting with people that are meaningful for them. Is there a festival that only happens in that targeted suburb or it is actually Mother’s Day that creates the best crowd? How can you contribute to it beyond hanging your brand’s name and throwing money at it? That’s a very creative space and one of my biggest joys in my job. And that creativity will grow and develop as the business gets more exposure.  

The ultimate goal is that people want to give you the job before you walk in the door. And that no one else can measure up. There's so much we can do!

Last edited @ May 20, 7:53PM EDT.
May 18, 9:54AM EDT0
What type of skills is useful for everyone to have when they are trying to move towards a culture of engagement?
Apr 15, 2:33AM EDT0

Be social and show people are you human and relatable. Good business building is a social job. 

You don't have to be bold, but you do have to be brave. And also remember that editing content is normal. No one is actually THAT perfect. :)

May 18, 8:49AM EDT0
What are some important things community managers should have in mind when trying to boost engagement in their online business communities?
Apr 14, 7:43PM EDT0

Actions speak louder than words. The social investment a business makes runs parallel to the intentions of the business itself. 

Make the effort and reinforce it with content online that supports or exhibits the effort. Be consistent in that way. 

Always have a photographer and a cinematographer along for the ride. I always do!

Last edited @ May 20, 7:50PM EDT.
May 18, 9:07AM EDT0
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