My background and a little about me: I am a community manager who currently runs a community forum with over 500,000 users. I learn something new everyday and will be sure to update this list accordingly.
- Be consistent: messaging, tone and what you put up with (and what type of behavior you encourage)
- Don't put up with anything negative, or that is uncomfortable. Life's too short. Read more in my other post on how to deal with toxic community members.
- Be in your community EVERYDAY. You need to be in the action and get a pulse reading. It can change quick and you need to be there to put out any fires that may arise. And I PROMISE you, they will. It's guaranteed.
- Speaking of fires, you need to have an escape plan ahead of time! You need to make sure you have options, a "grab bag", know where your nearest exit is and what you will do. Make sure you know exactly where the line is and your limit, because sometimes you need to act quickly.
- Be prompt. Make decisions quickly.
- Be very visible in your community and vocal around what you want to see/the type of interaction. You are the architect, you need to foster the culture. Be the example and exemplify the type of community member you wish to attract.
- Make sure your community members know that you are approachable and they have your ear. Be there for them, and be accessible.
- Go out of your way to put out any small flames that arise. Even if there are signs of a fire and no smoke yet.
- Pay attention. Especially to behavior trends. If it gets to the point where you need to kick someone out of your community, you need to have a credible and reliable list of tangible behaviors and actions to point to.
- Be compassionate. Even if someone swears at you or makes a scene, give them the benefit of the doubt and try to wade through the ego. When you show you care, and will listen to their side, sometimes the walls come down and they do change (and even apologize!)
- Create a reward system. Those who embody the essence of your community and who are active participants deserve a whole lot. Make sure you have digital and tangible reward and recognition systems such as: Threads dedicated to your best as a way to introduce themselves and highlight them, badges, swag, perks...etc.
- Use a REAL picture, and encourage all of your moderators, admins and other staff to do so as well. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that there is a person behind the computer screen.
Image from: http://www.andreaposada.com/