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Posts Tagged ‘social media’
So December was the last post I made on here and with it came the news that my situation had changed and that I was having various conversations about my next step. Well, we are now two months down the line and there has been lots happening in that time. From a blogging and community management perspective I’m not officially back at the coal face but I am still advising and strategising for various people.
On the blog side, new content about online communities, social media marketing and gamification can be found over at Cheesecake Digital. The Pwride.co.uk site will continue to act as a resource on community management and a mini portfolio site however there won’t be that much new content posted here. I do however still welcome contact and questions about online communities and community management so feel free to drop me a line.
What else has been happening? Well, last week I was invited to give a presentation about online communities and social media at a workshop hosted by Intellect UK and that seemed to go down reasonably well. A big hello to anyone reading this that attended last week!
I’ve also written a reasonably short community management guide entitled “A Beginner’s Guide To Community Management” which you can register for and download on the Cheesecake Digital site.
Whilst I’m hoping this post doesn’t come across as too much of a rant there’s something I’ve definitely noticed when it comes to Community Management. Recruiters don’t get it. Ok so I know internally we as Community Managers haven’t yet fully agreed on what a Community Manager is or the basic responsibilities for the role given that the requirements differ from company to company. Leaving this in the background for a moment let’s come back to recruiters.
I unfortunately have very little time for them unless they are genuine, bonafide digital recruiters with a track record in this space. Sending me a message on LinkedIn alerting me to a “Social Media Manager” role after looking at my profile page comes with a lingering smell of cluelessness. My profile clearly states Community Manager and Strategist with an emphasis on the strategy. Therefore it’s a pretty safe bet I’m not looking for a Social Media Manager role as that’s widely regarded as a Channel Manager rather than a Community Manager.
Likewise, sending me a description for a Community Management job that doesn’t make sense and uses the wrong terminology will automatically get my claws pointing in your direction (figure of speech, I haven’t got any!). Please please please, if you are a recruiter take the time to understand the landscape, the terminology and general responsibilities of a Community Manager and how it differs from a Social Media Manager. Don’t just blindly accept the brief to fill a position and then hope you stumble upon someone that might fit the bill because you don’t fully understand what’s actually being asked for. Further to that, it would be great for us if you actually spent time educating your clients and tweaking their roles accordingly.
That’s not to say there aren’t some fantastic recruiters out there in the digital space, there are and I’ve met a number of them but there seems to be an increasing number of “generalists” who are trying to move in to digital. Time to wise up and understand how the game is played. Rant over.
Yesterday morning I attended a #digitaltrends12 breakfast briefing hosted by the Hotwire group, one of the UK’s leading PR / Digital agencies. With a combination of speakers from Hotwire, the Financial Times and eBay it looked at what some of the major digital trends for this year will be.
So how does this relate to online communities? Well, four of the topics covered I think have relevance and three of them I’ve already written about here on the blog.
- Interest Graph
Forums aren’t dead and this point was covered off by eBay who mentioned their forums / boards continue to grow in size and number of contributions. Tablets (and mobile) are now one of the main ways to access Social Networks and it’s important to ensure your community is mobile and tablet friendly. Gamification, a hot topic at the moment but something that many communities already have built in without even realising it.
That leaves the Interest Graph. With Facebook adding more verbs and the ability to read what your friends are reading, listen to what music they are playing and various other bits and pieces focusing on the Interest Graph dimension could pay dividends for online communities. When someone registers for your community and they don’t yet have any existing relationships with other members why not look at suggesting associations or members with similar interests? Having a field on the registration form or in the edit profile area for personal interests could open up a whole new avenue for community building; bringing people together in to smaller related groups, proposing mutual relationships, easing new members in to your environment.
The other question to ask; will users start to expect this from your community if it becomes the norm on the big social networks like Facebook. If so, wouldn’t it be better to start looking at it now rather than later?
A week or so ago I was approached by a site called Social Media Citizens with a request to answer a few questions about my experience with Community Management and my take on a few related areas.
I’m pleased to say this interview has now gone live and from the tweets I saw yesterday has received some positive feedback (always useful!). Whilst not very long it does echo some of the things I’ve written on here and some of the conversations I’ve had with people about Community Management.
G: Where is the best place to build the community?
P: From my experience I’ve got a jaded view of this. If you are looking to build a “community” then your own branded and dedicated space is the best option, Facebook and Twitter build audiences rather than communities (there are a few exceptions). The type and structure of a community will vary from place to place but the biggest thing is ownership, if you are beholden to a 3rd party provider then you start on the back foot in terms of providing for your members.
To read the full interview click your pointy thing on this link; Interview for SMCitizens
Rest assured this isn’t another Community Management post linking back to a film as some of my others have. This is actually about what’s happening now; SOPA. With many sites and several social networks planning to “go dark” in protest of the bill it just highlights how important it is to have your own community space.
You may have a million “fans” on Facebook but if they can’t interact with you because that site goes down what impact is it going to have on your relationship with those users? I was asked a question the other day about where the best place to build a community is. My response was pretty simple; anywhere you own the space and can then manage accordingly.
From a customer support perspective, if you use Social Media to respond to issues what happens if those services go down for extended periods? I know I’m sounding all doom and gloom here but the biggest message I’m trying to give is that part of your community strategy needs to be about contingencies. It’s going to be interesting to monitor the impact of SOPA and which sites do decide to “go dark” in protest. I’ll also be interested to hear from Community Managers and whether they notice an increase in traffic / contribution across their respective communities.