Community Management Fundamentals


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What is community management and why does it matter?

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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.
  • I’m Rachel Happe, background in management consulting, software, and as an analyst. In 2009, my partner Jim Storer and I saw a need in the market to better articulate the management concepts required for success in using social software effectively. We started The Community Roundtable to connect practitioners who are somewhat isolated, share and document best practices, and educate people about the discipline of community management. Megan Smith, the Community Manager from OvationTV is here to join me and share a front lines perspective and give you a more intimate view of the day-to-day realities of being a community manager.
  • 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. Examples: 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.
  • For purposes of illustration, I made some gross assumptions to point out that different size communities work best for different business contexts and desired outcomes. Linking the desired biz outcome to size and density of the online community is critical and will also allow you to better focus on the tools, resources, content, and metrics required to support the goal.
  • 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.
  • Communities can attract the disenfranchised, the disgruntled, the socially awkward because they have worn out their welcome with individuals and yet, they need social interaction. These people can cause trouble of various types over time and be very persistent. If there are legitimate issues and/or others like them, they can create really big problems over time that are hard to recover from. Example: American Speech Language Hearing ex-Employee
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Animals and people cannot be lead from the front without force. Creating boundary conditions and encouraging certain behaviors is typically a less invasive and more enjoyable experience for people.
  • 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
  • Be Multi-modal: Text, images, video; Asynchronous, Synchronous
  • 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 -
  • Community Management Fundamentals

