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Moderation Week: My Chance in the Big Leagues

This past week, I was tasked with the assignment of being the #CMGRclass moderator. My job was to introduce new content to the class that would help us further discuss the topics we’ve been reading throughout. This week’s topic was listening and planning. Each member of our class has had a different experience with social media and community management both on a personal and professional level. My main goal was to not only create a discussion about the topic at hand but to also allow people to reflect on their experiences and teach everyone else about some new practices that we may not have heard of before. Once I had my goal set, I could finally start my moderating journey. While there are many things that a moderator is in charge of, three of the most important are the introduction of content, engaging with the community, and monitoring, not dominating, the conversation.

listening

Image via Flickr.

Finding Content

On my quest to find the perfect content, I tried to find articles that were informative, yet open ended. I wanted people to have the opportunity discuss some of the topics further without feeling like the article was right above all else. Each article explained a different practice used by community managers in either the listening or planning phase. In my opinion, each article brought up points that not only tied to this week’s topic but also tied into our previous lessons on community management vs. social media management and content curation.

What I learned: Just sharing any piece of content with your community is not worth much if it doesn’t relate to the topic of conversation at hand. Learn to find information that really matters, share it, and wait for the feedback.

Asking Questions

One of the golden rules when moderating and interacting with a company is to ask questions that will build on the current discussion and allow it to really prosper. While I did think that having the information from each article under my belt gave me a good starting point of discussion, I would have liked to have had more information in order to ask better questions. I was lucky enough to have community members who introduced everyone, including myself, who introduced new ideas and were able to keep the conversation going.

What I learned: You will never have enough questions going until the end of time and this is where your community’s engagement can work in your favor. In the end, it’s not about the quantity of questions, but the quality of each question.

Domination vs. Conversation

I am naturally a very talkative person. While I do consider myself to be an extroverted introvert, I can talk for hours about anything; especially if it’s something that I’m truly interested. One of the areas that I had a struggle with in the beginning was the difference between domination and conversation. Because I am so used to overtaking a conversation, I had to learn quickly that this type of verbal takeover is not conducive to fostering a good community. The members of the class didn’t sign up to hear me voice all of my opinions. They joined to really discuss different ideas and learn from one another. Rather than posting a piece of content and adding my comments, I would try to pose a question and like people’s comments as a way of continuing my engagement and not overtaking the entire experience.

What I’ve learned: When you dominate a conversation, it’s like you’re having it with yourself. Give your community the opportunity to really speak up engage with them without overwhelming them.

Takeaways

This experience taught me so many interesting things about the life of a community manager. In order to truly be successful, you must remember that it’s not always give and take. This type of black and white interaction can turn your community into one of the most boring situations in the world. However, if you pose a few questions and give the community time to actually engage using social media, you will see the transformation immediately. All in all, the overall experience was great and while I was nervous the entire time, I enjoyed taking that role within a community. Hopefully that won’t be the last time I’m in that role.

Qualities of a Successful Startup Community Manager

Startups are hard, there’s no doubt about that. Building up something from nothing, where the main resource is yourself and your time, is no small feat. Once you’ve gotten your startup off the ground and running, it might be time for a community manager– or, at least, for someone to take on that role.

I recently spoke with Giselle Gonzalez, marketing manager for doggyloot and startup social media extrodinaire. Giselle has been in the business of startup social media for over three years, and here are some of the things that prove her to be successful in this area.

A little about doggyloot: doggyloot is a daily deals startup for dog products. The company was founded in early 2011 and now boasts over 700,000 active subscribers, as well as a robust Facebook community.

  1. the-80-20-ruleThe 80/20 Rule: Make sure you have an idea of the balance of content you’re aiming for. Giselle aims for 80% general dog-related content (which can range from funny images to news articles) and 20% doggyloot-related content, advertising recent sales. Too much of either can throw your community off. Figure out what works for your customers and aim to stick to it!

  2. Platforms: Sometimes it seems like a new social media platform is debuting every day. Don’t get caught up in the noise; for doggyloot, Facebook is where most of their community lies, so that’s where they spend most of their time. If you’re a B2B marketing firm, your best bet might be LinkedIn. Prioritize those platforms that actually contribute to sales and community, and think critically before jumping into the noise of yet another. Your bandwidth isn’t unlimited!

