Tag Archive for Panel

Lessons From and Army of Leaders

Words of wisdom. We traditionally look to the older and wiser for advice, but in today’s digital and social world it is often the young and the savvy who can teach us a thing or two about social media and community management. As part of #CMGRClass we had the opportunity to hear from an amazing panel of leaders in community management today, who had advice ranging from how to build an effective brand presence to effectively interacting with individuals in an ever growing online community.

The panel who we had the opportunity to hear from were leaders from names like Vimeo, Policy Mic, Lenovo, and Foursquare. All who offered unique perspectives on community management and social media.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 2.10.29 PM

Common Themes

It’s no surprise that when you put great minds into one room, or one Google Hangout, they’re probably going to think alike. And that was certainly true. One on the main themes that I heard throughout the panel discussion was about connecting with individuals. This goes back to the idea of creating and building meaningful relationships with members of your audience.

Also, building on relationships, it’s important to make your audience feel important – like they matter. Being direct and tailoring your conversation or message was a key takeaway for me.

Furthermore, it’s important to stay grounded as your community grows. While the above may be easy as you are starting your community, as it grows to hundreds and even thousands of followers, staying on track and being true to yourself or brand becomes more and more difficult, but not impossible. That is why it is always important to have a plan.

Make the Audience Feel Special

One notion that stuck in my mind after the talk is that in order to make your audience feel special and keep them coming back, you really need to know your followers and understand them. You need to listen to their questions, comments, concerns and needs, and even better you need to be able to anticipate. Anticipate what they want, what will make them happy, and what will build trust.

Gavin talked about treating people like VIPs. With something like the Foursquare beta program, loyal users have the ability to have an impact on the future of a product, and this empowers them as well as builds a meaningful relationship that is two-way and beyond just a conversation.

I can relate to this having been an early buyer into a new product launching this summer called Coin, which is an electronic credit card device that stores up to 8 cards at once. As an early buyer, not only was I given a 50% discount, but I get frequent updates and access to their VIP site where I can updates on its progress and exclusive information. I don’t even have the device in my hands yet, and I feel “special.”

3 Pieces of Advice

While the panel offered tons of great advice, you would get bored reading an entire synopsis of what they said, so here are my three main pieces of advice to pass along:

  1. Don’t just create a community, build one – build trust, relationships, and recognize those followers who are extra special and loyal to your brand. Do something extra for them.
  2. Be a leader not a follower – unique ideas and a unique personality will set you apart. Those who follow other brands will be behind the curve before they even start. Don’t try to fool the follower, they’re smarter than you think. “Be proactive, not reactive.”
  3. Worry about the numbers, but don’t obsess – Depending on where you are with your community, your numbers might be big or small. What’s more important are the quality of your online relationships. Use metrics to your advantage, but don’t obsess over the numbers

What do you think of the advice? Do you agree or disagree with anything the panel discussed?

How to Build an Army of Brand Ambassadors – Tips from the #CMGRClass Panel

When a musician or actor gets on stage to accept a big award, they often make it a point to thank their fans. Some even go as far as to say I’m nothing without my fans. This statement can also be applied to brands because they, as well, are nothing without their fans.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 6.30.33 PM

This week #CMGRClass held a online panel over Google+. We were lucky enough to have apanel of experts from four companies: Gavin O’Hara from Lenovo, Alexandra Dao from Vimeo, Caira Conner from PolicyMic, and Tracey Churray from Foursquare. One of the biggest themes I saw emerge from this discussion was the need to build and nurture a community of super fans, otherwise known as brand ambassadors.

Know Your Community

The first step to building an army of brand ambassadors is to get to know your community. A lot of the community managers during this panel said that community for them started out as customer service and support. They needed to answer all the tweets when customers had problems, and soon community and support melded together. Each of these community managers had to go where their customers were and be available to them through these social sites. After spending all this time interacting with their consumers, they really got to know them inside and out.

getsatisfaction.com

getsatisfaction.com

Connect Your Community to Each Other

Tracey Churray explained that Foursquare recently launched a forum for their superusers. This mutually beneficial project allows about 40,000 of Foursquare’s most involved users to have an equal baseline of knowledge of the service, and chat with each other. This forum allows the users to connect with each other and bond, but also increases chatter about the service. This thus creates a greater brand loyalty to Foursquare in general because it is constantly the topic of conversation. Foursquare also has three levels of superusers, that all lead up to the hand chosen SU3s who actually get to interact with the Foursquare engineers.

