Community Management Lessons Learned

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  • Past-life clients - WarChild, WaterfrontTO, Molson, HP, Intel, Moto, Cisco, Coke, COC, CBCF, BetterPlace...
    Real-life work - ChangeCamp, GovCamp, Wellspring, misc. NGOs, NXNE, AMF...
    who else hires CMs? Amex, Sony, Yelp, Whole Foods, Intel, JWT, Best Buy, MTV - of course Dell
  • early web history - original 'moderators' for message boards - compuserve, aol, other companies in tech mainly
     Many of the benefits of community are intangible
    • There are hard number studies available, from Cisco’s 2004 finding that “43% of visits to online support forums are in lieu of opening up a support case through standard methods” through Dell’s tale of $1 million in sales through Twitter last year
    • Community managers should establish methods to measure their own impact on other departments’ bottom lines
    • For every person you interact with publicly, far more watch that inter- action and are impacted
    • Community management can be another form of networking, deliv- ering the same kinds of value that conference attendance, presenta- tions and related activities deliver
  • Marketing consultant Rick Turoczy says it’s a matter of skill sets and authenticity. “I think community management is better handled by customer service for the majority of companies,” he told us. “Most marketing people don’t get it. They’re broadcast only. The best community managers I’ve ever worked with (including before the days of social media) were always in customer service or professional services.”
    Connie Bensen is a leading authority on cultivating online communities. Forbes.com listed her blog as one of the top 20 marketing and social media blogs by women in 2009. It is also recognized for providing best practices for this emerging role. She also provides mentorship and inspires others to pursue this new career. Connie is the Director of Community Strategy at Alterian. She is also a 2009 Fellow with the Society of New Communications Research and speaks at leading social media conferences.
    Dan Gray - Gaming expert & designer
  • C.M. is a bit of a hip catchphrase for many social media workplacesBrands want to find, join, create strong communities consisting of evangelists/enthusiastsEach CM has their own style and idea about how to run things5 key qualities in successful CMgmt/Mgrs
  • Muhammad Saleem, community manager for Tip’d, “Be incredibly patient and approachable and never lose your cool, ever. Always start with the assumption that you’re wrong and the community member is right, and work from there onwards. Always have lines of communication open with your community as well as those outside your community (even competitors) and be available to chat/discuss/troubleshoot/resolve. Remember that the community always comes first, no matter what decision you’re trying to make. All decisions should be made with the community in mind. Ask yourself, how does this improve the community experience?”
  • recognize you no longer control message other voices are equally valid/interesting on your subjectshare info w/ communitygenerates trust/loyalty
    Notice MSM blogs include other pub/rival content - your readers are going there anyway
  • Amber Naslund of Radian6 
    “Flexibility: this isn’t a 9-5 job, nor is it always a neat and tidy job description. That means being what your company and community need you to be, when they need you. Sometimes it’s communicating, sometimes it’s listening, sometimes it’s strategy and sometimes it’s execution.”
  • Mix of passion and compassion
    a demanding job with long, hard hours and high public ex- pectations
    Skill in working with social media tools is important
    Management assumptions need to be questioned
    Good community management will change the business it’s per- formed for
    There are established norms for pay
  • Amber at Radian6
    "Sometimes the best person to provide an answer isn’t you, but you can help connect and put the right people in touch to make sure their experience with your company is always a good one. You’re more often the means than the end.”
  • ratio can be 30/70 
    varies w/ writing ability
  • Number of meaningful comments (more than a few words, on topic, pertinent to the space) on appropriate blogs, videos, and other media per month.
    Engagement on our blog/community/network. (Number of subscribers, number of comments, number of links out to other blogs from our community site)
  • Overall quality of her Twitter stream ( maybe a 60/30/10 mix of industry-related / personal @ comments / and off-topic)
  • each org'n defines success differently
    Improvement in marketing efficiencyCommunity Managers should measure increased speed from word of mouth or marketing awareness, the best way to measure this is time from awareness to close –or spread of WOM. This could also include increase understanding of customers (listening) for marketing research, or warning stakeholders about potential detractors before they become real issues. Unfortunately, these metrics aren’t valued as much as the next two, so focus accordingly.
    Reduction in support costsThe bottom line is always important to business, so if you can measure a decrese in customers going to physical stores, emailing account reps, or calling the support center as they instead rely on community to help self-support themselves, you can start to put dollar costs on this actual community savings.
    Actual improvement to salesThis matters most. Community Managers should start to measure how clicks from community directly impact ecommerce, go to product pages (perhaps if you’re B2B) or to affiliate marketing to demonstrate how community interaction increases revenue. If you can demonstrate this (like Dell’s million dollar sales in Twitter) tout this loudly to management.
