Interview with Community Manager Deb Ng

Deb Ng is an exceptional community organizer and genuinely kind person.   After speaking with her for only moments, I realized that she is an exceptionally warm, friendly, interesting, caring individual and a “people person”.

She identifies as a social media enthusiast, oversharer, and author of Online Community Management for Dummies. She laughs hard at her own jokes (and others) and currently blogs at You can follow her on twitter @debng or find her on Google+. Deb  has always loved writing and started as a freelance writer.  In 2005, she started an online community for freelance writers in the form of a blog that grew into the number one community for freelance writers and became a network of eight blogs which she later sold. In 2008, she was offered her first actual job as a community manager with Blog Talk Radio. That was it; she was hooked!

Deb Ng embodies everything we have learned about being a community manager that wears many hats: leader, content developer, moderator, community advocate, mediator and analyst. I asked Deb to talk her strategy as she goes about starting a new community. This is what she shared:

  • Determine who is your community? Pinpoint the types of people you want to reach. Create a profile of what a member looks like. Determine your demographics.
  • Ask “why are you building this community?” “What do you want to achieve?” The answers will help with goal setting.
  • Determine your goals to create the campaign and talking points.
  • Find out where these people hang out. Why would they want to join my community? What is special about you?
  • Give them a compelling reason to follow you. If you are just like everyone else they won’t follow or engage.
  • Once you have them engaged, you can get them to talk to each other. This will lead to hangouts and meetups. Now you have something to work with! You can engage people off line as well as online.
  • Then you can start recruiting, online and offline. Create an atmosphere of brand advocates that will share your message and help new members to feel welcome.
  • Look for bloggers to interact with. They will be a great asset but don’t forget to send them some “love” and reciprocation.
  • Move the community to a conference setting. Create an experience for them so they want to share this community with others.
  • Brands that get the most buzz are the ones that are the most creative. Good examples – Chobani, Oreo.

As I listened to Deb Ng, I recognized that she was the embodiment of the things we had read and learned in our class. The books we used, the articles we read and the information we gained from our Google+ hangouts were all brought to life in this lively conversation with an active community manager. Let me leave you with these best practices from Deb Ng’s book,Online Community Management for Dummies:

online cm book*Stay impartial

*Have a regular presence in your community and others

*Respond in a timely manner

*Keep a positive tone

*Be supportive of the brand and the community

*Forge relationships

*Promote the community

*Be passionate about the community

*Stay on top of trends

*Continue Your Education


Use the guidelines provided here, keep Deb’s words of wisdom and experience in mind and have fun! All of this will lead you to great success as a community manager.



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