  3. breakIt’s Okay to Take a Break: This is similar to #2. If you’re not sure if a platform is actually working for you, it’s okay to step back for a few months and critically evaluate what’s working and what’s not, as well as conduct research on your competition. Although doggyloot’s blog had good engagement, it wasn’t driving sales. The team is stepping back to see what they can do better.

  4. Look at Your Org Chart: Where does your community manager sit in the organization? Is she a summer intern who’s just getting into the swing of the business? Giselle is close with top management at doggyloot, which allows her to see both sides of the story: management and community. She’s a pro at communicating between the two.

  5. Giselle's Dapper Dog

    Giselle’s Dapper Dog

    Passion: Nothing is a substitute for passion. If you’re passionate about your community and its subject matter, it will shine through. Giselle loves dogs (just check out her Chihuaua’s Facebook page) and it makes her all the more qualified to answer questions and find great, relevant content.

What are your top tips for a startup community manager?

Agency Advice From a Community Manager “Lens”

Have you ever had your favorite brand reply to you on Twitter? Have you then taken a screenshot of this tweet and posted it to Facebook where over 100 of your friends liked it? Well then maybe you have a community manager to thank for the best part of your week. Now, you may think the man or woman who responded to your brand-praising tweet is an in-house community manager, but these days more companies outsource community management to agencies.

Who’s the Subject?

This week I had the chance to speak with Emily Maupai, an agency-based community manager in New Jersey. Emily currently works at 3E Public Relations, which is an affiliate of SGW Integrated Marketing Communications, one of the Garden State’s leading integrated marketing communications firms. After receiving a B.A. in Advertising from Rowan University, Emily now manages many consumer and B2B clients in industries such as health and beauty, restaurant, food and beverage, franchising, automotive, telecommunications, broadcast, and financial services.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.22.23 PM

A screenshot of my FaceTime interview with Emily

I was actually able to intern for this marketing communications company a few years ago, and I know first-hand the hard work and dedication she has put into her work to build communities for her clients. Specifically, I spoke with Emily about one of her clients that she describes as a “professional lens company.” (For privacy sake, the company asked that specific information about their clients be withheld)

Why User Generated Content is the Best Kind of Content

As Emily has been growing the brand of this client for two years, the brand has become an opinion leader of the professional broadcast and cinema community. But what kind of content does she post to keep her community engaged? As discussed in class, it is important to decide if user generated content is the right fit for your website. For Emily’s client, the answer to that question is yes. Because her community is very heavy in content creation she always asks them to share what kind of projects they are working on and to share any behind-the-scenes shots they are legally allowed to post, and she says they normally do.

Author Richard Millington of Buzzing Communities supports this method as he says, “The best content for a community is content about the community.” When users are sharing these personal, behind-the-scenes shots it makes the page about the people in the community, instead of a solely a big advertisement for the brand. It also provides a reason for members to visit the page every day; to see if their content was featured, or just to see any new content from their online friends.

(2012, 01 03). Calendar-Clip-Art-Free [Web Photo]. Retrieved from www.schoolforlittlepeople.com

(2012, 01 03). Calendar-Clip-Art-Free [Web Photo]. Retrieved from www.schoolforlittlepeople.com

Plan For Success

Emily and her team emphasize the role of an editorial calendar. Specifically, they try to plan out a month’s worth of content so that they are always prepared, but also they leave room for timely and relevant news breaks.This allows the brand to embody all of Social Fresh’s benefits of an editorial calendar by being timely, organized, and professional. Emily also values having a positive relationship with her client, and she has noticed that the brand team appreciates seeing what you are going to put on the web on their behalf before it goes live.

What’s the Best Part of Being a Community Manager?

To end the interview I thought it would be fun to ask Emily what her favorite part of her job is. She summed it up nicely by saying she enjoys connecting people and helping them more easily find the information they are looking for on the web.

Questions for the Audience

  • Is the community management industry moving more towards agencies?
  • Do you believe it is helpful to have a community manager that is removed from the all-consuming, in-house brand environment?
  • Do you agree with Emily’s client approval process, where they send the planned posts to the brand before they hit the web?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thoughts on Moderation

GoogleCommuntiy

This was my first time moderating any sort of discussions. I am more comfortable as a member, commenting and sharing additional articles to the community. It was a unique experience for me to take control of the discussion, and a great way to be introduced to community management without too much risk.

Going into my moderation week, I felt fairly confident. Our group on Google+ was getting great activity, with awesome comments and thoughtful discussions. It was great to share articles with the class and hear their opinions on issues raised in those articles. I was ready to step in as moderator to continue the great discussion for CMGR Class.