  • Dawn Foster is a widely known online community and marketing consultant. She tends to work in developer-centric communities, especially open-source ones. We asked Dawn to share some experiences she’s had at various companies that were particularly educational.
    She told us one unhappy story, one story that started out rough but ended up being resolved well, and one story that was happy right from the start. Her stories resonate well with many
    of the other developer community managers we’ve heard from in the rest of this report.
    Dawn can be found at her blog, FastWonderBlog.com and on Twitter at @GeekyGirlDawn.
    the Bad story: the company that hated the communIty
    “I was working for a company that had a community where the community and company were at extreme odds. The relationship was honestly adversarial. People at the company were talking about how stupid the community was, and the community was talking about how unhelpful
    the company was. They brought me in to help with that, but I probably “shouldn’t have. The founders and execs were the ones being hostile!
    “What I learned from that is that no amount of community management skills or work will overcome a situation where company executives don’t like the community. Had these execs been more eager to participate, if it had been people lower in the company causing the problems, then that migh”t have worked.
    “I think you see it more in open-source communities because t an expectation that you will take code from others, but the founders of a company can be arrogant about other people’s code.”
  • defined social norms in writing
    they enforce them
    watch
    security #1
    issue w/ yahoo buyout
    earned back trust
    most popular photo sharing site (dedicated - don't count FB)
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community created byLudicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. 
    widely bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
    September 2010, it reported that it was hosting more than 5 billion images
  • defined social norms in writing
    they enforce them
    watch
    security #1
    issue w/ yahoo buyout
    earned back trust
    most popular photo sharing site (dedicated - don't count FB)
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community created byLudicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. 
    widely bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
    September 2010, it reported that it was hosting more than 5 billion images
  • defined social norms in writing
    they enforce them
    watch
    security #1
    issue w/ yahoo buyout
    earned back trust
    most popular photo sharing site (dedicated - don't count FB)
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community created byLudicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. 
    widely bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
    September 2010, it reported that it was hosting more than 5 billion images
  • defined social norms in writing
    they enforce them
    watch
    security #1
    issue w/ yahoo buyout
    earned back trust
    most popular photo sharing site (dedicated - don't count FB)
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community created byLudicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. 
    widely bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
    September 2010, it reported that it was hosting more than 5 billion images
  • Community Management Lessons Learned

    1. 1. overview • brief bio • what's a c.m.? • what's a community? • top five c.m. qualities • measurement metrics • worst-cases/troubleshooting • case studies 1, 2 & 3 • q&a
    2. 2. another 'social media expert'(groan) • community manager, Province of Ontario • digital team leader, strategist • public affairs & digital senior consultant • music foundation comms & pgms • measurement/analytics (reports) • blogger relations (emails) • online strategy (content+URLs)
    3. 3. what is a community manager? • listening post • customer liaison/message re-router • brand ambassador (chortle) • editorial calendar manager • event planner & host • front-line communicator • core competency:  conversations
    4. 4. quoteable community manager quotes • "Customer service is the new marketing." - GetSatisfaction.com • "...tilt away from marketing, towards customer service...achieve passive business development." - Connie Benson • "Passionate, but without letting it get out of control. Thick-skinned but not cruel or insensitive. Driven but still interested in helping others. Personable but always professional." - Dan Gray
    5. 5. what do you mean 'community'? • virtual meeting place - exists online • members enable w/ rituals • crosses geo/political boundaries • pursues mutual interests/goals/needs • facilitates interaction & collaboration  • open to all or members-only • may have moderator tools
    6. 6. top five qualities in a c.m. 1. PASSION 2. PROMOTION 3. PERMISSION 4. PERSONALITY 5. PROFICIENCY
    7. 7. passion • love the gig • love the org • love the geeks • humility • patience • availability • unflappability
    8. 8. promotion • avoid shilling, broadcasting • look beyond corporate interest • bring value to community • deliver content they'd like • outside/new/quirky content • outside ideas -> discussion
    9. 9. permission • empower & support the community • all major decisions/content need consent • hand-over power to users to contribute • users allowed to contact CM • CM is what community allows them to be, when they'd like o communicating -> listening o strategy -> execution
    10. 10. personality • same disposition online as in real life • transparent • fun • engaging • outgoing • connected • relationship-builder
    11. 11. proficiency • must have extensive company knowledge • any question, concern, thought • access to higher ups/all staff • cross-pollination will improve internal comms, too • acting as voice of brand req's trust, respect & responsibility
    12. 12. are they doing a decent job? 1. RESPONSIVENESS 2. READERSHIP 3. RELATIONSHIPS 4. REGULARITY 5. RESULTS
    13. 13. responsiveness • first measurement index • benchmark-able each month • demonstrates respect for community • measure time CM spent to reply to: o blog comment o email o twitter message o forum thread • ideally < 24 hrs
    14. 14. readership • important to keep community happy, but ideally achieving constant growth • sharing relevant content is key • track number of o quality blog posts o 'lighter' linking posts o ideal ratio 40:60 o in-links from other sites o re-tweets, re-blogs, etc.
