Monday was Community Manager Appreciation Day (follow #CMAD on Twitter). I celebrated by eating half a jar of Nutella with a butter knife. We know how to party around here.
I wanted to post on the day, but being a busy Community Manager myself, I didn’t have time because I was busy connecting, advocating, researching, promoting, listening, and responding!
All self-congratulatory binging aside, it’s a great week to consider what a Community Manager can do for your organization, and how the role has evolved with the maturity of many social networks, and the growing understanding of the importance of online outreach and participation. Community Managers bridge many roles, but:
- the Community Manager is not a marketing specialist
- the Community Manager is not tech support
- the Community Manager is not customer service
Rather, the Community Manager plays a tune that’s a bit like a one man band (a good one man band). The Community Manager:
- manages the editorial content of your initiatives, ensuring that content is appropriate, engaging, and available through all channels through appropriate messaging
- knows your website and message as well as they know their own sibling
- connects people, be they “influencers”, “squeaky wheels”, or your run of the mill evangelist, and connects them to the information they need or to others who can help them advance their interests
- manages the “voice” through social media channels and monitors them effectively, responding to Tweets, Facebook comments, comments posted on external blogs, and all other social networks
- listens with ears wide open for opportunities to thank and connect with engaged online audiences, and to solve problems, slay trolls, and monitor sentiment
It’s an evolving, but critical role, and the list of responsibilities above is not exhaustive. Non-profit Community Managers will experience a much different day-to-day than their big brand counterparts. Community Managers in the middle of a move from beta to big time won’t mirror the work that goes on in an established initiative.
I’ve compiled some of my favourite Community Management reading out there. Have suggestions? Put ‘em in the comments, friend!
12 Steps to Hiring a Social Media Manager
What your Community Manager Should Be Doing
Fire Your Marketing Manager and Hire A Community Manager
15 Essential Articles for Online Community Managers
…aaaaand the Community Roundtable is chock full of nutritious advice for Community Managers. Check it out.
Last night I had the amazing good fortune to present for the good folks behind Cause2Mkt, which is a really neat initiative that presents technology training topics for agents of social change. I’d highly suggest checking out their upcoming events. They rock.
We gathered at Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation, in a beautiful hardwood and brick studio room. CSI is a luvverly place to host a meeting, present, hang out, work, eavesdrop…. We did some filming for another project there earlier in the week and the experience was top notch. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter, as they host a ton of great events.
My workshop focused on the need for online community builders to consider the importance of great content in their outreach strategies. I presented my work as the Community Manager with Totally ADD, among other examples of innovative community initiatives.
And, as promised to the attendees, I’m pleased to provide my deck. I’ve included some of the links at the bottom of this post, since some weren’t embedded in the slides.
And here are some of the links mentioned above:
The inaugural Old Spice video
The much more entertaining Totally ADD version
Cystic Life: A social network for the Cystic Fibrosis Community
Classroom 2.0: a worldwide social network for educators
CommunitySpark: a great site for aspiring community managers
The Community Roundtable: A peer network for community managers and social media practitioners
To the participants – thank you so much for being amazing people to talk to! And to Donnie and Maureen – thank you so much for the opportunity (and the cookies).