A common mistake made by organizations is to interact with their community members in the same manner they would with traditional customers or clients ...which usually means "not very well".
For example, the organization speaks in the 3rd person, stays formal and doesn’t clearly identify themselves as individuals. This is a significant impediment to developing and maintaining a thriving talent community ...and we’d argue significant impediment to keeping your customers, both buyers and employees.
Here are important points to keep in mind:
1. Have a clearly identifiable community manager
A community should not be managed by an unnamed brand representative. A community needs a clearly identifiable representative with whom members feel a sense of trust and connection. It is therefore important that the community is managed by a specific, named, individual.
2. Speak in the first person
Community managers whom interact with members in the second or third person struggle to build relationships with their target audience.
3. Speak informally
As with both points above, it is also important that the community manager speaks informally with members. It is far easier to build relationships with members by speaking informally.
4. Show some personality
Community managers should not have bland, polite, personalities. They should have personalities reflecting those working on behalf of the community. It is good to have a sense of humor, to interact with members at their level.
5. Be kind (and unflappable)
The community manager should be kind towards members. This will involve helping members where possible, asking about their problems and supporting members to resolve them. The community manager should also be unflappable. S/he should not be sucked into disputes or criticisms of other members.
6. Respond quickly to posts and questions from members
It is important that contributions from members receive a response (ideally within 24 hours). This encourages further contributions and shows the contributor that their input matters to the organization.
7. Give praise for good contributions
A community manager should acknowledge the opinions of members contribute and thank members for contributing those opinions.
8. Don’t criticize or complain
The community manager should avoid criticizing members, engaging in disputes/conflicts, or complaining to members about any topic.