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Apology Accepted, Maybe.

The case study “When the Twitterverse Turns On You” looks at a common occurrence for companies and brands on Twitter – backlash and negative comments. It happens all the time, to all brands, good and bad. This particular case study is fictionalized, but portrays an all too common situation: a company that decides to use the power of Twitter to host a conversation or contest. The idea is to get people talking about their brand, which gives them visibility to the public as well as a platform for creating a positive relationship with the public. The one problem: the public is unpredictable.

In the fictional case, an airline decides to hold a Twitter contest that uses a hashtag and the creativity of the tweeting public. The problem, however, arises when the tweeting public decides to use the hashtag and get creative by bashing the airline with negative comments.

Some notable brands that this has happened to over the years include The Home Depot, Nokia, McDonald’s and Price Chopper. Price Chopper decided that when someone tweeted at them with a negative comment, they would respond with in a not so positive or understanding way. This was a mistake.

Negative tweet from Price Chopper customer.

Another brand that has had a notable fail is Nestle, who on Facebook rather than Twitter, decided that censoring negative comments on a post, attempting to delete comments, and pushing back at customers’ comments was a good move. You guessed correctly, it wasn’t.

Nestle’s negative comments on Facebook.

So what can brands do when no so positive comments or conversation comes up on social channels? The best thing to do is simply “be human.”When I say be human, I mean listen, understand, and fix. The reason customers complain is because they either genuinly care and want you to change, or because they are looking for a reaction. By reacting negatively, brands are only hurting themselves. It makes them look bad, doesn’t do anything to fix relationships with customers who care, and gives those making negative comments for reaction exactly what they want.

On the other hand, brands that take action to listen and do their best to fix the problem with the mentality that “the customer is always right” will usually see positive outcomes. Those who care will feel cared for and respect the brand, and that is what building relationships is all about. Many brands think that apologies are a sign of weakness, but in reality they are often a sign of strength.

How to Avoid A Social Media Crisis, While Encouraging User Engagement

image by dashburst.com

image by dashburst.com

Did you see what they posted on Twitter, #Fail? OMG, that twitter chat took a turn for the worse. Everybody loves talking about a good social media fail (ie: 2013’s Most Cringeworthy Business Social Media #FailsThe 18 Biggest Social Media Fails Of 2013), but nobody likes to be the culprit behind one. That’s why it is important to think before you tweet, and for community managers to take the time to plan out any potential social media brand efforts before launching.

The Case

A fictional case study written for Harvard Business is the perfect story to exemplify how to avoid falling down the slippery slope of social media #fails. This study discusses a woman named Charlene and her position as head of public relations for Canadian Jet. We find her in the midst of launching the airline’s first ever twitter contest on the basis of, the person who posts the most creative tweet using the hashtag #CanJetLuxury wins two round-trip tickets to any of the company’s destinations.

This campaign started as an effort to restore Canadian Jet to a good name, but quickly attracted more haters of the airline than fans. The slew of negative tweets caused the airline to begin trending worldwide, and the CEO was ready to shut the whole operation down. Other members of the team offered suggestions to start a new hashtag, or issue a public apology. This left Charlene unsure of how to continue…

What Went Wrong

It is clear that this company did not do enough research on twitter contests before launching one of their own. It seems they knew of a few social media fails, but did not read enough to learn from past mistakes. By nature of social media, negative comments are bound to occur in large numbers because of the anonymity hiding behind a screen provides. The company mentioned that they just dealt with a large public relations crisis, so clearly there are customers who recently had a bad experience with the airlines and are looking to take revenge. Maybe they should have held the contest elsewhere besides twitter, where they could have put all the contest entries on an approval system, or just accepted all entries but only showcased the finalists.

Another thing that was not brought up in the article, but occurred to me was the lack of a measurement system. The company did not state how they were going to measure what the most creative tweet was. Who was judging the contest and based off of what criteria? If the contest went on longer this would have surely enticed more negative tweets.

image by mybillboard.net

image by mybillboard.net

What Went Right

The fact that Canadian Jet looked to the community for their social media content was a great idea in theory. In chapter 3 of Buzzing CommunitiesRichard Millington provides support for user contributed content by explaining that “the best content for a community is content about the community.” This idea could have been achieved by the Canadian Jet twitter contest if there were more rules and regulations to keep the conversation about an idea such as a favorite flight memory. User generated content also keeps people interested in a brand page by providing relevant and interesting content, as well as an incentive to come back. The idea of being feature on a brand page with many followers provides a reason for members to visit the community every day or at least frequently.

