#TipTuesday: Choose Your Community's Tone

PiperWilson HLV Staff
edited August 2023 in Talk Community #1

"They may forget what you said – but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carl W. Buehner

When I help community managers write their guidelines, I emphasize that they should focus on desired behavior, using “don’t” only when necessary. Higher Logic's philosophy is, “We are all about people, so let’s talk like people.” We take that to heart here in the Success Community. We are casual but professional, friendly, and authentic.

Richard Millington says, “People don’t remember politeness; they remember kindness. Writing a kind message begins with the premise of ‘how do I make this member feel as amazing about their contributions as possible?’ Then you write that.” 

A polite note to a member could read, “Thank you for posting that idea. We appreciate your help in making our product better. Sincerely”

I would write something like, “Hi! Thanks for taking the time to post your idea about ______. You’ve obviously thought hard about it, and I appreciate your effort to write it up! Cheers!”

 A theoretical community manager, I will call them Shauna, would write something like, “Hey there! Kudos, and thanks for the idea you posted yesterday! It was absolutely fab!” Plus, there would be a bunch of emojis sprinkled in there.

 All three messages say thank you. My message is slightly more formal than theoretical-Shauna’s, but our personalities shine through. Our distinctive communication styles play a significant role in creating an engaging and inviting community space for our members.

Here are the main tips I want you to take away from this:

  1. Focus on member relationships and build sincere connections.
  2. Encourage members to express themselves freely. Make sure members feel that what they say matters.
  3. Treat your members as partners, collaborators, colleagues, or allies – whichever adjective resonates with your community.
  4. Maintain consistent values while allowing for flexibility and originality among community staff.
  5. Above all, be kind and authentic. Show your members that you appreciate their contributions. 

Together, these will help build strong bonds between the members themselves and the brand. These bonds keep members coming back.



  • KevinM
    KevinM HLV Staff

    Adding onto your thoughts, which are great points of emphasis in regards to community management!

    Most communities I see are frequently using the @Mention. Normally to tag the original poster of the content responding to. HINT: People love seeing their username in a post! 😊


    Mentioning a fellow community member letting them know, for example, "Got any more to add?".

    If practiced over time, I see these shared tips helping to increase positive engagement, build a strong community communication funnel, and help most importantly your internal community leadership team as you scale, setting themselves as a role model to your community members.

    Words have emotions attached that can be resonated through how we speak or even what we type. Taking these tips into account when writing up guidelines as Piper said, giving feedback to someone, or just simply interacting with your community members will surprise you in how well this ripples throughout your public Vanilla site!