Learning to Speak Your Community’s Language

Matt Stephenson, Community Manager for Global Symantec, shares nuggets of wisdom about finding your way into a new client base by being an authentic version of yourself, learning the language, and establishing trust.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

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Establishing Your Brand in a New Community

Content Pros comes to you live from SpiceWorld this week with special guest, Matt Stephenson.  As a social and community expert, Matt presses the importance of engaging with your clients and community in an organic and authentic way, especially when trying to enter a new community or client base.

He underlines the power of being a well-rounded person and sharing the fullness of your character with your audience. By sharing the person rather than the salesperson, you will establish credibility and trust.

Everybody has a “BS Meter,” and Matt reminds us of how sensitive it can be when meeting a newcomer to your community. He encourages honesty to a point that scares most of us: Be willing to turn people off.  Only by risking that will your brand be able to access a strong loyal base of your true target audience.

By being authentic, learning to speak the language of your surroundings, and providing your audience with protein instead of sweets, you’ll find yourself thriving in a new community in no time.

In This Episode

  • Establishing credibility in a community
  • Assimilating into a new community culture
  • Appeasing higher-ups while speaking to your audience
  • Taking risks to build community
  • Trusting a focused viewpoint

Quotes From This Episode

“It’s four steps: observe the natives, learn the language, understand the culture, lay napalm. Learn how they talk; speak like they speak.” —@packmatt73

“Don’t BS. Don’t sit down and write something that is optimized in order to show up in the search engines, because they’ll sniff it out.” —@packmatt73

“The best way you can get them to trust you is by talking with them about other things. So if you’re into cooking or if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re a person. You’re not the Marketron 3000 machine that’s in there. You establish some credibility outside of the technical realm. Then, when you come in and you talk about the technical realm, they don’t see you as a brand. They see you as a person they already know, they already trust.” —@packmatt73

“If you provide them with the support they need—and again, with the type of nutrition that’s going to make things faster, easier, better—they’ll come find you. It’s the difference, I think, between pushing them towards you and them pulling you towards them.” —@packmatt73

“If you try to go too broad on Twitter, Twitter’s audience is so giant that whoever you turn off, you’re going to turn an equal number of people on and it’s going to zero out.” —@packmatt73


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Matt wanted to be the Incredible Hulk growing up. “But not just because he was the big giant brute,” he says, “but every week he always got to break something and at the same time, though, he ended up helping somebody and the heartwarming music plays at the end. He did a little cool science at some point. It was all the things that I liked to do as a six-year-old kid.”

As far away from community management as this may sound, Matt manages to bring it all full circle for us.

“We did our first Google Hangouts with the product management team and the only reason anybody had said no to us was because we’d never done one. I finally had one executive that said, ‘Go do it.’ So we did. We broke that wall. We helped some people. We did a little science. The heartwarming music played and then we went on throughout our business.”

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