The Emerging Role of the Community Manager (#astdl20)


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The deck I shared at the ASTD Learning 2.0 Conference on 4/29/11.

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  • We are here to talk about community management – what it is, why you need it, and what are some of the fundamental tenets of the discipline.
  • There is an overwhelming amount of conversation about the tools and the content – and both are important and critical. However, the reason social software is so compelling is that it draws people back because of the relationships. It is really important to not loose site of that. If you create a social initiative constructed with relationships at its core, it will be far more sustainable than one that puts the tools or content at its core. People can easily ignore tools and content but have a much harder time ignoring people.
  • People need a connection in order to form a relationship and the more relevant and urgent their need, the faster that connection will form. As marketers looking to create engagement, it is really important to think about your target audience and their interests/needs and make your initiative focus on that. For most companies and brands, building a community about a product won ’t work so well. Rubbermaid – professional organizers, home organization Fiskaters – crafts GHY – Internal trade issues Aetna/Humana – fitness/health H&R Block – tax advice Exceptions: Palladium Group – Balanced Scorecard SAP - SDN Newell Rubbermaid – Sharpies
  • Comes down to cost/benefit. Transactional processes are one-to-one, hierarchical processes are one-to-many, and networked processes are many-to-many. Along with hard costs, they also drive long term loyalty and retention because participants are more invested if done well, however that can only have if the organization is willing to share control.
  • I think of any collection of people created by social software as a community. However, there are really big differences in scale between different online communities and it ’s important to understand the scale that will serve your needs the best because they act very differently.
  • Community management is, at a fundamental level, a job for generalists who can orchestrate the right resources, skills, tone, and talent that establishes the environment in which community will take hold. Relevant and fun.
  • Community management is, at a fundamental level, a job for generalists who can orchestrate the right resources, skills, tone, and talent that establishes the environment in which community will take hold. Relevant and fun.
  • No one shows up and/or there is no engagement. Examples: Constant Contact.
  • People are initially very enthusiastic and everyone creates groups or content – some of which is relevant but a lot of which is duplicate or random making it hard for people over time to find useful connections and content and usage drops off. Examples – Internally with Sharepoint sites. Big organizations sometimes have hundreds of Facebook/Twitter accounts because it is so easy to do.
  • You ’ve created a place for people to vent… and they do, in volume. Turns off people who might otherwise use the environment more productively Example: Internal blog in a low morale culture.
  • One set of members becomes much stronger than the others and eventually takes over which creates a huge social barrier to entry for other groups. Example: 2.0 Adoption Council, OvationTV
  • Skills, Attributes, Experience (Program management, Marketing programs, product manager). Person needs to understand people and business to do this job effectively – lots of internal relationships also helps.
  • An interest and talent in observing behavior is quite helpful. Someone that intuitively understands the social dynamic is incredibly useful.
  • Have regularly scheduled events – cadence is important. Cadence sets the expectation and models behavior for members – if you want people coming back daily, you need to have something valuable going on every day.
  • Be Multi-modal: Text, images, video; Asynchronous, Synchronous
  • Make it valuable (contextual/relevant) – why will they return if it is not? The more complex the target behavior, the more valuable you need the community to be.
  • Give them a reason to come and socialize – and then share the experience with colleagues/friends.
  • What are the handful of things that will keep your audience/members coming back? Celebrities? Games? Experts? Tools? Examples: Isis online chats with experts
  • Rules codify the culture you would like to promote and set the expectations for behavior. Useful to document things you want to encourage as well as things that are not acceptable.
  • Identify the individuals in your community who are most enthusiastic and supportive. Give them tools, special access, and air time because they pull in others, rally the troops, and give your community a sense of soul. [Advocacy programs – examples Microsoft MVP, SAP Mentors, Ford, consumer brand blogger relations]
  • Really hard to create enough energy to build a wave, much more effective and efficient to ride existing waves. Link initiatives to community hot topics. Harder to plan for with specifics but more efficient.
  • Most problems/issues don ’t go away however, also really important have the judgment to understand which issues and how to respond to them. Examples: Motrin Moms, Dominoes Pizza, Ford Ranger Station issue
  • Once a certain type of person is aggregated, there are lots of others who will want to use the community as a channel for their own interests. Important to protect members in a way that allows other 3 rd parties to participate.