    15. 15. relationships • building brand 'off-site' • raising profile, demonstrating respect for other relevant sources • track number of: o thoughtful comments on outside blogs, videos, twitter users o new subscribers o comments o links to others' work on CM site
    16. 16. regularity • consistency is key • users turned off by spammy high-frequency campaign content • measure quality of overall content • compare output over months • ideal twitter ratio o 60:30:10 o industry:@-replies:fun
    17. 17. results • improve 'listening ability' of organization o track incr. inputs for community needs • improve awareness w/out marketing o measure sentiment on social media • tangible metrics o increase in subscribers, comments, real/virtual event attendance, newsletter subscriptions o actual sales increase o decrease in customer Qs o general marketing efficiency
    18. 18. troubleshooting - CM • avoid popularity contests • background check • reference check • examine online footprint • informal Q&As with peers • writing samples • scenario Qs/simulations
    19. 19. troubleshooting - users • post code of conduct prominently • establish crisis communications system • anticipate 'angry villager' moments • regularly monitor tone of exchanges • request monthly reports • explain legal, ethical & confidentiality restraints
    20. 20. troubleshooting - blowups • small mishaps are (cliche alert) learning experiences • be transparent about how confrontation was discussed internally (within reason) • don't undermine CM by stepping in too soon • consider taking certain users offline (& refer to code of conduct to back up your decision)
    21. 21. case study #1 - involve = grow • Cosmopolitan Magazine - UK online • Online customer panel -> editorial research -> informs print publication • Site Community 250+K • Twitter followers 20+K • 'I am a Cosmo Girl because' • Blog Awards “most effective marketing initiative ever”
    22. 22. case study #2 - adversarial • lack of respect for community -> bad start • Dawn Foster, @GeekyGirlDawn, FastWonderBlog • hiring CM won't change fundamental culture • executives must like community • be prepared to accept criticism, affect change, adapt practices • esp. software/developer/tech community members 'fluent' in your language -> valid opinions
    23. 23. case study #3 - risk, rules, reward
    24. 24. q & a • think of one later? o email - meghan@withoutayard.com o twitter - @withoutayard
    25. 25. reading Connie Benson - Great blogger w/ many posts re. CM role • http://conniebensen.com/ Dawn Foster - Communications Strategist • http://www.slideshare.net/geekygirldawn/online-community- manager-yes-its-really-a-job-2010 Jeremiah Owyang - Web Strategist Extraordinaire, Blogger • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/11/25/the-four-tenets- of-the-community-manager/ • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/01/28/community- managers-must-deliver-roi-tips-for-surviving-a-recession/ • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/08/14/how-to-kick- start-a-community-an-ongoing-list/ • http://www.b2cmarketinginsider.com/social-media/8-stages-of- listening-social-media-tips-from-jeremiah-owyang-0666 Chris Brogan - Consultant, 'Trust Agents' author • http://www.chrisbrogan.com/the-long-tail-of-community/ • http://www.chrisbrogan.com/on-managing-a-community/ • http://www.chrisbrogan.com/essential-skills-of-a-community- manager/
    26. 26. image sources title slide font - http://www.typenow.net/themed.htm LP covers - http://www.flickr.com/photos/93123479@N00/sets/72157594220531894/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/minifig/sets/1718298/with/73566812/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/maccerto/2302220820/in/pool-44124304756@N01/ movies - http://www.ohgizmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/lego_johnny_five.jpg http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/blogs/2009/05/good-morning-internet-43 http://www.greatwhitesnark.com/2008/11/20/alien-chest-burster-lego-minifig-is- beautifully-ugly/ tech images - http://mashable.com/tag/lego/; http://blog.pcnews.ro/2007/08/10/lego-day/ http://www.swiss-miss.com/2009/03/lego-twitter-fail-whale.html http://www.geekalerts.com/lego-iphone/ minifigs http://www.flickr.com/photos/morgan19/sets/72157610733373218/with/3083134462/ anatomy - http://www.geekologie.com/2008/10/im_a_doctor_anatomy_of_a_lego.php mario Q box - http://www.redrecondite.com/blog/category/lego VW van - http://www.flickr.com/photos/msh-images/1660076276/in/photostream/ lego army medic - http://www.amazon.com/Green-Army-Man-Medic- Minifigure/dp/B00328O0JO cosmo screengrabs & naughty lego - http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/chatroom/topic/5108 3 flickr screengrabs - http://www.flickr.com/guidelines/

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