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Why Community Managers Won't Exist in 5 Years (and why that's a good thing)

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A manifesto about the dangers and opportunities for community managers in the next 5 years. Originally presented at Social Media Week San Francisco.

A manifesto about the dangers and opportunities for community managers in the next 5 years. Originally presented at Social Media Week San Francisco.

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  • Thanks to SMWSF, Krystyl, UserVoiceCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License – really boring way of saying “please share and use this info, as long as the work you do with it is also licensed the same way. Sharing is caring”#SMWSF hashtag
  • 5 - Current state of the Community Manager5 - Success stories10 - The manifesto15 - Group discussionDestroy the free food and drinks
  • Sure, not everyone at a cocktail party knows what you do, but everyone knows what social media is.56% of Fortune 500 on Facebook60% on Twitter (35% more than 2009)79% of corporations doing social media
  • Sure, not everyone at a cocktail party knows56% of Fortune 500 on Facebook60% on Twitter (35% more than 2009)79% of corporations doing social media
  • Just because businesses see benefit of SM doesn’t mean that will end well for our customer engagement nuts
  • American Consumer Satisfaction Index(industry average 74)
  • We’ve succeeded in our living case study that engaging with customers is good. Now we have to scale it.
  • Nice guy marketing – making customer engagement a REAL business driver, not just one tool
  • Community Managers as they stand today don’t have the power to accomplish these things. That’s why, within 5 years, we need to start something new.
  • Help businesses build success by making their customers happy. Be in charge of that, not part of that. We’re going to start taking some responsibility and kicking some ass.
  • Call center person, receptionist
  • Utm tagging


  • 1. Why Community Managers Won’t Exist in 5 Years
    (and why that’s a good thing)
    Evan Hamilton
    Community Manager, UserVoice
  • 2. Agenda
    Current state of the Community Manager
    Success stories
    The manifesto
  • 3. Customer Engagement is Established
  • 4. Customer Engagement is Established
    • 56% of Fortune 500 on Facebook
    • 5. 60% on Twitter (35% more than 2009)
    • 6. 79% of corporations doing social media
    Data: http://www1.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesresearch/2010F500.pdf, http://bit.ly/hbHWTk
  • 7. Awesome, right?
  • 8. Community Managers are in danger
  • 9. Community Managers are in danger
    The Social Support Bubble
    • 19% of customers feel that social support is just for show
    • 10. A good experience on social media doesn’t matter if your customers have a bad experience elsewhere
    • 11. ComcastCares only raised Comcast’s ACSI score 5 points, still 15 points below the average for their industry
    Data: http://bit.ly/fMKtmC, http://bit.ly/eSmWbp, http://bit.ly/hVSCIZ
  • 12. Community Managers are in danger
    Other Departments Have Discovered Social Media
    Data: http://twitter.com/#!/BurgerKing/status/31019054902804482
  • 13. Community Managers are in danger
    We Have No Home
    • Social Media initiatives report to many different places
    • 14. Nobody is protecting us
    Data: Altimeter - http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/career-social-strategist
  • 15. There is opportunity
  • 16. There is opportunity
    • Other Departments have discovered social media!
    • 17. And we can be a resource
    • 18. Social media strategies are still evolving
    • 19. 82% long-term social media strategies are younger than 3 years, 52% younger than 2
    • 20. We’re not behind the curve yet
    Data: Altimeter - http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/career-social-strategist
  • 21. What is our goal, then?
  • 22. Nice Guy Marketing
    Customer generation and retention through niceness.
  • 23. Nice Guy Marketing
    • Customer happiness is #1 priority
    • 24. More budget spent on support than advertising
    • 25. 75% of customers are return customers
    • 26. Sales exceeding $1 billion in 2008
    Data: http://adage.com/moy2008/article?article_id=131759, http://about.zappos.com/sites/about.zappos.com/files/MasterMediaKit6.5.09.pdf
  • 27. Nice Guy Marketing
    • Free copies for open source, charities, high school students, etc.
    • 28. Transparent about revenue
    • 29. Everyone blogs
    • 30. $100k revenue in first 5 months
    Data: http://blogs.balsamiq.com/product/2008/11/14/hit-100000-in-revenue-time-to-start-looking-up/, http://balsamiq.com/blogs
  • 31. Nice Guy Marketing
    • 40% customer support staff, 40% engineering & product, 20% everything else
    • 32. CEO spends time in their forums
    • 33. Only 3.5% off each transaction
    • 34. $400MM gross merchandise in 2010
    Data: http://tcrn.ch/eMQAyW, http://on.wsj.com/gSZGvT
  • 35. Except…none of this was because of a community manager.
    It was founders, co-founders, and the like.
    Which is why we need to create a new position.
  • 36. Chief Happiness Officer
    A position dedicated to making sure all parts of the company are focused on making customers happy.
  • 37. Chief Happiness Officer
    Must be a horizontal position
    • CEOs don’t just focus on marketing or product, neither should we
    • 38. We can’t preach customer happiness from the cheap seats
  • Chief Happiness Officer
    Empower the whole organization
    • You can’t scale
    • 39. Average of 3.1 social media employees in 1k-5k orgs
    • 40. Siloed customer happiness is ineffective
    • 41. See ComcastCares
    • 42. Sometimes it’s the folks with the least power who have the most opportunity to delight your customers
    • 43. Nobody is protecting us
    Data: Altimeter - http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/career-social-strategist
  • 44. Chief Happiness Officer
    Have metrics
    • Team with the BI department
    • 45. Use existing systems
    • 46. Oliver Branchard’s Social Media ROI, Jeremiah Owyang’s Social Marketing Analytics
    • 47. There are tools
    • 48. Google Analytics tracking, Tweetreach, surveys
    • 49. Will be easier once we’re not in the trenches
    Data: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/the-basics-of-social-media-roi-ppt-slideshare/, http://bit.ly/gIJUUX
  • 50. Chief Happiness Officer
    Stop focusing on social media
    • Social media was our way around roadblocks – now we have to move past it
    • 51. Customers should be happy however they interact with you
    • 52. Zappos: “The telephone is one of the best branding devices out there”
    Data: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/alissa-walker/member-blog/tony-hsiehs-zapposcom
  • 53. Chief Happiness Officer
    Join early
    • We should be the 3rd employee
    • 54. Hard to change an organization after it’s set in its ways
    • 55. People are already doing this, like Jenna Langer from LiveFyre
  • Chief Happiness Officer
    Work smarter, not harder
    • We’re all burning out
    • 56. We need to stop fighting and start leading
  • Chief Happiness Officer
    Turn down job offers
    • If you’re not going to get the power and freedom you need to make the company succeed, they don’t deserve you
    • 57. Letting you succeed is in the company’s best interest
    • 58. Taking a limited job now just means you’ll be miserable later
  • Go do it.
  • 59. Thanks!
    More rants: www.understandingyourcustomers.com
    @evanhamilton on Twitter
  • 60. Image credits
    Billboard: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmray02/4474188424/in/photostream/
    Dog & Cat: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mofle/2088197145/in/photostream/
    Cat & Bird: http://www.flickr.com/photos/irenewn/2263552045/in/photostream/
    Note: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75166820@N00/4568113/in/photostream/
    Kittens: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ferran-jorda/4460510626/in/photostream/
  • 61. Licensing
    This presentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), which means you should feel free to share it, use parts of it, and remix it as long as a) you’re not using it for commercial privileges and b) whatever you’re creating is licensed the same way. Because sharing is awesome.