Appreciating Community Managers
Community Manager Appreciation Day is January 27, 2014. To mark the occasion, we asked a community manager (Jenise) to write about the community manager role. Community Managers rock. In 2014, we believe the role will elevate in strategic importance across organizations. What are you doing to appreciate your community manager?
Photo via flickr.
Online communities are rewarding, addicting, informative and fun because they are so social. And, whether online or off, it's people who keep the community alive and thriving by hosting the parties, calling the meetings, driving the action and so forth.
I've had the pleasure of watching great online community managers in action. I've also had the great honor of filling the role myself. Viewing it from both sides, I've come to appreciate these folks for several reasons.
1) They know how to welcome newbies.
Photo via flickr.
What's the difference between a clique and a community? A community manager who welcomes and engages those who are new. These individuals know how to set a welcoming tone that makes everyone feel at ease and encourages newbies to get involved right away. Community members who see this often emulate them and the warm welcoming feeling is extended. Regulars and newbies alike appreciate the atmosphere and find the community a sanctuary not unlike the "Cheers" bar where "everybody knows your name."
2) They are great at sparking a conversation.
They are familiar with the concerns and interests of the community and they find ways to get interesting discussions going. They might moderate a Twitter chat, post a question, or write a blog post. Whatever topic they choose is sure to be relevant to the community and elicit conversation. And when the community responds, they take the time to acknowledge engagers and use their contributions to spark even more discussion.
3) They encourage community members to share their insights, expertise and talent.
Community managers see each member of the community as a valuable asset. They take the time to get to know them individually whenever possible. And they look for ways individuals may benefit from the community by contributing. They may profile members in blog posts, or have them as guests on the weekly Twitter chat. They want members to feel a sense of ownership of the community.
4) They show appreciation for the community.
Community managers take every opportunity to show appreciation for individual community members. Whether it's thanking members online, sending them emails, adding them to Twitter lists or recommending them on Follow Friday, community managers are always looking for ways to express their gratitude for the contributions to the community each member makes.
5) They have a wonderful sense of humor.
Last but most certainly not least, community managers have a wonderful sense of humor. They take what comes in a good-natured way. If the community is in a silly mood and wants to talk about cats instead of the topic of the day, the community manager goes along for the ride. He or she is flexible and follows what the community wants to do. In improv words, community managers know how to "Yes!" whatever is offered, find value but also keep things fun.
Community Management Blog Series
DNN's Clint Patterson published a
blog series on how to create sustained engagement in online communities. Check out Part 1 of Clint's series, where you'll find links to Parts 2 and 3.