Taylor Hawes also writes about user generated content in a HostGator company post where she states, “Users are most likely to continue to create and share content for you if they feel that you’re engaging back with them.”

What Should Happen Next

As far as what Charlene should do in the midst of a crisis, I believe she should:

  1. Acknowledge and engage those that are positive and thank them for entering the contest, as she does not want to get lost in all the negative tweets and forget those who are producing the desired result.
  2. For the Negative Nancys, she should feel free to engage them in a discussion publicly or privately and encourage them to reach out to a customer service representative. Sometimes people feel that they can be negative or even mean to a brand without a concrete reason because they forget that there is a real person behind the screen. If you remind them that you are human as well, it can produce changes in opinions. Almost immediately, I think the naysayers would change their minds or be buried in a sea of more positive posts. At this point though if the posts do not subside, I would just pick a winner and focus on featuring some of the best posts on the page.

How would you have handled the Canadian Jet case? Do you have any other tips to avoid a social media crisis?

Community Moderation: My Facilitating Experience

This past week, in #CMGR class, I was designated to be the moderator (or facilitator) for the week. What does this exactly entail? Well, I had to basically initiate and stimulate, and sustain the conversations of the class community. That’s quite a bit to handle (*Cue the mini freakout*)!

Going into the week, I didn’t really know what to expect, or what I was really doing, in fact. Yet, there were a couple of valuable things I learned along the way: being a moderator is more difficult than it seems and moderating a community becomes easier as time goes along.

Local Citation Builder. "NA". 18 October 2008. Online Image. Flickr. 17 February 2014.

Local Citation Builder. “NA”. 18 October 2008. Online Image. Flickr. 17 February 2014.

The Challenges

According to Buzzing Communities, a book written by Richard Millington, the correct definition of being a moderator is to be a facilitator of sort. In my case this past week, I would categorize myself as acting like a managerial facilitator, one who sets the agenda for the community and directs the flow of discussion between its participants (2012). While playing the managerial facilitator role, I stumbled upon a couple of challenges:

  1. Providing Appropriate Content

One of the main responsibilities of a community moderator is to provide meaningful content that will spark discussion among its members. At the beginning of my journey as moderator, I wasn’t quite sure what type of information to start with; I knew the topic of the week was about Twitter and epic Twitterverse attacks/fails, yet with a subject that broad, where do you begin?! Another thing I was concerned about was discussing a topic, such as community management, one that I, myself, wasn’t familiar with before and one that my fellow classmates might not normally talk about on a regular basis.

I found that starting broad and getting more specific really helped, warming up the floor to the relating topics of the week. Then, the more specific questions were posed, which got more people conversing in the discussion. At first, my posts weren’t getting a lot of feedback, which being honest, can be discouraging. But, I learned to not give up, because as my moderation period progressed, I found content that I thought my classmates could relate to, connect to our class topics, and ultimately talk and debate about with each other.

2. Encouraging Participation

Another duty of a community moderator is to encourage participation among its members in the discussions, doing so by guiding members’ contributions, and ensuring plenty of activity on multiple posts (Millington, 2012). At the start of moderation, along with my uncertainty on chosen content, I also was feeling down because people weren’t responding to my posts. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t want to be a nag and bug people to respond to my posts, because that’s no fun and really isn’t promoting a welcoming environment to contribute to. But at the same time, I wanted others to think about the content I had prepared for that day.


Chan, Reginald. “NA”. 6 November 2013. Online Image. Flickr. 17 November 2014.

Thankfully, and eventually, my fellow classmates caught on to my posts and some great conversations started blossoming. How did I accomplish this? I really just tried to post SOMETHING everyday; if a post wasn’t getting a lot of feedback I would switch to an opposing topic, and would get some responses. I also tried to ask open ended questions in order to get a variety of answers from the participants. I learned, that in order to be an efficient moderator, you’re not just in charge of creating these conversations, but you’re also participating in them as well. If you’re not going to talk, who else will?

While it may have taken a bit to catch on, I did have some great participants. From being a moderator, listening and responding to other people’s thoughts really helped me to catch on to the topics at hand.

What did I learn?

