When it comes to social media and community management, few folks in Portland—arguably few folks in the world—understand it as well as Dawn Foster, @geekygirldawn.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to meet her, Dawn is a community management powerhouse. She has more than 13 years of experience in technology and software with expertise in open source software, web 2.0, social media, blogging, and community building, working at companies like Intel and Jive Software. She’s also a co-founder and board member for Legion of Tech. Dawn currently consults on social media and community management and serves as the community manager for Shizzow.
So when I heard she was working on a book that was going to give me access to some of her insights, I got a wee bit giddy.
Companies and Communities is focused on helping your company get real business value out of participating in online communities and social media. This 80 page eBook contains practical advice and suggestions for how companies can engage with online communities and social media sites.
How practical? Well, it’s full of things which we—as individual social media participants—may think are obvious, but are far from it. Especially for corporations. Things like:
Not all about you
Social media is a conversation, which is by definition two-way. In other words, it is not all about you, your company, your products or your agenda. It involves listening and participating in the broader community of people. Don’t just expect people to help you; jump in and help other people in areas where you have some expertise. If all you do is pimp your products without adding to the broader conversation, people will lose interest in you pretty quickly.