A special guest post from Thea van Diepen!



The day had finally come. After a semester of learning ways to influence people, we were finally going to talk about ethics. I’d taken the course as part of my psychology degree, with the intention of using what I learned to more effectively market my self-published books.

The fact that we’d waited until the final class to talk about ethics bothered me, but I told myself that it would be fine. I anticipated that what we learned in this class would tie everything together, sending us out to use our knowledge responsibly.

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There is an unfortunate misconception around the role of social content in community management. Community management is just creating social content, right? That is, posting animated GIFs, memes, and weird internet in-jokes to the social media channels, correct?


Throwing social content out into the void will not build a community. While that joke you posted on Twitter might be hilarious, it’s all for naught if it fails to resonate with your audience. It’s not the silly GIF that really matters at the end of the day, it’s the response it elicits from your community. Building great communities requires the active engagement from your audience.

Your social content is the catalyst.

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Online streaming is booming. You only have to look at the investment by Facebook, YouTube Gaming, and other major players to see that the future is rife with opportunity in the live streaming space. And at the forefront of these efforts for gaming: Twitch.

I’ve admittedly been lax in learning more about Twitch. I try to avoid being on camera whenever possible, and have allowed that aversion to justify being lazy. So when I recently got around to digging into it, I was really impressed to see what’s now possible. I’d always seen Twitch as a mostly passive medium; A basic chat room stapled onto a live video feed. I was quite impressed to see the level of interaction now possible through the use of the Twitch API and the help of the dedicated Developer Success Program.

A quick look at what I’ve found thus far:

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This one is super quick, but easy to miss if you’ve never had to do it.

When creating posts for your personal profile, Facebook will automatically strip out the link text if it’s included at the end of the post.

For example:

posting a link

Becomes this once the post button is clicked:

posting a link on personal facebook profile


The same is not true for Facebook fan pages. When you’re creating a post for your fan page, you must manually strip out the link text if you do not want it included in the final post. For example, if you wanted to post about the new Snapchat Geofilters:

facebook fan page post showing included link

Having the link included in the post text looks unprofessional, and eats up valuable character count. Short, concise Facebook posts perform better than longer blocks of text. When every character counts, why let your links sink your chances of being seen in the feed?

Luckily, removing the link is literally as simple as waiting a few seconds, then deleting it from the post text!

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Audience: Community Managers, Social Media Managers

One day you are going to fail.

That’s not a possibility, it’s an inevitability. At some point you’re going to spell something wrong, blow a release date, anger a customer, or otherwise screw up. No matter how much you plan and double-check your work, it will happen.

How you respond to failure will shape the future of your community. Try to hide it, lash out, or double down and take it out on your fans and you’ve damaged relationships, often irreparably. You only need to search for “social media fail” to see the impact a misplaced campaign or response can incite. So how do you deal with the inevitable?

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