Looking back on my moderator experience, I realize I went into this blindly; I had no previous experience with community management, and didn’t really have a clear idea of what it was or what it entailed. Now that I can say I’ve been a community moderator, I feel that I’ve learned so much about how to engage and learn with others, all in an online setting. If I had to sum up my lessons learned, I would say…

  • Community Management is a lot harder than it sounds- it takes creativity and dedication to ignite meaningful discussions
  • Trying to think of engaging and appropriate content is key for the activeness of a community
  • Encouraging member participation is undesirable, but sometimes necessary for responses
  • Switch up the “flavor” of your content
  • Pose open-ended questions to the members of the community
  • Be consistent and don’t give up

So, if you were like me, skeptical about trying community management and moderating out, I would say go for it! Like anything, the more you try it, the better you get at it. After this experience, I would definitely give community moderating another shot


See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Tweet No Evil

Image via Flickr

Image via Flickr

The ancient Japanese proverb ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ has had many meanings over the years. The most widely accepted opinion would be to always keep pure and honest intentions when interacting with those within your community. This can be done in many ways like only surrounding yourself with positive people, thinking encouraging thoughts, and making sure that everything you say only has good intentions around it. Think about that for a second. And now think about Twitter. At the time of its creation, this social media platform was used as a digital diary for those who wanted to divulge their inner fears or insignificant thoughts. Fast forward to today where it has evolved into one of the most accessible communication tools that we know today.

Twitters users are able to connect with their friends, family, and most importantly, favorite brands on a very personal level. Whether they’re using their 140 characters to try and win a contest or to show their latest latte purchase, these engagements have proven the foundation of a healthy online community. This doesn’t mean that a community manager can only expect to hear about the good things. This type of unique transparency also opens the doors for critics to come in and truly speak their mind.

An example of this would be a fictionalized case study done by The Harvard Business Review. In this example, a CEO, a director of social media, an account manager, and the head of communications are brought together to solve a PR crisis that takes place over Twitter. The company planned to create a hashtag that would allow people to tweet in and win roundtrip plane tickets to the destination of their choosing. When they saw the negative feedback that they were getting, they sat and deliberated about whether or not to cancel the content and make everything go away.

There are many instances that can cause the Twitterverse to turn against you:

  • Publicity gone awry
  • Any change in a product or service (malfunction, new features, etc.)
  • Rogue employee (case in point: Justine Sacco)
  • Corporate change such as a massive layoff

While there are no special recipes that can help your company survive an attack from your Twitter community, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you can weather the storm and come out on top. Here are a few things to remember when Twitter turns on you:

  1. Acknowledge what happened. One of the first things that any community manager must do is acknowledge when your community has any grievances. Whether it’s a tweet stating that you’re listening or even a Q&A to ease people’s concerns, you cannot ignore your community.
  2. Honesty is the ONLY policy. One of the most important qualities of a community manager is their ability to be an honest and open communicator. If you have a strong community behind your brand, and you want to keep them, you must never tell a lie. Not only will your followers lose faith in you, it ruins your credibility with them and any potential followers they may be connected to.
  3. Don’t silence your audience. Sometimes, your community just needs to get their aggression out. They want to know that you value their feedback and not just their attention for your benefit.
  4. Document what you’ve learned. Each mistake is a learning opportunity. Whether you get the outcome you desired or not, you will be able to walk away with knowledge about how to address a situation like this again in the future. It’s better to be prepared than surprised.
  5. Don’t let the Twitterverse scare you. There are always going to be situations where someone is unhappy due to one reason or another. A successful community manager doesn’t let a hurdle stop them, but rather uses it as a learning tool and a stepping stone to their next goal.

Can you think of any points that I’m missing? Do you have any experience with a Twitter Crisis? Feel free to comment or tweet me at @AlexisMadison20.

Good Community Management Helps Shine Rainbows Over the Stormy Twitterverse

The Case Study: When the Twitterverse Turns on You outlines a social media campaign on Twitter for Canadian Jet, a fictional airline with a lackluster reputation. The plan was to use the hashtag #CanJetLuxury for a Twitter contest that would reward the user who posted the most creative tweet with a set of round-trip tickets. It sounds innocent enough but those who work in the Twitterverse know that brand-sponsored campaigns are easy prey for trolls and disgruntled customers.

After a few short hours, the hashtag was hijacked with accusatory tweets such as “Arriving a day late to your daughter’s wedding #CanJetLuxury.” The team went into a panic. The article closes by asking if they should throw in the towel.

