Be Honest, Do You Like Everyone In Your Community?

Photo cred: Kaitlyn Kalon

At the #cmgrchat yesterday, I got into this debate with other community managers.  Some people believed that a community manager doesn’t have to pretend to like and engage with some members of their community.

Really?  So you’re telling me if you didn’t have your community manager job over there at your company, you’d still sincerely enjoy interacting with ALL of these members of your community?!

Even the creepy ones?  Even the assholes? Even the trolls?

Now I’m not saying it’s impossible to develop real relationships with people in your community.  If you’re not making any real relationships in the end, then you’re probably in the wrong line of work.

To say that you sincerely care about, and enjoy interacting with, EVERYONE in your community sounds like a load of crap.  There are always going to be people who you usually wouldn’t care for, that you have to engage with because it’s your job.

I’m not talking about the will to help people.  It’s possible to love helping people…although I still find it hard to believe that you enjoy helping every troll and asshole that talks trash about you and your company.

I’m talking about the concept of “engaging” or “building relationships”.  Dare I say… a lot of the people that we engage with in our “personal” professional community aren’t people we’d usually interact with.  We do it, because it can help our careers in the future.

A good community manager isn’t really building relationships for themselves, they’re building that connection to the brand and the rest of the community.

As a community manager, you are a representative of your company.  All of your job related interactions should respect that fact.  You’re not engaging with people for yourself, you’re engaging with people for your company.

So in the end, you have ask yourself… would my company want me to engage with this person?

Disagree?

8 Too Many Responsibilities of a Community Manager

Photo cred: Thomas Hawk

Community Manager.

It’s a title that didn’t exist a few years ago.  Now, in 2010, every business and their mother has one.

…but what is a “community manager”.  Everyone seems to have a different perspective on the responsibilities of a community manager.

Here’s your (shitty) answer: It’s a broad term.

…and the problem is that so often, since the responsibilities aren’t clearly defined, they are ALL expected.  Then community managers end up having to answer for 7 full time jobs worth of results.

A title “community manager” can be broken down into countless other titles.  But since titles don’t actually mean anything (I make up a new one for myself every day), I’ll list out the some of the possible responsibilities that a community manager could have.  They might do one of these things.  They might do 3.  I hope, for their sake, they aren’t responsible for all of them.

Let me know if I forget any:

  1. Customer Service. Responding to customer complaints wherever they may occur.
  2. PR. Announcing new developments, responding to crisis, seeking media coverage, etc…
  3. Marketing. Improving brand recognition, launching contests, sharing content and media etc…
  4. Evangelist. Loving the crap out of your brand…in public.
  5. Content producer. Writing blog posts, creating videos, conducting interviews, tweeting, all that good stuff.
  6. Business development. Establishing partnerships, creating leads for the sales team to follow up on.
  7. Spokesperson. Attends and speaks at events.  “The face” of your company.
  8. Event planner. Hosts events and builds a community through offline interactions.

Don’t make the mistake of hiring a community manager because “everyone else has one”.  Know which specific responsibilities you need handled, and hire accordingly.

Then you can call them your “community manager”, or your “social media mega magician-ator” or whatever you want.

Good luck,

David

Chief Juggling Officer, Scribnia.com