Introducing The Hive’s Q&A Blogger Series
Want to learn from some awesome community managers? We are here to help! With the release our Q&A series,we’ll be sharing tips, tricks and advice from some of the top community managers across SocialEngine. We’ll be sharing community manager’s experiences over the next few weeks. We hope that our featured community managers can help answer some of your biggest questions. We know we’ve learned a lot from them so far!

First up we have Kiki Kane of dogfriendzy.com and boy does she have some awesome advice!

1. First off, tell us about your community. What’s it all about?
I run DogFriendzy.com which is a network of 21 breed-specific photo sharing sites. Our members are incredibly passionate about their chosen breed and love to have a place to share and enjoy photos of their favorite kind of dog.

2. What does a typical day managing your community look like?
At this point, my communities are quite mature and self governing. I check in on the sites and their Facebook pages daily to keep an eye out for negativity and spam. If content has been in a lull, I will source some funny internet memes featuring the chosen breed and share those to get the conversation started back up again. I also post relevant blog articles and videos directly to the Facebook page to keep our audience interested and participating. At its best, managing a community is like being a good party host. If you have a great venue and a good topic, people should naturally congregate and hopefully enjoy themselves.

3. What is your advice for growing a community?
Be or become knowledgeable in your topic of choice. Authenticity is key.
Know and understand your competition and identify what makes your version worth trying.
Stockpile top-notch content to seed your community with, and to post during slow times.
Harness the power of social media. Try it all, keep what works. Remember people don’t just magically show up out of nowhere at first—get the word out.
Try different types of content and topics that are dovetailing or overlapping your main focus to give depth to your community.
Give your community a reason to login every day.
Don’t let your community forget you’re there. Try to become a habit with readers.

4. What’s the most surprising success you’ve had as a community manager?
I was most surprised by how fast our Schnauzer Friendzy community grew. It’s not a breed with a lot of social media competition, so it really just seemed to blow up out of nowhere!

Stay tuned for more great advice in upcoming posts!
  • Paralabs.us nice dice
  • Isabel Kieszkowski Interactive Associate at Room 214 [171770,Kiki Kane] It is rather mysterious! I'll look into Pinterest articles to share here and we will be sure to let you know if we find any interesting tips that may help you out.
  • Kiki Kane Content Specialist at Rover.com [150536,Isabel Kieszkowski] Yep I'll check that out. It's just so wild how something you pinned a year ago can suddenly get a surge out of nowhere. I wonder if I'm supposed to be editing older content to have better descriptions, or cull older images that didn't do well, or anything else like that. I have a ton of older pins with hashtags in the description from when hashtags launched but it doesn't seem to effect repins or likes one way or another. It's all kind of a mystery!
  • Isabel Kieszkowski Interactive Associate at Room 214 Hi [171770,Kiki Kane] here is this feature about image types that result in top Pinterest engagement: http://bit.ly/1F8s6QZ. Hope this helps to get the conversation going!
  • Kiki Kane Content Specialist at Rover.com Hey guys - I'm currently trying to re-invigorate my Pinterest presence. Anyone have any automation tips for Pinteresting?
  • Isabel Kieszkowski Interactive Associate at Room 214 [171242,Jill] I couldn't agree more, and that's why we started this Blogger Series! We want to help and inspire community managers.
    To answer your question about how many times a day communities should be managed, it really depends on the size of the community and how active it is. From a personal standpoint, I like to check my communities 2-3 times a day. But again, it comes down to the personal needs of your community.
  • Jill Community Manager It's really interesting to hear about what the day to day is like on top of hearing helpful tips. Sometimes just hearing about the day to day may make your job so much easier and help you create a better process for yourself! How many times a day do you think communities should be managed?
  • ben castelli Great tips from a real community manager. I love the point about driving traffic from Facebook back into the online community. It is important to maintain healthy social networks to drive traffic back to your community and encourage people to become members of a niche community!

    Also, "trying to become a habit" with readers is one of the most challenging parts of growing a niche community. I wonder if anyone else has recommendations on becoming that daily habit?