So, Should Canadian Jet Cancel the Contest?

Absolutely not. By definition, a campaign is a systematic course of aggressive activities (dictionary.com). It is not a Twitter announcement followed by second thoughts.


When you bring your branded message into Twitter’s public stream of consciousness, you should not expect sunshine and rainbows. You expect to create the sunshine and rainbows.

After all, isn’t that what community management is about –bringing dazzling experiences to people? Helping them discover why they love you, over and over again?

The problem posed in this case study is only a problem because the company’s conversation about what to do when faced with negative tweets was supposed to happen long before the campaign launched. This failure to plan raises questions about their Twitterverse aptitude.

Want to check your readiness for the Twitterverse?

Here are Five Diagnostic Questions About Your Twitterverse Aptitude

  1. Are you energized by the opposition? Andrea Kemp, the company’s account manager from Wrigley & Walters who advised Canadian Jet, thrived in this high-pressured environment.
  2. Do you know what you are getting into? Critics can reduce your beloved hashtag into a mere “bashtag” if you mismanage the campaign.
  3. Do you see the glass as half full or as half empty? Do you disregard positive tweets when faced with a negative one? (Warning: In cases like  #AskJPM the glass was quickly emptying. Recognizing that shows your realism, not pessimism.)
  4. Do you give the silent treatment? Social media is inherently social so if you are not prepared to respond to what is in front of you this might not be the best venue.
  5. How is your agility? Be responsive to changing conditions when sailing through the Twitterverse. This does not mean that you cannot plan. It simply means that your plan needs to account for the possibility of inclement weather.

What Can We Learn?

There are three lessons to be learned from this case study.

  1. #CanJetLuxury was out of touch. While the campaign was a great way to breathe life into their brand, it seems like organizers expected the announcement  of the Twitter contest to absolve them of any hostility that had developed in the previous years.
  2. They gambled. They did not have a plan in place for negative tweets, even though they were aware of the risk.
  3. They held a meeting when they should have been tweeting responses. They should have countered the negative tweets immediately, rather than reassessing the campaign as a whole.

Have you ever suspended a campaign? We would love to learn about your experiences in the comments below.

The 4 Stages of the Community Life Cycle

Current online technologies have made it easier than ever to participate in discussions with people with similar interests and passions. Barriers for connecting with others have never been so low, as enhanced forms of media have enabled us to convey ideas and share like never before. In a society obsessed with content, the internet and social media has changed the way that we discover this content and who is able to distribute it.

The internet has changed the role of community managers, and has given them a wider range of tools to encourage discussion and inclusion within the community. Social media is one of these tools, as pointed out in Minot State University’s study The History of Social Media and its Impact on Business. Syracuse Sync, a local web design community organized it’s first meetup mainly through Twitter. Word of the meetup spread through social media, speakers and sponsors found through Twitter conversations, and the conference was a great success. Since attending, many attendees have reached out and supported my endeavors.

However, a community does not only exist on social media, and other efforts are required in order to build a successful community. Building a community is not easy, it requires a focused strategy and attention to sustain. A community manager’s main goal is to create relationships within the community, and to no longer drive the conversation. That being said, there are four main stages of a community life cycle as outlined in Chapter 1 of “Buzzing Communities” by Richard Millington. Each stage has specific duties in order to maintain and grow a community.



This is first life stage of a community, where the manager starts building relationships and initiating discussions. At this point, the main goal is to reach critical mass, or when your community is actively generating the content and discussions. Reaching the point of critical mass is achieved by:

  • Inviting people to join the community
  • Initiating discussions
  • Encouraging members to share and contribute
  • Establishing one-on-one relationships
  • Post content regularly


This stage is marked by the community reaching critical mass. Community manager’s role is to promote inclusiveness and regular activity by the members, acting as a moderator. At this point, focus is shifted to referrals, promotion of the community, and organizing events. Tasks include:

  • Writing content
  • Managing events and chats
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Recruiting
  • Analyzing data about community
  • Referral growth tactics
  • Establishing a strong sense of community


This stage level is when the activity level by members is the majority of the activity of the community. The community manager’s role is now to build publicity about the community and maintaing the general tasks. In addition, this stage will eventually plateau where the level of activity will be maintained at the highest point possible. The community is highly responsive and active, and is influential in its industry.