Setting Goals:

I had one main goal I set for myself at the start of the moderation; to post one article each day that I had found to be especially interesting. Not only was that the minimum requirement, but looking back at previous moderation weeks, it seemed like posting more than one link each day overwhelmed the community. I also had the unique situation of moderating midterm week, the week before Spring Break. I had to be aware of the time that people were able to spend on the Google+ community, as they balanced projects and studying.

An objective of a community manager is to listen, in order to understand what the community is most receptive to. This is why part of my goal is to only post articles that I found to be useful and thought-provoking. My reasoning: if I enjoyed reading it, others would too. In the Moderation chapter of Buzzing Communities, Richard mentions the sharing of information is a way to drive discussion between members (Millington, pg 69). I aimed to focus on quality over quantity in order to drive activity.

Pros:

Since this was the week before break, I decided to focus on reinforcing the definition of community management and exploring the strategy involved. For me, it always helps to revisit what community building means at its core in order to apply new concepts/analyze strategy. Towards the end of the week I shared articles written that simplified the community building process. These articles were the ones that I found were the most interesting, and a result they received the most conversation and positive response.

It felt great that the articles that strongly resonated with me were helpful to others. Another topic that had a good discussion was whether Snapchat was an appropriate social media platform for a brand to spend time on. Members brought up great challenging points about the viability of Snapchat for a community tool, and that discussion was the highlight of my moderation week.

 Cons:

 While I understood that it was a busy week for everyone, I still didn’t get the level of activity that I expected. It was also hard to know when to step in the comments and when to step back. There was a balance between probing the conversation and dominating it, and I feel like that was a skill that needed to be developed over time.

Another obstacle I ran into was that there was no readings for my moderation week. This meant I was left to create my own theme for the week, which ended up being slightly more difficult than I thought. I had to trust that others were interested in revisiting the core role of community managers.

Twitter was not as active as Google+, which was my fault for not focusing on it as much. I posted a total of three tweets during the week, two from my personal account using the hashtag #CMGRClass and one from the @CMGRClass Twitter account. The tweet about Ellen’s phone use during the Oscars got three click-throughs and a reply. I tweeted an article about why community managers build community, and that got one click-through and two favorites by non-classmates. I wish that I had found more things to share on Twitter.

TwitterStats

Screenshot from Hootsuite

A unforeseen disadvantage to my goal was that I spent a lot of time finding articles. Since I was only sharing things that I thought would be worth posting, I had to read more than I posted. All of our readings always say that time management and scheduling is an important part of community management, and this week I glimpsed the scope of time and effort put in.

Takeaways:

I enjoyed being more central to the discussion and guiding the conversation. Everyone was very constructive and thoughtful in their comments, which is all you could really ask for.

Looking back, I know I could have done better in responding to comments and asking probing questions. I was too worried about dominating the conversation and that inhibited my ability to lead it properly.

A large part of moderating involves trial and error. I realized that the only way to truly become a great community manager is to actively apply the concepts to your community. This assignment was great since it gave a taste of moderating a community, but nothing compares to the adjustments needed when you are managing a community in the long term.

Librarians and the Community Management Profession

The life of a library is their community.

In David Lankes book The Atlas of New Librarianship he believes “the mission of librarians is to improve society though facilitating knowledge creation in their communities,” (p.83). His book argues that knowledge is created through conversation that is fostered by librarians and it’s the librarian’s job to facilitate for their community, inspire participation within the community, and calls librarians into action to advocate for their libraries to their community.

Oliver Blanchard writes in his book, Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization that a community managers, “…four principal function [are]: representing an organization in online forums, being the voice of ‘the community’ inside the organizations, mediating disputes in online forums, and helping manage the development, publishing, and curating of the organization’s digital content,” (p.137).

On the surface, librarianship and community management do not seem to have much in common.  Yes, both involve a community but librarianship is said to be a dying profession while community management is a new one. However, after interviewing Meg Knodl I found the role of a community manager can align itself with librarian and help the profession move forward.  Meg is currently the community manager for Hennepin County in Minnesota.  She posts for the Hennepin County twitter and Facebook accounts as well as coordinates with other department’s social media.  However, Meg started off as a community manager for a library.