    1. 1. Community Management Fundamentals | @TheCR | July 2014
    2. 2. What is a community?
    3. 3. Community is not: blogs podcasts chat forums social RSS video profiles 4 activity feeds
    4. 4. Community is: passion voices relationships ideas discussions affinity networks people organic alignment relationships collaboration purpose mission support emergent groups 5
    5. 5. Com·mu·ni·ty Noun A group of people with unique shared values, behaviors, and artifacts. 6
    6. 6. Communities: 1.  Speed information transfer 2.  Develop shared ownership 3.  Maximize investments
    7. 7. Co- Development Community Support Community Customer Advocate Community Marketing Community Partner Community Your Market Communities accelerate alignment with markets 8 Core operations
    8. 8. Communities are about relationships, not just about sharing content Content Network Community 9
    9. 9. Communities do not produce linear returns 10 Time Return
    10. 10. Good communities generate geometric returns Time Return 11
    11. 11. Lack of understanding can lead to predictable failures Time Return 12
    12. 12. Communities require long term investment Time Return 13
    13. 13. Communities require different management techniques at different stages Impact Phase 1 Hierarchy Phase 2 Emergent Community Phase 3 Community Phase 4 Networked Pull Grow Transform Behavior Change Time 14
    14. 14. Business goals determine ideal size for a community Communities Size Density of Relationships Solve Collaborate Inspire Inform Connect Solicit Input Complexity of Desired Outcome Compromise Discover Find 15
    15. 15. The Community Maturity Model
    16. 16. The Community Maturity Model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
    17. 17. Community management is becoming ! standardized & measurable !" #" $" %" &" '()*(+,-" .+*/+)0123" 456(5)+" 4788592(-":*9*,+8+9(" 479(+9(";"<)7,)*8829," <762=-";">7?+)9*9=+" @7760" :+()2=0";":+*05)+8+9(" 4788592(-"A" 4788592(-"B" 18
    18. 18. Measurement enables effective planning 19
    19. 19. What is community management?
    20. 20. Community management is the discipline of ensuring productive communities Responsibilities •  Define scope, ideal outcomes, and boundaries •  Ensure participants receive more value then they contribute •  Promote, encourage, and reward productive behaviors •  Discourage and limit destructive behaviors •  Facilitate constructive disagreement and conflict •  Advocate for the community and its members •  Monitor, measure, and report •  Marshal internal advocates, resources, & support •  Manage tools and member experience 21
    21. 21. Community managers execute community strategy and ensure shared purpose A meaningful shared purpose is one of the biggest success factors for a community Business Objectives Member Objectives 22 Share  Purpose  
    22. 22. A good community manager is a like a quarterback Skills •  Communication •  Ability to match brand’s personality •  Understanding of human behavior/motivations •  Relationship building •  Conflict resolution •  Project management •  Moderate technical aptitude Attributes •  Love of people •  Judgment •  Tempered enthusiasm •  Empathy •  Adaptability •  Self-awareness 23
    23. 23. Community management maturity delivers business value 85% of best-in-class communities can measure their value… … likely because they are more likely to have fully funded community roadmaps 24Data  from  The  State  of  Community  Management  2014  
    24. 24. The iceberg effect of community management
    25. 25. Below the water •  Understanding members •  Back-channeling •  Building relationships with key members •  Taking issues offline •  Working with internal advocates •  Program planning •  Collaborating internally •  Managing technology issues •  Communicating value and benefits •  Measuring progress 26
    26. 26. Above the water •  Managing content: publishing, curating, tagging, etc •  Managing events – online and in real life •  Welcoming new members •  Participating judiciously in conversations •  Reaching out to 3rd party influencers, partners, media, etc •  Communicating changes to policies, tools, programming, etc 27
    27. 27. The risks of not having community management
    28. 28. Ghost town
    29. 29. Land of 1,000 flowers
    30. 30. Drama
    31. 31. A circling storm
    32. 32. A clique
    33. 33. How do you build a thriving community?
    34. 34. Observe your audience 35
    35. 35. Schedule Keep a regular schedule 36
    36. 36. Be welcoming 37
    37. 37. 38 Provide a guide
    38. 38. Image Be valuable 39
    39. 39. Be a connector 40
    40. 40. Bring catnip 41
    41. 41. Have rules 42
    42. 42. Distributed Lead from the back 43
    43. 43. Encourage your cheeseheads 44
    44. 44. Ride the waves 45
    45. 45. Don’t ignore 46
    46. 46. Text Be multi-modal 47
    47. 47. Protect the fish 48
    48. 48. Community success is driven by two elements Member Factors •  Need to learn •  Availability/Schedule •  Degree of isolation •  Competing sources •  Technical literacy •  Online social comfort •  Aspirations •  Cultural context Environmental Factors •  Supportive & encouraging environment (positive feedback) •  Easy to use tools •  Valuable information •  Peer involvement •  Unique access – to content or people 49
    49. 49. Community managers matter Dedicated community managers correlate to higher community maturity. Communities with dedicated community managers almost twice as likely to be able to measure value. Can  measure   value   No  full-­‐4me  community  manager   1+  full-­‐4me  community  manager   Dedicated community management improves engagement rates. Collaborators   Creators   Contributors   Lurkers   =  5%   1+  full-­‐4me   community   manager   No  full-­‐4me   community   manager   Data  from  The  State  of  Community  Management  2014  
    50. 50. Key Takeaways •  The risks of supporting communities without community management are significant •  Build thick value for all constituents •  Communities need different things at different stages •  The availability of tools is required but not sufficient to achieve productive communities •  Most community management activity is not visible in the community itself •  Community management can achieve success through two primary avenues: Changing user comfort & knowledge or changing environmental factors 51
    51. 51. About The Community Roundtable Community and training and research, oh my!
    52. 52. Mission: Advance the Business of Community 1.  Champion: Advocate for the needs of community business owners & teams 2.  Educate: Provide training solutions to community & social business leaders 3.  Curate: Aggregate, document & share community management best practices Services TheCR Network | TheCR Advisory | TheCR Research | TheCR Training Rachel Happe Principal & Co-Founder @rhappe Jim Storer Principal & Co-Founder @jimstorer Leadership About The Community Roundtable  
    53. 53. Member Organizations & Clients  
    54. 54. 1.  Research. We publish an annual State of Community Management study, Social Executive research and have a library of 200+ best practice reports. 2.  Experience. Our work with 90+ organizations gives us unique insight into community best practices and standards. This work includes strategic advisory, workshops, executive interviews, executive education and custom content development. 3.  Access to Practitioners. TheCR Network’s expertise and our collaboration with members enables us to keep a pulse on the needs of community and social business leaders and provides unparalleled access to emerging practices and standards. 55 The Community Roundtable Advantage