  • Q1 -
  • The Emerging Role of the Community Manager (#astdl20)

    1. 1. The Emerging Role of the Community Manager #ASTDL20
    2. 2. More about me Jim Storer Principal & Co-Founder The Community Roundtable @jimstorer @TheCR #ASTDL20
    3. 3. What about you? #ASTDL20
    4. 4. The Community Roundtable <ul><li>1. A private peer network for social media, community and social business practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly roundtable calls </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive library of best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Online community </li></ul><ul><li>Professional concierge services </li></ul><ul><li>Discounts to conferences and events </li></ul><ul><li>2. Advisory Services </li></ul><ul><li>3. Reports </li></ul> #ASTDL20
    5. 5. Community Maturity Model TM #ASTDL20 Strategy Leadership Culture Community Management Content & Programming Policies & Governance Tools Metrics & Measurement Stage 1 Hierarchy Stage 2 Emergent Community Stage 3 Community Stage 4 Networked Familiarize & Listen Command & Control Reactive None Formal & Structured No Guidelines for UGC Consumer tools used by individuals Anecdotal Participate Consensus Contributive Informal Some user generated content Restrictive social media policies Consumer & self-service tools Basic Activities Build Collaborative Emergent Defined roles & processes Community created content Flexible social media policies Mix of consumer & enterprise tools Activities & Content Integrate Distributed Activist Integrated roles & processes Integrated formal & user generated Inclusive ‘ Social’ functionality is integrated Behaviors & Outcomes
    6. 6. Community is NOT #ASTDL20
    7. 8. Community IS #ASTDL20
    8. 10. What Defines Community? <ul><li>A common interest or context </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of shared purpose and fate </li></ul><ul><li>A common set of needs </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    9. 11. Why Use A Community Structure? <ul><li>Networked structures speed information transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Shared ownership and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize investments </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce costs </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    10. 12. Online Communities Vary by Size #ASTDL20 Online Communities Size Density of Relationships Groups Communities Networks
    11. 13. What is Community Management? #ASTDL20
    12. 14. Three Typical Roles <ul><li>Community Moderator – Engages in listening and response on owned or third party sites, but is generally not involved in community strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Manager – A senior position that can serve as the primary “face” of the community and may include some moderation duties. Owns the business goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Strategist – A senior position that is the leader of community in a company or large organization. The role focuses on establishing the vision, building the business case and championing the community across business units. </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    13. 15. Community Management is the Discipline of Ensuring Productive Communities <ul><li>Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Define scope, ideal outcomes, and boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure participants receive more value than they contribute </li></ul><ul><li>Promote, encourage and reward productive behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Discourage and limit destructive behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate constructive disagreement and conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate for the community and its members </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor, measure, and report </li></ul><ul><li>Marshal internal advocates, resources, & support </li></ul><ul><li>Manage tools and member experience </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    14. 16. A Sampling of Tasks <ul><li>Visible </li></ul><ul><li>Managing content (publishing, curating, tagging) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Updates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eBooks/whitepapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Managing events </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming new members </li></ul><ul><li>Participating judiciously in conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Reaching out to 3 rd party influencers, partners, media </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating changes to policies, tools, programming, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Behind the Scenes </li></ul><ul><li>Back-channeling with members to encourage participation </li></ul><ul><li>Building relationships with key members </li></ul><ul><li>Taking issues offline </li></ul><ul><li>Working with internal advocates to plan mutually beneficial programming </li></ul><ul><li>Planning programming/campaign calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating internally </li></ul><ul><li>Managing technology issues </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating value and benefits of community internally </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring and monitoring progress </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    15. 17. What Are the Risks of Not Having Community Management? #ASTDL20
    16. 18. Ghost Town
    17. 19. Land of 1,000 Flowers
    18. 20. Drama Central
    19. 21. A Clique