In the interview Meg discussed ways of how community management and librarianship work well together.  One point she makes is a community manager has to be able to advocate and cheer for whatever brand or organization they work for.  A librarian needs to fight for their library not only for their own benefit but for their community and for society.  The tools and theories used by community managers are a perfect fit for librarians.  The use of social media to get messages to the community and to build relationships is important.  Community managers are there to connect people with others who have common interests and librarians can facilitate in the same way.

What works best within a community should be determined by the community. This idea fits both with a librarian’s job and a community manager’s job.  Meg said a community manager has to be aware of what types of platforms their community is willing to participate in.  The same is true with librarians.  They have to create programs their community wants.  For both profession it does not need to be online. For example Meg mentioned literacy programs for a library and capturing marriage photos for the Hennepin County community.  Both examples show how each profession brings together the community.

The community is what makes a library special.  Librarians have always been community managers and worked for and with their community.  Librarianship does not have to be a dying profession. One of the ways to insure this does not happen is to incorporate the modern techniques of the community manger profession to what librarians have already been doing.

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/60/39/000913/community_manager_large.png

Walk in the Shoes of a Social Media Manager

If you want to know what it’s like to be a social media manager, just as Maren Guse, Assistant Director of Digital and Social Media at Syracuse University (SU). She’s one of the brains behind the operation that keeps SU tweeting, posting, and sharing.

Introductions First

Guse is responsible for content across SU’s main flagship social accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, among others. I had the chance to sit down with her and pick her brain about what it means to be a social media manager to her.

“What I do is oversee the accounts on social media under the flagship accounts, so everything that is branded “Syracuse University.” What we do is provide content on those channels and then develop conversations around that content that relates back to our brand.”

The Brand

Yes, SU is a brand. After all, they have an image to uphold, and social media can either be a blessing or a curse for any brand. When done right, social media with the help of an effective social media manager can have large and positive impact on a brand.

The first thing that I learned from Maren is that in order to do your job well you need to understand both your brand and your audience(s). Most of the time you will have multiple audiences, and that is important to recognize too.

The Audiences

What do I mean by multiple audiences? Well, for instance, Maren monitors and interacts on multiple social channels, like the ones I mentioned above. They don’t all have the same audience, so Maren needs to recognize those unique audiences and tailor content on each platform to best fit the needs of the users. Facebook has a more alumni based audience, where Twitter is made up of mostly current and prospective students. See what I mean?

The Job

Maren explained her job as a social media manager well,

“It means to develop conversations with people and foster dialogue around a brand, but also to get the University into those conversations.”

Sometimes it is starting conversations, other times its joining in on conversations, and other times it just means listening. All of these are important, and all of them require planning. Any effective social media manager knows that you can’t just sit down in front of a computer and start tweeting. Maren explains that content calendars help plan day-to-day content, and regular meeting help create long-term plans too.

Yes, it is social media, which means it can be unexpected at time. That’s where listening becomes important, and then thinking on your feet comes into play.

Maren also spoke about using tools to help you collaborate and manage. Tools like Google Docs and Tweetdeck are Maren’s go-to, but anything that helps a social media manager listen and interact across multiple channels, and to collaborate with their staff will do.

The Take-away

The biggest take-away from my conversation with Maren was to always be listening, always be adaptive, and always be human. By being human, a brand can make connections, create a community, and build meaningful relationships.

Are you a community manager, do you aspire to be? How do your experiences compare? Comment below or tweet me @JaredMandel

Chatting with Sunny

Syracuse Media Group

The inside of Syracuse Media Group, where Sunny works. Taken from Syracuse.com

When choosing a community manager to interview for CMGR class, I knew I wanted to talk to someone local. Syracuse has a great local community based around pride and support of the city. There is a core group of people in Syracuse who love the city and are doing great work to make it a great place to be. Sunny Hernandez is one of those people.

I first learned of Sunny through Twitter, appropriately. She seemed like the person to know, many of the people that I admire were following her and having conversations. I followed her to stay in the loop on local happenings and see how she managed her social media. Sunny gives off this vibe that makes you think that she is a good friend, and I perked up everytime I saw her in my Twitter feed even though I had never formally met her. It made sense that she works for Syracuse.com as a Community Manager, since she is able to easily engage with people through the medium of social media.

Sunny graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Sociology. This degree came in handy in the future as she taught in the area. To raise funding for her program and to raise awareness, she ventured into the world of social media. From there she took off, becoming immersed in the local Twitter community, taking social media focused jobs, and learning about Community Management.

