Tag Archive for Moderator

Think You Got What It Takes To Be A Community Manager? #CMGRClass

During the week of February 24 through March 2, I acted as the moderator for the #CMGRClass’ Google+ Community, as well as the class twitter account. Throughout this time, I learned many valuable lesson, but also had a lot of fun! The main theme of the week was SEO & inbound Marketing, and although I didn’t really have much experience in this topic, or moderating nonetheless, I jumped right in!

My Research

Before beginning my week as the CMGRclass moderator, I decided to research the roles and responsibilities of a community manager. I looked to one of our class books Buzzing Communities, written by Richard Millington, and found that it is important to always encourage participation by directly or indirectly stimulating and sustaining activity within the community.

I also looked to the experts to see how they manage communities much larger than the one I would be working with. The Huffington Post handles 70+ million comments a year without collapsing, so I made the executive decision to look to them as an expert in the field. One of the main points this established company made was to create “a safe, enjoyable space, and help people find content that is relevant to them.” I tried to apply this motto to my week as a moderator for the CMGRclass community.

My Content

One of my top priorities for the week was to contribute appropriate and meaningful content. I tried to post a timely, relevant, or just fun news article every day in order to spur conversation. After seeing some of my fellow classmates do their parts as moderators for previous weeks, I thought I had an idea of what kind of content to post. I started off by jumping off the topic of SEO, and shared with the class the article 20 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools You Should be Using. Many students shared what tools they use currently for managing different social accounts, as well as what they hope to try out in the future.

As well, early in the week I posted an article that focused on the similarities between design and community. I was shocked to get such a thought out response to this article by an alumnae of the class, Steve Rhinehart. Although many other classmates did not respond to this post, I think the thoughtfulness of Steve’s response made me feel like this post was successful.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 10.52.55 PM

Some of the twitter activity during my time as moderator

One of my favorite moments from the week was the conversation around the change in tagline from “Got Milk” to “Milk Life.” Although this did not directly relate to the topic of the week, we are always discussing brands, and I thought this was a big change for an iconic brand. I liked that my classmates shared their opinions and then even offered a solution for the brand to evolve without alienating their current market. I think this exemplified how a community can work together to solve problems.

During the week, I also started tweeting from the #CMGRclass twitter handle. During this time I tried to share our internal conversation with the online world by using hashtags to attract those with similar interests. During this time the account gained new followers, and one classmate interacted by retweeting and responding to tweets.

At the end of the week, I handed the moderation position over to Elaina Powless, and am excited to see how she leads the discussion within the #CMGRClass community.

My Community Participants

I was so appreciative of all the contributors I had throughout my week as moderator. Many people put in the time and effort to create thoughtful responses to my posts, as well as contribute their own posts to really enhance the community discussion throughout the week.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 12.17.11 AM

A list of Google+ activity on the Got Milk post

My Reflection

During this process I learned significant lessons about being a community manager, as well as talking to a community of people in general.

  • Community Managers do not get enough credit. I felt myself constantly thinking about what my next post should be, and if people will find it interesting enough to start a conversation about. This makes community management much more than a typical 9-5 job.
  • Relevant content is key. As a writer for InfoSpace, we operate off the basis write what your friends are talking about, as this is what is popular among many groups of friends, as well as what is being searched on the web. I learned that the same principle applied to my time as a community manager, but with a much fast turnover. The posts that seemed to entice many participants were events that were getting a lot of buzz offline as well.
  • Patience is a virtue. Moderating takes patience; patience to find the best content to post, patience for others to see it, and patience for others to respond and even post their own content branching off the topic. I learned to have patience in the process, and that was a hard lesson to learn.
  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Not everything I posted to the community stirred up an intense conversation, but that’s okay. If a post didn’t seem to be appealing I would switch to an opposing topic because forcing responses does not create a successful community. I wanted to get to a place where people wanted to respond and thus their responses would be more personal.

