#SXSELondon Presentation - The Seven Deadly Sins of Community Management


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A short presentation delivered at the inaugural SXSE London event on 3rd July 2012.

Rather than talk about case studies and examples of community management successes or how I've used it, I wanted to just give a broad idea of, what I think are, the cardinal sins in Community Management.

All credit to Jefferey Henning (@jhenning on Twitter) for writing the blog post that inspired this presentation!

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#SXSELondon Presentation - The Seven Deadly Sins of Community Management

  1. 1. The Seven Deadly Sins ofCommunity Management By Ben Martin@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  2. 2. Who am I?- Global Community Manager for AVG Technologies- 6 Years Community Manager, ex-agency, now in-house- Brands I have worked for or with include….@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  3. 3. • Although it’s existed in some shapeA bit of or form for decades, Communitypreamble… Management is still considered an “emerging” role • There are no absolute “right” or “wrong” ways of doing things in Community Management- there seldom are in social media - anyone who tells you otherwise is a charlatan • There are, however, some cardinal sins which should generally be avoided…@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  4. 4. Lust • A community should be treated like a (loving) relationship • You get out what you put in, but be prepared to compromise • If you treat a community like you’re only in it for one thing (i.e. sales), your members will soon move on • Related tip: Don’t search for Ron Jeremy pictures with SafeSearch off@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  5. 5. Gluttony • A community can be a great source for research, product ideas, feedback and traffic • BUT don’t indulge heavily • Don’t bog your users down with continuous requests for research and feedback • Balance what you use your community for, or they’ll stop bothering with you, because you’re asking too much@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  6. 6. Greed • Numbers are great. Having high numbers (Likes, Followers, RTs, Engagement Rate etc) is obviously better than having low numbers • However, they are not the be- all and end-all to a community - in fact most of them are just for show • While having thousands of likes is great, how many people are actually returning and contributing?@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  7. 7. Sloth • Being a community manager is not a 9-5 job • You need to spend time nurturing and building trust with your members • When not interacting, you should work on ways to improve your community • If you spend more time broadcasting than interacting & responding, you’re not a Community Manager@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  8. 8. Wrath • When someone’s misbehaving or mouthing off, it’s tempting to break out the ban hammer • This is seldom the best course of action, find out what’s motivating the trouble maker and fix it • Openly publish and discuss your community’s rules and guidelines – if it’s community sourced, even better • However, beware the trolls!@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  9. 9. Envy • It’s easy to get wrapped up in what other brands are doing, especially if their numbers are higher • Every community is different, even if the subject matter or product is similar • Use competitors and others as inspiration or motivation, sure, but keep your focus on doing what works for your community (and be platform agnostic!)@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  10. 10. Pride • Criticism can be hard to take as a Community Manager • Accept all feedback and never censor – respond positively • It’s also easy to get wrapped up in your own achievements, without recognising the community members that make a difference • Recognise and reward your community superstars, they are invaluable!@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  11. 11. • These “cardinal sins” are not a setThat all of do and do nots – I am guilty ofsaid… committing some of them myself from time to time • An online community is a continuously evolving environment, with ever-changing goals and priorities • As such, your approach needs to be just as flexible. It’s ok to “break the rules”, as long as it’s the community that benefits@BenjMartin #SXSELondon
  12. 12. • @Jhenning for writing the blogCredit to… post that inspired this presentation (and for his permission to use it as my basis) • @CatTurner for keeping me amused on Twitter whilst I was trying to write this presentation • Larry Page & Sergey Brin for inventing Google image search • Liam Neeson, because after having watched Taken, I’m doing all I can to stay on his good side@BenjMartin #SXSELondon