Her current job at Syracuse.com involves managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts, writing community blog posts, and moderating the comments section of the articles. Since Syracuse.com is the largest digital news organization for Central New York, it is up to Sunny and her team to manage the community. Syracuse.com’s digital strategy is transitioning away from solely broadcasting local news and towards being more engaging. With this in mind, Sunny is strategic about the stories that she shares on social media, thinking of what the community would respond well to. I thought it was interesting that she stated that a big part of her job is knowing the community. I never realized to the extent that Community Managers are always mindful of that, and how absolute it is. If you are not familiar with your community, then you will not be able to connect them in the best way possible.

I was also interested to hear that they do use featured posts, where they ask for photos from people in the community to feature. Sunny also will reach out to a community member who has posted a comment on an article, and ask them if they will elaborate on the topic. Sometimes they even have an article of comments that people have posted. These are all great ways to encourage discussion and promote engagement with the community.

Lastly, another interesting point that Sunny brought up was the community guidelines. These are in place to make sure that the comments that people are posting are constructive and appropriate. Surprisingly, it does a lot to help monitor the comments, Sunny refers to it when she has to talk to someone about their unacceptable comment to keep everything under control. She even finds the community self-moderating, politely pointing out the guidelines to each other. This is a sign of a great, constructive community!

It was a pleasure to talk to Sunny and discuss the community-building of Syracuse.com. The one thing that I would recommend, is to hold events to reward community members and foster a stronger sense of community. Making the community more visible and central will bring everyone in the community closer together, and humanize the people behind the posts. Overall, I think they are moving in the right direction towards achieving a close and engaged community.

Video interview

 

Interview with Ashley Shaw: Political Community Manager

I recently had the opportunity to interview with Ms. Ashley Shaw (@AshleyMoriyah) who is the Community Manager for Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla who represents California’s 14th District. Over the past years, Ashley has worked in several district offices where she focused on Community Outreach and advertising for numerous community events. During the interview we had a chance to discuss her current role as a Community Manager, how she stays so passionate about her job, and advice she has for those new to a Community Manager role.

The Life of a Community ManagerAshley Shaw

Being in the public eye is never an easy task, and when someone is the Community Manager of a political office, there is never one day that is like the rest. Each day offers something completely different and it is the responsibility of Ms. Shaw to keep the Assemblywoman’s community up to date and informed through different social media outlets. She also spends time planning different community events that help in relaying Assemblywoman Bonilla’s message as well as facilitating conversation about the needs of the community.

Love What You Do

Although Ashley has been working in the community for several years, she is still more passionate about her job than ever before. She takes pride in listening to those within the community and being an advocate for those who may not be heard. She truly enjoys hosting various events and talking to people to receive their input. One way to meet new people within the community was a budget forum event hosted by the office. Ashley and her team ran a social media campaign that invited people out to the event and provided free giveaways to those who participated. I thought this was a great way to get members of the community to participate online and in person and provide a sense of unity within the community.

Advice for Newbies

When Ashley first started as a Community Manager she was not familiar with all of the social media outlets available to her. She understood how Facebook and Twitter worked, but did not know how to utilize other outlets. One suggestion that she provided that really stood out was to not be afraid to experiment with different tools or social media sites. In her experience she has used a lot of different tools and she was able to learn the most effective ways to use them to relay different messages.

I am really glad I had the opportunity to interview Ashley and gain a stronger understanding of a community manager. It was great to learn about the different strategies she uses to reach members within her community and how she takes the time to address the needs of members.

 

Be A Community Manager Extraordinaire

What happens when your employer wants it all but only has the budget to hire one person for three or four jobs?

If you are Janise McMillan, they hire you. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Janise for a paper about working as a community manager. While Janise makes it look easy, I soon learned that her smile and professionalism hid a secret that many not-for-profits keep—a vision beyond its budget. In other words, too many plans and not enough resources.

What started as an interview about community management became a story about how to do it all. From social media management to marketing to public relations and other priorities along the way, those who work for not-for-profits in a mid-sized city need keep many plates spinning.

Here are three ways to make things happen when you are a one-person team:

  1. Work smarter, not harder. When you have so many responsibilities, it is essential that you get value from each project.
  2. Stay accountable. Understaffed teams (or solo artists, as is the case with Janise) are bogged down in the day-to-day hustle. In order to keep projects moving across practice areas like social media and community management, make sure to talk about your goals and timelines to others. This could be a supervisor, a trusted colleague or even a friend. Make sure that your plans are made public so that you keep your accountability and focus.
  3. Come up for air. Studies show that taking a quick break can increase productivity. Make this your mantra, even when you are swamped—which might be every day!