What’s Left to Say?

After the whole week, I am still left with a question. I know all communities are not the same, so how do you interact with your community? What are some of the most popular posts? Who are the most active contributors? Let me know in the comments below!

My Week as a Moderator

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 11.15.55 PMI took on the role of moderator this week for the second time and the experience was a little more eye opening as I was moderating alone this time rather than with a classmate. I was also in a unique position because there was no assigned reading so the class was able to spit ball a little more than usual about interesting topics. A major disadvantage, however, was the fact that I moderated at a very busy time for students and didn’t see the high levels of engagement that many see during other weeks, which made discussion difficult on some topics.

Which network is the RIGHT network?

Many community managers must deal with this question on a daily basis. What content is best for a given social network? As moderator, I found that no one was engaging on twitter for whatever reason, so I posted the majority of my content on Google+. But I was cross-posting some content to twitter and now that I think back, I’m realizing that those two audiences are exactly the same, so what’s the point of posting the same content on each? Maybe they’ll see it one place but not the other? I think different content does better on different platforms but it’s harder to tell what that is in this small scale example.

Successful Conversation

I was so proud of one of the conversations that developed during my week as moderator. It was surrounding the subject of a brand’s influence and if they had an ethical obligation to help out when tragedy hits. Of course, they don’t have any legal obligation, but what about special ethical one? Some argued that there’s no real ethical responsibility but it really helps their public image, while others argued that with influence comes responsibility. Social media managers, community managers and public relations professionals are really starting to have a voice in the overall mission and objectives of companies, so this is an important question to be asking ourselves.

A great career

One item of content that came up during the week was the Wall Street Journal’s list of best and worst jobs of the year. I asked the community who was interested in actual pursuing the position as a career someday. The fact that community manager ranks in the top 40 of the list is definitely an incentive. I think the line of work is so appealing because of the daily interaction with people, even though it’s digital. Social media is obviously a huge up and coming industry. Combining that with building interactive and engaging communities sounds like a fun line of work. The negatives are that it’s a 24/7 job. You never really get a break in this line of work because communities don’t rest. You always have a responsibility to always be sparking conversation when it’s dull. And most importantly, you need to be ready to respond in a time of crisis.

My Week as a Moderator

I went a whole week as a Moderator for #CMGRClass. I learned a lot about how to effectively manage a community and about how you must be on top of your community to make sure things are running smoothly. As a Moderator I felt the biggest lesson learned was time management. This was a good lesson in how to balance my time between working, school, and managing the G+ community for an entire week.

One of the most important articles that I posted was about how to be a successful community manager. This article was really effective as it had tips about the 12 most common things to do while running a community. I personally think that making connections and establishing relationships is key to success. Building relationships is what will keep your community going and your analytics will impress your manager.

Analytics

During the week that I was Moderator there was a great article titled How to Craft a Blog Post.  The article had 12 points from an experienced blogger about issues he had ran into when blogging. This article had a decent amount of discussion about what the most effective key point was. I believed that the most important point was quality control, where even one small mistake can effect your credibility in your readers eyes. One comment that stuck out to me was from iSchool Professor Kelly Lux, that “The title is SO important!”. Professor Lux brought up a great point that the most traffic on blogs comes from titles that are “keyword rich, or are those that answer ask or answer a Q”.

Overall, I think that my week as a moderator went well. There was a lot of great participation from the students of #CMGRClass. Each had their own opinions which helped keep the conversation flowing.  Using Google + for moderation was a great tool as it helped me keep track of who responded to my posts. I also liked the fact that Google + allowed me to almost instantly push a post to my audience within seconds.

I ran into issues with time management during my week of moderating. Like everybody says “there is not enough time in the day”. I tried to balance work, school, and moderating, this was extremely difficult to balance and taught me a lesson on how to balance my time evenly. I learned that moderating and being a successful Community Manager is harder than it looks, and it takes a lot of experience.