    20. 22. What Makes a Good Community Manager? <ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to match brand ’s personality </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of human behavior/motivations </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship building </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate technical aptitude </li></ul><ul><li>Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Love of people </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Tempered enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptability </li></ul><ul><li>Self-awareness </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    21. 23. How Do You Build a Thriving Community? #ASTDL20
    22. 24. Observe Your Audience
    23. 25. Schedule Keep A Regular Schedule
    24. 26. Text Be Multi-Modal
    25. 27. Image Be Valuable
    26. 28. Be Notable
    27. 29. Bring Catnip
    28. 30. Have Rules
    29. 31. Encourage Your Cheeseheads
    30. 32. Ride The Waves
    31. 33. Don’t Ignore
    32. 34. Protect the Fish
    33. 35. Key Take-Aways <ul><li>Identify the desired business outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the target audience/member </li></ul><ul><li>Build thick value for all constituents (transactional and long-term returns for participation) </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the role and value of community management </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    34. 36. 2011 State of Community Management <ul><li>Market analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Survey findings </li></ul><ul><li>Compilation of practitioner lessons and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    35. 37. Community Maturity Model TM #ASTDL20
    36. 38. Key Themes <ul><li>Social Business Becomes A Strategic Imperative </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in Community Management Has Increased </li></ul><ul><li>The Community Management Discipline is Evolving </li></ul><ul><li>A Lot of Confusion Remains </li></ul>#ASTDL20
    37. 39. 2. LEADERSHIP Leadership Key takeaway Community management isn ’t just a role – it’s a perspective. Key takeaway Recruit leaders who are willing to be pioneers. Key takeaway Education is the key to success. Key takeaway Understand when and how to ask for support and authority.
    38. 40. 3. CULTURE Culture Key takeaway Ask for the truth, even if it hurts. Key takeaway Be prepared to let the outside in. Key takeaway Get multiple positive voices on your side to overcome company culture.
    39. 41. 6. POLICY & GOVERNANCE Policies & Governance Key takeaway Recognize that ‘policies’ are not the same as ‘guidelines.’ Guidelines are the expression, in accessible language, of the culture you wish to promote, and community boundaries. Key takeaway Keep key issues top-of-mind when structuring governance: regulatory environment; size; culture; strategy; and social business maturity. Key takeaway Centralize the role of the social team.
    40. 42. 7. TOOLS Tools Key takeaway Tools and technology tend to grow more complex and complicated over time. It is worth revisiting functionality to simplify your user experience. Key takeaway Don’t feel that you have to use every social media tool or channel available. Key takeaway Find the vendor(s) with the right fit for your organization.
    41. 43. 1. STRATEGY Strategy Key takeaway Don’t Replace What Works… Supplement With Community. Key takeaway It’s basic but worth repeating… know your target member . Key takeaway Nothing grows in a sandbox. If you want to see growth, you need to build a garden.
    42. 44. 4. COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT Community Management Key takeaway It’s counterintuitive, but do not jump in and automatically answer questions or help out. Key takeaway Schedule regular brown bag lunches or show & tells that help others understand social tools and your social initiatives. Key takeaway Lead by example and show members how you want them to behave. Key takeaway The social space is about personal connections. It is a channel that is owned by the customer, not the company as a marketing avenue.
    43. 45. 5. CONTENT & PROGRAMMING Content & Programming Key takeaway Your content strategy needs to be focused on both your audience AND your goals. Key takeaway Create content plans that bridge your audiences. If you look at your content holistically and broadly, you’ll be more relevant to your audiences. Key takeaway Create content that fills a needed gap. Ensure your content has a unique angle, and fills the void for information missing in the marketplace. Key takeaway Keep attention spans in mind. Consider the length, quality, quantity, portability and “snackability” of content when you’re planning.
    44. 46. 8. METRICS & MEASUREMENT Metrics & Measurement Key takeaway Don’t think about metrics as a single set. Different metrics serve the needs of different audiences. Typically there are three types of scorecards: the strategic, the operational, and one with daily task-based reporting. Key takeaway Executives have become numb to copious amounts of data. What provides meaning and drives change is the ability to share a story. Use metrics to support a story maximizes the impact of data. Key takeaway Community ROI does not happen overnight. The ROI can take a while; there ’s very little that’s quick about changing behaviors. Key takeaway Remember the “billboard” example.
    45. 47. State of Community Management 2011 <ul><li>Market analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Survey findings </li></ul><ul><li>Compilation of practitioner lessons and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>Download the 90+ page report for free at: #ASTDL20
    46. 48. Thank You Interested in learning more? Contact me: [email_address] or @jimstorer on Twitter