The final stage of the community cycle, where the community is very large and prominent. Subgroups form within the larger community, and the manager must make sure that the sentiment of being in a good community is still priority. The community manager supports the mini communities, and helps them become at critical mass.

This outline of the life cycles in “Buzzing Communities” is very clear in visualizing the goals and tasks for the community. Growing a successful community requires a lot of hard work and monitoring in order to create value for all participants.


The 4 Pillars of Blogging: How To Create Excellent Online Content

Blogging is something we are all familiar with; these online discussion sites surround us, as they are used by most people, companies, and different organizations that touch our daily lives. Yet, blogs are also something a little unknown to us, maybe even a little mysterious. Blogging has become habitual to certain professions like community managers, professionals who try to establish communities and discussions around a company, brand, product or service.

So, you may be asking, why am I writing a blog post about blogging? Hey, see what I did there?

Well, because there’s an actual science to creating an excellent blog, a system that community managers follow very closely, in order to retain and attract more active members to their communities. And I don’t know about you, but if I were to start a blog right now, I’m not really sure if I would have the confidence to do so. Therefore, in this article by ProBlogger, the 4 Pillars are laid out to show you how to obtain the essence of blogging, one of the many tasks required of community managers today. And why am I here? Well, I’m going to explain these 4 Pillars to you, so we all can learn something new along the way.

The Four Pillars 


Tiziani, Eliza. “4 Pillars”. 02 June 2011. Online Image. Flickr. 31 January 2014.


There is nothing worse than reading something you think would be relevant to you, but actually provides nothing useful. In order to have a successful blog, you as the writer must provide your audience with information that will be practical in their daily lives.


It’s as simple as this, great headlines attract readers for the things they’re looking for. My example for this post, The 4 Pillars of Blogging: How to Create Excellent Online Content; I came up with this title because it included the phrase “How To.” People are always searching for how to do certain things, therefore this post would have a high probability of catching a reader’s eye. Also, I used numbers; lists are always something that attract readers because it lays out the content in a more organized fashion.

Great headlines improve your blog’s Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, which is basically a fancy term for getting your blog noticed more by search engines. This way, people are more likely to come across your blog post when searching for specific information, and certain phrases allow this to happen. Other phrases to use in headlines include:

  • The Basics of ____
  • ____: What it is and How to Use It
  • __ Steps to Become an Incredible Blogger


In your blog posts, you don’t want paragraphs upon paragraphs of text. Why not? To put it bluntly, nobody is going to read it. People want to be able to open a blog post and scan it for the most pertinent information to them. So, how does one accomplish scannability? In a few different ways:

  • Lists- Like the Four Pillars list that is currently in numbered order
  • Bullets- Like these ones you are currently reading
  • Bolded Items- Like the bolded listed items throughout this post

All these different methods allow for readers to pick out key pieces of information, without having to dig through paragraphs of text. Ultimately, readers are going to really appreciate this and come back to your posts for more incite in the future.


People read blogs for a reason, because of their style. They’re not textbooks or difficult to read manuals, but are articles written like the way we normally talk. Blogs are an opportunity to write in a manner that we normally don’t get the chance to outside the academic or business realms. So, just write how you talk and people will most definitely understand your key points and be wanting to hear more of your voice.

Blogs also allow you to BE YOURSELF. You have a unique voice, so show it!

So, to recap, in order to start a blog with great content just follow the 4 Pillars and you’ll be on your way to blogging success!

Kill Your Darlings, Not Your Blog

In 2008, I started utter (de)construction, a blog that covered major issues facing global brands, politics, and society. It was pretty cool, but as I continued to publish, I became was afraid of my strong editorial voice, which is naturally bold and provocative.

At the time, I was a Communications Associate at a religious institution, as well as a freelancer who was looking for new clients, and working to satisfy current ones. Although my blog was not targeting these populations, I kept my more conservative contacts in mind as I developed my personal brand. This made me increasingly uncomfortable putting my content out there as a blogger.

I worried my delivery was inappropriate for some readers. An example of this is when I entitled a post about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s campaign-financed clothing makeover “Barely Legal Campaign Expenditures,” I thought it was edgy and pretty funny but worried that its reference to the porn industry went a little too far. Despite my concerns, I ultimately published the post but it never felt quite right. Eventually, I ended the blog. We’ll get back to that later.

