This post is part of a monthly series on how to best utilize your YEC community benefits. [Not a YEC member? Click here to find out if you qualify.]
Our community focuses on offering a personal safe haven, but for professional or business-related questions. We do this by keeping our Facebook forum open to only fellow members of the community, and lightly moderating discussions to ensure a friendly environment.
While this helps provide a dynamic, open environment for peers, it is also important that people adhere to certain social media best practices. This ensures that everyone benefits -- from the initial poster to other members of the group.
Online communities -- whether ours or any other -- offer a great chance to learn from a larger set of your peers than you might normally have access to. But keeping these places productive and respectful require a bit of effort. Luckily, following a few social media best practices can help.
Follow Community Guidelines
Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the community. (YEC Members: you can check out our Facebook guidelines here.) Guidelines generally will include what topics are appropriate to post about, what topics are NOT appropriate, and if there is a certain schedule for posting within the community. In order to provide the best environment for everyone, we ask members to follow these guidelines, and will reach out to them to rectify any situation in which they do not.
Two of the biggest pillars of success for any online community are respect and inspiring discussion -- we see these both in spades in our Facebook forum, largely due to the caliber of our members’ posts and their adherence to our guidelines. To follow suit, ensure that anything you post is respectful of other members and their companies, even if you may have differing points of view. Making sure you pose things as a question is also a key element for ensuring posts end in respectful discussion.
Ask For Advice
Make sure you include prompts that help people take part in a discussion rather than telling them something. Share your accomplishments, but don’t be overly self-promotional. Are you proud of an accomplishment that the community helped you achieve, or that you think they’d find particularly awesome? Fantastic! Take that and ask how you might be able to maximize on this success. Think a new product is awesome? Ask your peers if they have experience with it too or what they use instead. A well-rounded discussion is always going to be more heartfelt and impactful than something that seems to only want to push one product or idea.
Use Specific Details
Be as detailed as possible: are you looking for help with marketing or getting your name out there? Get more detailed than that: Are you looking for digital help, specifically looking to increase your SEO, need someone to write press releases, need to rebrand, need to build a new website? There are so many subtopics to each area where people ask for advice. The more specific you can be, the more likely it is you’ll find helpful answers and examples of proven results.
Reach Out to Community Moderators
If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate for the community, ask those in charge. In our case, just ask your community team!
These basic principles are what work well for creating an active, supportive and informative online community that helps to provide value to all of its members. So remember to stay respectful, ask questions and follow your community’s guidelines.
YEC Members: If you’re not yet part of our lively Facebook Forum, make sure to send your concierge the email address associated with your Facebook account and they will get you added right away!