During the week of January 31 through February 3, I served as the moderator for #CMGRClass’ Google+ Community. The theme for the week? – “Community Management vs. Social Media Management.” After a warm introduction from classmates Steve Rhinehart and Diane Stirling – the former had been the previous week’s moderator, and the latter was kind enough to trade weeks with me – I was ready to go!
Monday: introductory post.
I started my moderation duties by asking classmates for their thoughts on the differences between community and social media management and how their own skills and abilities were well-suited to these roles (photo at right). I wanted to start the week by exploring any preconceived notions (and perhaps even misconceptions) about community management. Discussion participants honed in on two main differences:
- A social media manager builds reputation and talks to people; a community manager builds relationships and talks with people, or even better, facilitates people talking with each other.
As Justin Isaf stated in You may not actually be a Community Manager – and that’s ok., “For most (again, not all) Community Managers, they “win” if they put themselves out of a job because their users are talking to each other (not just to the community manager) …”
Wednesday: resource citation.
I’m a #RotoloClass alumna, having taken the course last spring. One week was dedicated to community management and the readings included an article relevant to our #CMGRClass theme: 10 Tips For Aspiring Community Managers by Vadim Lavrusik. I asked #CMGRClass to identify whether they found any of the tips thought-provoking, surprising, or challenging to put into practice (photo at left).
- Three of the seven respondents expressed that effective communication skills were a critical skill for a community manager (tip 3: Be an Effective Communicator).
- Two commenters each identified authenticity, listening, and flexibility as other traits desireable to a CM (tip 5: Be Authentic; tip 7: Listen, Add Value and Build Relationships; and tips 6 and 9: Be Multi-Skilled and Prioritize Your Platforms Strategically and Think Like an Entrepreneur and Be Quick to Adapt).
Friday and Saturday: supplemental material.
On Friday and Saturday, I posted links to two articles, Fast Company’s 5 Things Lady Gaga Can Teach Marketers About Community Building and SocialFresh’s The 2013 Community Manager Report [INFOGRAPHIC]. The former was another #RotoloClass find; the latter, a teaser of this year’s update to one of the readings assigned for this particular week of #CMGRclass. (Author’s note: I had difficulties downloading the 2012 Community Manager Report, always receiving an error message when trying to access the report.)
Sunday: revisit opening question and handoff to new moderator.
By the time Sunday rolled around, my moderation duties were nearly over. Early in the afternoon, I reposted the questions posed to classmates at the beginning of the week. Alas, comments were light, which I attest to the day of the week, time of the day, and the fact that it was Super Bowl Sunday!
At the end of the evening, I handed over the moderation reins to classmate Katie Hudson and provided one last quote to emphasize the importance of relationships in community management. In Social media ROI: Managing and measuring social media efforts in your organization, Olivier Blanchard writes, “Success in the social media space is predicated upon an individual or organization’s ability to forge and nurture online relationships and to some degree convert them into equally valuable offline relationships.”
- #CMGRClass is awesome! #CMGRclass students have a depth and breath of experience that inform their posts in our Google+ community. Furthermore, even only two weeks into our course classmates’ posts reflected their own personalities.
- Comments breed comments. I observed during my week of moderation that a post with a couple of comments had a better chance of attracting other comments than one without.
- Patience pays. The efficacy of any given post can’t be determined in a single day or two. Below are two charts showing community participation for each moderator post. At left, the number of comments and “+1″s are shown; at right, comments from the moderator (blue) are distinguished by those from classmates.
- We are a community! In only the third week of #CMGRClass, it was fun to observe and facilitate our class’ interactions with each other in the context of our shared experience of learning about the theory and practice of community management.