The two-step writing process

After reviewing the readings for #CMGRclass, I found myself revisiting this personal experience and realize that there is a simple, two-step process for writing and editing content for any channel (blog, website, video script, etc).

Image via Flickr

Step 1 (Write): Let loose

The Ultimate Guide to Blogging by the Content Marketing Institute provides three key points to consider while blogging. One tip states, “Loosen up: Authenticity trumps perfection when connecting with readers.” This is true for the writing stage. Do not edit while you write. You need to write a first draft from start-to-finish (making notes along the way to cite that article or fact check some detail, rather than derailing your initial draft). Type whatever comes to mind, even if it sounds stupid. Especially when it sounds stupid. Step 2 will take care of the rest.

Step 2 (Edit): Kill your darlings

Recently, I heard that to write for any channel, including, but not limited to, blogs, you must kill all your darlings—a phrase first turned by famed writer, William Faulkner. It is often the work to which we are extremely attached that most needs editing. This points to a tension that exists between writer and editor, which, for bloggers who wear both hats, refers to the same person.

From 2008 to today

When I first launched utter (de)construction. I covered issues that not every 20-something could handle. I was on to something.

Looking back, I realize that when I felt conflicted I killed my blog when I should have simply killed my darlings.

Thinking back to that racy title in 2008 that never quite sat right, I now realize that those four words “Barely Legal Campaign Expenditures” embodied one of my darlings. I just love the phrase, even today, but now I am prepared to lead that and others to slaughter. Lesson learned.

Going beyond the two-step process

There are many guidelines that make for a great blog post. These are some from #CMGRclass:

Blogging: 34 Things you’re Doing Wrong

How to Write Great Blog Content

How to Find and Keep Great Writers for Your Blog

How to Create an Editorial Calendar That Will Grow With Your Audience

Five Benefits of an Editorial Calendar

Do you have a single tip that helped you unlock the words stuck in your head or to mercilessly edit your own work? Please be sure to include them in the comments below.


Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager – What’s the Difference?

Inside-the-mind-of-a-community-managerWith Community Manager Day (#CMAD) now in the past and the countdown for its 5th birthday is officially underway, I have come across an interesting yet important question that has not really been addressed. Community Manager Day is used to celebrate the achievements and progress made by individuals who make it their goal to foster and engage a digital community. The big question that comes to mind is what is the difference between a community manager and a social media manager? The two terms seem to overlap since both positions deal with the same communication medium, but there are some definite differences between the two positions. As stated in this article published by The CR Blog, when answering this question, the first thing you must look at is the difference between the first part of each title: ‘social media’ and a ‘community’.

When talking about ‘social media’:

  • The network around each set of content is not as closely linked to each other
  • The content released is not typically used to bring the network closer together but rather just to add to the current social conversation being had
  • Comments made on content are not used to start a conversation

When talking about ‘community’:

  • Members of a community are actively engaged and interact with each other consistently
  • There is a common purpose that is acknowledged by all community members
  • Content is used to spark a conversation and engagement from community members

BONUS: There is a strong emphasis put on relationships and authentic connections rather than followers

Low Complexity Markets

The major difference between these two is the motivation behind the work that they do and the effects that it has on the content they produce. Social media managers produce content for simplistic networks. “In low complexity markets and use cases, the focus is on social media because the relationships don’t need to be deep.”

This is the type of market where the content isn’t used to connect people to each other, but rather to provide an infrastructure to connect people to a brand.  While there is a sense of familiarity established with the brand, creating a tight knit network doesn’t matter as much as profiting off of a product.

This is where social media comes in handy. A social media manager can produce content that will highlight your brands best qualities by publishing UGC (user generated content) and responding to followers talking about your brand.

High Complexity Markets

Managing a community involves complete engagement within a high complexity market. This is the type of market in which services, products, and users are completely intertwined. All interactions circle around one common idea or purpose which a community manager must always be aware of.

Within these markets, a true community is formed around the content that is shared. These people not only follow each other’s content, but they share ideas and information with the goal of building meaningful relationships. Through these relationships, users can continue to explore their interests knowing that the content they are receiving comes from liked minded individuals

Using well developed communication and listening skills, a community manager sets the tone for these relationships while letting them form organically; providing support and guidance along the way.

All in all, these two roles are very different and yet vital in their own ways. If I had to summarize it in one phrase, I wound say that a social media manager will take good care of your brand and your following but a community manager will take great care of your community and those within it.