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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.

Published in: Business, Technology

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

  1. 1. Why Community Managers Won’t Exist in 5 Years<br />(and why that’s a good thing)<br />Evan Hamilton<br />Community Manager, UserVoice<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Current state of the Community Manager<br />Success stories<br />The manifesto<br />
  3. 3. Customer Engagement is Established<br />
  4. 4. Customer Engagement is Established<br /><ul><li>56% of Fortune 500 on Facebook
  5. 5. 60% on Twitter (35% more than 2009)
  6. 6. 79% of corporations doing social media</li></ul>Data:,<br />
  7. 7. Awesome, right?<br />(nope)<br />
  8. 8. Community Managers are in danger<br />
  9. 9. Community Managers are in danger<br />The Social Support Bubble<br /><ul><li> 19% of customers feel that social support is just for show
  10. 10. A good experience on social media doesn’t matter if your customers have a bad experience elsewhere
  11. 11. ComcastCares only raised Comcast’s ACSI score 5 points, still 15 points below the average for their industry</li></ul>Data:,,<br />
  12. 12. Community Managers are in danger<br />Other Departments Have Discovered Social Media<br />Data:!/BurgerKing/status/31019054902804482<br />
  13. 13. Community Managers are in danger<br />We Have No Home<br /><ul><li> Social Media initiatives report to many different places
  14. 14. Nobody is protecting us</li></ul>Data: Altimeter -<br />
  15. 15. There is opportunity<br />
  16. 16. There is opportunity<br /><ul><li> Other Departments have discovered social media!
  17. 17. And we can be a resource
  18. 18. Social media strategies are still evolving
  19. 19. 82% long-term social media strategies are younger than 3 years, 52% younger than 2
  20. 20. We’re not behind the curve yet</li></ul>Data: Altimeter -<br />
  21. 21. What is our goal, then?<br />
  22. 22. Nice Guy Marketing<br />Customer generation and retention through niceness.<br />
  23. 23. Nice Guy Marketing<br /><ul><li> Customer happiness is #1 priority
  24. 24. More budget spent on support than advertising
  25. 25. 75% of customers are return customers
  26. 26. Sales exceeding $1 billion in 2008</li></ul>Data:,<br />
  27. 27. Nice Guy Marketing<br /><ul><li> Free copies for open source, charities, high school students, etc.
  28. 28. Transparent about revenue
  29. 29. Everyone blogs
  30. 30. $100k revenue in first 5 months</li></ul>Data:,<br />
  31. 31. Nice Guy Marketing<br /><ul><li> 40% customer support staff, 40% engineering & product, 20% everything else
  32. 32. CEO spends time in their forums
  33. 33. Only 3.5% off each transaction
  34. 34. $400MM gross merchandise in 2010</li></ul>Data:,<br />
  35. 35. Except…none of this was because of a community manager.<br />It was founders, co-founders, and the like.<br />Which is why we need to create a new position.<br />
  36. 36. Chief Happiness Officer<br />A position dedicated to making sure all parts of the company are focused on making customers happy.<br />
  37. 37. Chief Happiness Officer<br />Must be a horizontal position<br /><ul><li> CEOs don’t just focus on marketing or product, neither should we
  38. 38. We can’t preach customer happiness from the cheap seats</li></li></ul><li>Chief Happiness Officer<br />Empower the whole organization<br /><ul><li> You can’t scale
  39. 39. Average of 3.1 social media employees in 1k-5k orgs
  40. 40. Siloed customer happiness is ineffective
  41. 41. See ComcastCares
  42. 42. Sometimes it’s the folks with the least power who have the most opportunity to delight your customers
  43. 43. Nobody is protecting us</li></ul>Data: Altimeter -<br />
  44. 44. Chief Happiness Officer<br />Have metrics<br /><ul><li> Team with the BI department
  45. 45. Use existing systems
  46. 46. Oliver Branchard’s Social Media ROI, Jeremiah Owyang’s Social Marketing Analytics
  47. 47. There are tools
  48. 48. Google Analytics tracking, Tweetreach, surveys
  49. 49. Will be easier once we’re not in the trenches</li></ul>Data:,<br />
  50. 50. Chief Happiness Officer<br />Stop focusing on social media<br /><ul><li> Social media was our way around roadblocks – now we have to move past it
  51. 51. Customers should be happy however they interact with you
  52. 52. Zappos: “The telephone is one of the best branding devices out there”</li></ul>Data:<br />
  53. 53. Chief Happiness Officer<br />Join early<br /><ul><li> We should be the 3rd employee
  54. 54. Hard to change an organization after it’s set in its ways
  55. 55. People are already doing this, like Jenna Langer from LiveFyre</li></li></ul><li>Chief Happiness Officer<br />Work smarter, not harder<br /><ul><li> We’re all burning out
  56. 56. We need to stop fighting and start leading</li></li></ul><li>Chief Happiness Officer<br />Turn down job offers<br /><ul><li> If you’re not going to get the power and freedom you need to make the company succeed, they don’t deserve you
  57. 57. Letting you succeed is in the company’s best interest
  58. 58. Taking a limited job now just means you’ll be miserable later</li></li></ul><li>Go do it.<br />
  59. 59. Thanks!<br />More rants:<br />Me:<br />@evanhamilton on Twitter<br /><br />
  60. 60. Image credits<br />Billboard:<br />Dog & Cat:<br />Cat & Bird:<br />Note:<br />Kittens:<br />
  61. 61. Licensing<br />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.<br />