Archive for March, 2012
Last night I attended a Community Manager meetup in central London (#cmLDN) and the main topic of the evening was the core skills or tenets of what makes a great Community Manager. Steve Ward (@cloudninerec) walked us through how he had seen the role evolve over the years as a specialist recruiter in this space and then Georgina Thompson gave insights in to how her agency were tackling the problem of finding great CMs for the brands the agency work with.
It sparked a number of great conversations about where you need to have the ability to craft unique personas on a per-community basis depending on the nature of the users, whether there are underlying passions that you need to have and whether journalists naturally make great community managers due to their questioning nature and need to find out more.
I think it’s quite hard to create a long list as the nature of the CM differs by vertical and by organisation but following conversations a while ago I did jot down a few notes. I don’t want to bore you with all of this but some of the scribbles included having a passion for connecting people. I think this point works on two levels, connecting people with a brand (and you as the CM) and then facilitating the connection between other users. You can gain knowledge of specific industries and you can work on your tone of voice and writing style but if you don’t want to connect with people I think you will struggle to be a great CM.
Further discussions last night looked at where we see CM roles in 5 years time and whether they should have a place in the boardroom or whether giving them enough authority and autonomy would suffice. Overall some great debate and insights from a number of different industries and for those that have been to a CM meetup before I’d highly recommend getting involved in them, if nothing else to share your own experiences and learn from others.
A Community Manager’s life is never easy. Thinking of catchy blog post titles is just as difficult. However, I think I may just have done it with this one (quick nod to some tasty chocolate treats for inspiration).
As I prepare to unleash a new design and added functionality to the Community I’m managing part of me starts to wonder what the response will be from users. I can see from the stats that people have been using it (viewing more than contributing) and the new functionality will endeavour to encourage contributions and conversations but the big question will be; what sort of contribution and conversation?
Given that the community is B2B I’m quietly optimistic but one thing I’ve realised is that you need a troll every now and again. Aside from the potential of giving something other users can rally behind (either to goad or to chastise) as a Community Manager it keeps you on your toes. Every situation is different and it’s these that ensure we don’t become blasé about the roll we take and the communities we manage. I’m looking forward to seeing what situations arise and whether there are any trolls that come out of the woodwork as new ways to contribute are brought online.
Not a standard title for a blog post about Community Management I know but as it’s Friday and I’m feeling in a good mood I wanted to open the doors of Team-AWESOME to all Community Managers out there for the hard work they put in regardless of the size or type of community.
Why Team-AWESOME? Well…the following points should hopefully ring true for most if not all of you out there and it’s these things that make us a special bunch (no, not that sort of special).
A – Acting as the voice of the consumer for internal departments
W – Willing to be the face of the brand or community and take the flak associated with being so
E – Energetic and passionate because a community never sleeps
S – Supportive of users and providing a point of contact for issues
O – Orchestral Maestro overseeing different groups and mixing them in to a unique melody
M – Mediation Master standing in the middle of conflict and heated conversations
E – Excited about the future of Community Management and how rapidly it has grown
So there you go, welcome to the club that is Team-AWESOME. I sadly don’t have badges or t-shirts to hand out but you can rest safe in the knowledge that this is still quite an exclusive club.