Amanda Nelson and myself – former Community Managers having fun!

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day. Started by Jeremiah Owyang in 2010, he recognizes the importance and power that Community Managers can bring to a brand.  He recently blogged, “Community managers are the most powerful group on the Internet since they manage the largest social accounts –but ironically are hidden behind the scenes.”

So, let’s pull some of these super heroes out from behind their corporate handles and hear their tips on top-notch Community Management:

1. Jenny Weigle (@jennyweigle, Community and Social Media Manager, CareerBuilder)

“When establishing your company’s overall community management strategy, be sure to build relationships with various departments as PARTNERS in the process. Each department will have different needs and community goals, and you can all learn from one another if you view it more as a collaboration instead of a “here’s what you have to do moving forward” approach.”

2.  Tim McDonald (@tamcdonald, Community Manager, HuffPost Live)

“Listen, experiment, and learn how to speak in your audience’s language (both community and C suite).”

3.  Gustavo Chavez (@gustavojchavez, Community Manager, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“In social media, “social” comes before “media.” It’s about people and connectivity. Brands have the opportunity to connect with real people in a transparent, personable and approachable way. Brands need to earn and maintain the trust of their online communities, and since people trust their peers, be sure to build long-lasting relationships

4.  Trish Forant (aka @dayngr, Community Manager, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“Good community management is based on building strong relationships. Therefore, if you want to have a healthy community you have to be an active and engaged participant in it. Not as a marketer, not as a promoter, but as a contributor, conversationalist, and as a listener.  Remember, relationships first, marketing last.”

Our Community Team walking in the snow in Canada

5.  Melanie Thompson (@melanieathomp, Community Analyst, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“Genuinely caring about your community is so important. You need to feel like you are P.A.L.S. with the members of your community. Be Present, be Aware, be Likeable, be Supportive.”

6.  Tracy Whitelaw (@gadetgirltracy, Social Media Strategist, Brisbane Local Government)

“Stop and breathe before responding.”  A great tip for when things get hectic and tense.

7. Andrew Gothelf (@andrewgothelf, Brand Journalist, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“Set up your tools properly.  Whether you’re using free technology or enterprise software, you need to be listening and monitoring the right social sources.  People aren’t always going to reach out or complain in places that are convenient to you. You need to make sure that you have your bases covered across the web.”

8. Nathan Freitas (@natespeak, Senior Community Manager, Salesforce)

“Keep it simple and focus on YOUR company’s goals, not those of other CMGRs. What you do and how you measure success is completely individual so don’t forget that.”

9.  Amanda Nelson (@amandalnelson, Content Manager, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“Community Management works hand in hand with content marketing.  Creating helpful content for your community will not only keep the conversation going, but it will grow your presence in the community, solidify relationships, show your thought leadership status in the space and it could even lead to future customers.  Create and share content that inspires and your community will come back for more.

10.  David B. Thomas (@davidbthomas, Senior Director Content and Community, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“The companies who engage most successfully with their communities got started because they knew it was the right thing to do. Those who will be successful over the next five years will be the ones who combine that philosophy and enthusiasm with an understanding that community engagement can and should also serve bottom-line objectives.”

Some Community team members bowling

11. Jason Boies (@jasonboies, Brand Journalist, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

“For Community Managers, it’s important to keep in mind that you are entering a world that moves at a ridiculously-fast speed and you need to keep extremely responsive. So while most of the popular platforms and networks are free, it still requires resources and an incredible investment of your time and effort. In the end, it’s worth that investment. Also keep in mind that your organization already likely employs capable salespeople, so as a Community Manager, try to keep the hard sell of your site/product to a minimum.

12. Emily Cahill (@yelphartford, Community Manager, Yelp Hartford)

“Time management is the name of the game! Since Community Management is a jack-of-all-trades role, figure out your best method of keeping organized whether it’s a detailed to-do list or scattered heap of post-its. As silly as it may sound, don’t forget to schedule personal time!”

13.  Last but not least, my tip

To borrow from Jason Falls, Community Engagement is not a goal.  It’s a result.  Good community management emerges from a strong culture and desire of an organization to build relationships for the long-term.  Community managers bring a strong ethic and dedication to developing the community, helping its members while also meeting corporate objectives.  A brand is more than bricks and mortar and demonstrating this through consistent and authentic community management is essential.

Through all these tips, there is a consistent message.  It is about people.  It always comes down to people and relationships.  So, let’s celebrate all the Community Managers on their day!  Happy Community Appreciations Managers’ Day to one and all!
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