Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day! #CMAD
Today is the second annual Community Manager Appreciation Day! This day was conceived by Jeremiah Owyang as a day where we in the digital community honour and thank the hard working people that make a difference in how companies build relationships with their customers. Edelman.ca put a call out to our own managers to find out what they love about their jobs and how they keep our clients online communities fresh, fun, and exciting. Three Edelman Canada Community Managers, Laura Muirhead, Christine Lu, and Brittany Dow, shared their thoughts with us:
What is a Day in the Life of a Community Manager?
Laura: A day in the life of a Community Manager starts with checking in on the status of several communities first thing in the morning to see if there are any posts that need to be moderated or flagged to the internal team or client. Each community utilizes a different monitoring schedule, depending on the client’s needs, so I check in, engage, and report on conversation at varying times of my day, week or month.
Christine: Stroll into the office, turn on the computer, monitor the online community either on Facebook or Twitter a few times throughout the day, and flag anything that comes up that requires the attention of the client. An important piece of it is monitoring the community and knowing when to jump in and when to let the community self-moderate if there is an issue. Also, it’s a lot about analyzing the levels of engagement, figuring out what’s the best time to post, and what information your community wants to see on the page.
Brittany: Actively monitoring the community so content is posted in a timely matter, answering questions as soon as humanly possible, and flagging engagement opportunities to foster relationships. Actively monitoring the community means reading every single comment that comes in. We do not rely on automated services to approve comments because we want to build a sustainable community and come across as authentic and transparent. Comments and questions that emerge within the community also help me draft content for Twitter, such as directing users to appropriate sources or providing them with the content they desire.
If someone asked you to describe your job at a party what would you say?
Brittany: I moderate blog comments, flag engagement opportunities, and draft content for Twitter. I’m the bridge between the brand and the customer.
Laura: I’d say that I get to have a job that allows me to adopt various online personas and act as the frontlines between my client and their consumers.
Christine: It’s lots of fun! You get to be the voice of likely a reputable brand and find innovative ways to drive conversation with loyal consumers. Depending on the brand, it can either be a challenging or rewarding experience. Regardless, you learn a lot from managing online communities such as human relations.
What’s your biggest community management pet peeve?
Laura: My biggest community management pet peeve is when a community manager is too present! I’m a big believer that if a community manager posts too much that anyone thinking about whether they should join their community would be less apt to join, because they’re basically seeing that their mind would already be made up for them on anything they could be talking about. Instead, be engaged but omnipresent.
Brittany: Spammers. Spammers have become more savvy over the years and are becoming trickier to spot, this is where actively reading every comment comes in and checking every link posted.
Any advice to budding community managers?
Brittany: First, be empathetic. You are the bridge between the brand and consumer. It can be a challenge to sift through hundreds (and at times thousands) of tweets and comments, but it’s important to really read what users are saying and not just scan for inappropriate content. You are not just a gatekeeper, but an empathetic ear for customers to rant to, ask questions, and propose new ideas. Put yourself their shoes.
Christine: Have fun with it, be open-minded and learn to adapt quickly to figure out what information your community wants to see on the page. Pick your battles and savor the rest of the positive interactions with the fans/followers.
Laura: When in doubt for how to handle a response, make sure you always check with your team for the best approach. Also, check out online resources like the Community Roundtable to connect with other community managers and hear about other CMs’ challenges and successes.
Find out what others have to say about community management appreciation day on Twitter by following the hashtag #CMAD