An example of how to put these tips into practice was an open house for Janise’s company after it relocated to its new headquarters. She was able to keep active on her social media accounts, targeted the guest list and created invitations, as well as issuing all of the press releases  for the event. In the midst of this, she kept focus on her goal of community management for the event and incorporated a real-time feedback video that allowed guests to discuss their impression of the new headquarters.

This added a fun factor to the event and engaged the community. If Janise had not used the three tips above, she might not have pulled all of this off, all while keeping up with routing operations.

Do you have a secret that helps you do it all? Please share that, along with your feedback, in the comments!

My Interview with Community Manager, Katrina Steffensen

At this point in the semester, we have learned quite a few aspects about community managers and what they do. Just as a refresher, some of the things #CMGRclass has touched upon are Blogging, Content Creation, the differences between social media managers and community managers, Twitterverse fails, Search Engine Optimization, and Listening and Planning.

Yet, this week was a bit different from the normal flow of the class. My classmates and I all went on a quest to find a real-life community manager! Who did I interview? I had the pleasure of talking to Ms. Katrina Steffensen, a Channel Manager at VML, one of the world’s top digital marketing agencies. What brand does she manage? It’s one that everyone knows, and that is Gatorade.

Marsh, Jennifer. 24 February 2014. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Marsh, Jennifer. 24 February 2014. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

During our interview, there were some main topics I wanted to find out: her responsibilities as a community manager, what the Gatorade online community is like, and why she likes being the Gatorade community manager so much.

1.) Her Community Manager Responsibilities

Ms. Steffensen made it very clear to me what the main responsibility of her job is: to talk to the Gatorade community members each and every day, to make those members feel welcome. How does she do that? She initiates conversations, creates content, and replies to comments on all of the Gatorade channels, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google+, andTumblr.

As the main moderator of the community, Ms. Steffensen follows a kind of schedule as to when the content for following weeks is due. In fact, at VML, content is usually created 3-4 weeks in advance! One type of content that has been extremely successful, according to Ms. Steffensen, has been congratulatory messages to community members and their teams. Whenever these posts are distributed, a lot of activity is gauged from the different channels. Why is this so? Probably because huge fans of Gatorade are receiving personal feedback from the brand they love. Basically, Ms. Steffensen is constantly in content creating mode, thinking of matters, subjects, and dialogue that will really connect well with the Gatorade community, which I am going to talk about next.

2.) What the Gatorade Community is Like

Let’s learn some facts and stats about the Gatorade community:

Brasil, Ambrev. 12 July 2011. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Brasil, Ambrev. 12 July 2011. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

  • Mostly made up of 13-17 year old athletes
  • Approximately 60% Males, 40% Females
  • Males more vocal on all channels

From the facts above, it makes sense that most of the Gatorade community is made up of young athletes, right? I mean, it is a sports drink. So, therefore, much of the conversations within the community surround Gatorade and SPORTS. For example, the members of the community tend to discuss what their current favorite flavors are, or why they need Gatorade to provide motivation for the athletic performance.

3.) Why Being the Gatorade Community Manager is so Fun

So, working for such a big, successful, and influential brand, like Gatorade, should be really fun, right? I would think so, and Ms. Steffensen definitely agrees.

The best parts about being the community manager for Gatorade? Ms. Steffensen is able to give extra motivation to young athletes everywhere, directly through the channels she manages. Athletes of all sorts tell their cool and amazing stories, whether directly related to the sports drink or not, through the Gatorade channels, and she is able to listen respond to them. By being the Gatorade channel manager, Ms. Steffensen is able to receive instant gratification from the conversations she has with the members of her community. This instant feeling of awesomeness is something that isn’t really achieved in other forms of communicating, especially with an online community.

Cruz, Haleey. 24 December 2010. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Cruz, Haleey. 24 December 2010. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

In sum, while I was nervous about this assignment at first, I really enjoyed it and even gained a lot from it. Meeting new people is always nice, especially professionals. And, I must say, getting to talk and get to know Ms. Steffensen was an extreme pleasure. Not only did I have fun interviewing her, but I learned a lot about her job, as a community manager, and I was able to connect many of the lessons from this class to real life (*cue the clicking of the light bulb*).

After this interview, the job of a community manager seemed a lot more appealing than before. Who knows, maybe I could be the person behind a brand, in the future, making more better consumer experiences every day.