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7 Traits of Highly Effective Community Managers


Published on

(Originally presented at a DNN webinar, "The 7 Traits of Highly Effective Community Managers" -

Behind every successful online community is a highly effective community manager.

While community members "make" the community, it takes an effective community manager to establish the ground rules, steer conversations, introduce members to one another and encourage activity and contributions.

The seven traits you need to effectively manage your own online community:

1) MacGyver-like
2) Omniscient
3) Parental
4) Unconventional
5) Unflappable
6) Proactive
7) Generous

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

7 Traits of Highly Effective Community Managers

  1. Dennis Shiao Director, Product Marketing @DNNCorp | @dshiao Tweet with hash tag: #DNN
  2. What we’re covering today: Your owned and operated [EXTERNAL] online community. What we’re NOT covering today:
  3. Job Description: Community Manager MUST HAVE:  Proven ability to develop an idea, build broad, cross-organizational consensus and sponsorship and carry it forward to implementation and operational management. Product Management Politics Sales Operations  Excellent communications skills with particular strength in written communications and presentations. Marketing PR Communications
  4. Job Description: Community Manager  Superb understanding of trends and industry direction coupled with the ability to identify the most important applications of these trends for integration to the community. Analyst Industry Expert Integrator Implementer  Proven ability to work effectively with a project team responsible for content delivery tools such as search and other web-based support tools to deliver unparalleled online support experiences. Project Management Technologist Customer Support
  5. Job Description: Community Manager Photo credit: ruffin_ready on flickr Photo credit: natalialove on flickr
  6. Strategic Role of The Community Manager Community Manager Roles Marketing PR Sales Customer Support Professional Services Product Management Operations Organizational Roles CEO CFO CIO Engineering Legal Sales Marketing HR Customer Support
  7. Strategic Role of The Community Manager YOU. Community Organization
  8. The Currency of The Community Manager Activity  Logins  Page views  Unique visitors  New users  Repeat logins  Time on site Satisfaction  Survey results  Sentiment  Net Promoter Score (NPS) Business Value  Leads  Inquiries  Pipeline  Revenue Related SlideShare: Top Metrics to Track Online Community Health
  9. Community Management Grows in Strategic Value 2013 Growth Path Chief Content Officer (CCO) Content Marketer 2014 Growth Path Community Manager Chief Community Officer (CCO)
  10. Chief Community Officer “Responsible for culture, commu nity, governmen t relations, diversi ty and global responsibility efforts.”
  11. 1) MacGyver-like Your mission: Find creative solutions using the tools available to you.      Be prepared (for anything) Identify the tools available to you Find creative solutions using those tools Improvise as needed Find ways to re-use those tools Image source: the MacGyver page at IMDb. P.S. Be always prepared for adventure, too. A list of problems solved by MacGyver:
  12. 1) MacGyver-like MacGyver Tip for Community Management: Lean on community “champions” to help resolve issues “When reaching out to your army of champions, not only do you need to be empathetic to their work load and current challenges, but you need to wholeheartedly inspire and motivate them to want to get involved. Present the problem, ask for the support, and be sure to celebrate and socialize their efforts internally and externally.” Jenny Berthiaume Online Community & Engagement Strategist Twitter: @jennycb Our take: “An issue solved by the community is an epic win for the community manager.”
  13. 2) Omniscient You have your eyes and ears on: What’s going on (now). Backward-looking trends. The reason for those trends. Forward-looking trends. What users like. What users dislike. What features are missing. What the future holds.
  14. 2) Omniscient Tip for Community Management: Read community members’ online body language “It is essential that your community manager be hypersensitive to the ‘energy in the room,’ so to speak. A good candidate will have expert listening skills and will be able to match his or her energy and tone to the environment in which he or she is working, blending effortlessly and quickly becoming an asset to the community.” Jenise Fryatt Social Media Strategist, Content Marketing, Blogger Icon Presentations AV/Smarter Shift Twitter: @JeniseFryatt
  15. 3) Parental  Nurture  Develop  Guide  Resolve  Comfort  Feed  Teach  Praise  Protect  Humor  Inspire  Listen  Watch  Give  Reward  Love  Encourage  Challenge “It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community manager to raise a village.”
  16. 3) Parental Tip for Community Management: Make community members feel heard “In general, most people just want to feel like they are being heard and a simple acknowledgement can be enough to calm someone down.” Lauren Harper Social Marketing Manager, Oracle Eloqua Twitter: @LaurenEHarper
  17. 3) Parental Tip for Community Management: Treat community members with consistency “Like wrangling a bunch of grubby four year olds on the playground, you must wield your power fairly and enforce the rules equally, or you will suffer a barrage of mean spirited feedback.” Alethe Denis Social Media and Community Manager iMagiclab, LLC Twitter: @Leafies42 Alethe’s blog post at 3 Hallmarks of an Excellent Modern Community Manager
  18. 4) Unconventional Conventional: …is uniform. …is boring. …is the same old thing. …doesn’t inspire anything or anyone.
  19. 4) Unconventional Be unconventional: …experiment. …measure. …evaluate. …double down on what’s working.
  20. 4) Unconventional Tip for Community Management: Use humor “Communities need help, but they also need some comic relief. Take a moment everyday or week to inject some humor. Maybe that's a joke, a funny image or anything that will make your community smile for a moment.” Koka Sexton Global Sr. Social Marketing Manager LinkedIn Twitter: @kokasexton
  21. 5) Unflappable Realities of Community Management       Expect controversy. Anticipate negativity and/or trolls. A crisis can arise any day, any hour, any minute. Users will not be happy with you. Users will not be happy with your brand. Expect the unexpected.
  22. 5) Unflappable Side note: when facing a blitz, provide good SERVICE [pun intended] To judge quarterbacks, see how they perform when faced with a blitz. To judge community managers, see how they perform when faced with a crisis. Photo credit: West Point on flickr.
  23. 5) Unflappable Read the blog post and see the full graphic at Kuno Creative.
  24. 6) Proactive
  25. 6) Proactive A good community manager responds to issues. A great community manager resolves them before they even become issues.
  26. 6) Proactive The proactive habits of highly effective community managers       “Always On” Outreach Analytics Trend spotting Encouragement Recognition  Experimentation  Planning  Feedback to internal stakeholders  External PR  Optimization “Community members don’t always tell you how they feel. Use analytics to fill in the blanks.”
  27. 7) Generous Great hotels have great concierges. Photo credit: adrianflower on flickr.
  28. 7) Generous Be the concierge for your online community      Welcome them to your great city Give them directions Recommend venues and destinations Make dinner or show reservations Make sure their stay is pleasurable
  29. Closing Quote Tip for Community Management: Simmer for best taste “Your community is not a pot of water that you are waiting to see boil. Instead it is a very delicate sauce, which needs constant attention and patience. It takes time and loads of energy to develop a truly fantastic and engaged community.” Alethe Denis Social Media and Community Manager iMagiclab, LLC Twitter: @Leafies42
  30. Book Recommendation The Art of Community By Jono Bacon Ubuntu Community Manager Twitter: @jonobacon Hat tip to Adrian Segar (@ASegar) There’s a section on “Effective Community Management.” Available for purchase at Amazon.
  31. In Summary MacGyver-like Unflappable Omniscient Parental Proactive Unconventional Generous
  32. Questions? Contact me: @DNNCorp | @dshiao