aboutfoursquare.com

aboutfoursquare.com

Help Yourself

Foursquare sometimes taps into this loyal community to get feedback about how the service is functioning in different parts of the world. One of my favorite stories from the panel was when Tracey discussed how Foursquare contacted the superusers to improve the “Chinese Restaurants” tab of Foursquare locations in different parts of the world. Chinese restaurants as we know them in America take on a different meaning in China, and Foursquare was able to talk to their users about what categories of Chinese restaurants are necessary to have in each country. This made the service more targeted and meaningful in each part of the world, and was all made possible by the suggestions of their superusers.

Situations like this get users involved in the creative process and make them feel like valuable assets of the company. Gavin harped on this point by saying “casual exchanges make [users] feel like they are peeking behind a veil and are a part of something bigger.”

Even further than this, the panelists encouraged Gavin’s nurturing of a superuser community by providing examples within their own community. Vimeo offers around the clock customer service to their premium users, and makes it a point to hightlight 5 to 6 user videos each day. Another panelist said, “Don’t be afraid to give them some inside information, before you release things (people don’t like change after launch). They are often very excited and own it because they are a part of it.”

Bring Your Community Offline

The last important aspect of a superstar brand ambassador program that the panelists brought up, was the need to bring any online connections offline, to really solidify them. Creating and encouraging opportunities for the community members to connection offline with each other, as well as you, really allows people to connect on a human level. Gavin jokingly commented that “We need to throw parties,” and although he presented this in a joking way, the message still stands. Tweeting, emailing, and Facebooking are all nice, but your job is to manage a community of people, so you must treat them as such. Brand loyalty stems from this feeling of connection and unity.

What do you think about these tips for building a brand army? What brands do you think have the best “superuser” programs? Let me know in the comments below!

Knowing your Community: #CMGRClass Panel

This week I was able to sit in on a panel with four active Community Managers. It was a great conversation discussing the types of communities and engagement tactics used in their day-to-day work.

What was especially interesting was even though every person fell under the umbrella of community management, they had very different roles and objectives in comparison. Each focused on different categories of community management, such as content management, support, moderation and engagement. These distinctions seemed to be formed by the industry, brand’s strategic objectives, and the nature of the community.

Vimeo Staff Picks Banner, a curated channel for members

Vimeo Staff Picks Banner, a curated channel for members

For example, the tech manufacturer Lenovo’s community has a different atmosphere than Vimeo’s. People who are a member of Vimeo’s community are most likely passionate about producing creative content, or enjoy consuming creative content. This community has different values and ways of interacting than the tech-focused Lenovo community. The differences in the needs and values have an impact on how a community manager encourages engagement.

Gavin O’Hara from Lenovo drove this point home even further: “The first rule of community management could easily be knowing your audience…first, who is your audience in broad strokes, and then you dig deeper… you can’t define your audience by one set of people” This point was a common theme that persisted through the panel, all of the panelists seemed to agree of the importance of listening to your community, despite the industry.

 

Vimeo

Alex Dao is part of of a community team of 22 personnel, that works congruently on interconnected layers of the Vimeo community. They have many opportunities for members to participate in the community, holding events, weekend challenges, distributing lessons, and curating channels with highlighted videos in addition to support and social media interactions. This is a great example of engaging all streams of a community, with knowing what niche groups would enjoy engaging in a certain way.

 

PolicyMic

In contrast, Cara Conner manages her community solo, concentrating on twitter chats, email, outreach, and PolicyMic’s new fellowship. This fellowship is a part of the transition of PolicyMic from thought leaders to more regular, young journalists. She hopes that the fellowship shifts the focus from web traffic to the voice and stories of the target audience of PolicyMic—Millennials. In that way the fellows are the brand ambassadors, the actual voice of the community.

 

Few posts on Lenovo's blog

Few posts on Lenovo’s blog

Lenovo

Gavin O’Hara has been with Lenovo’s community from the start, growing the twitter following from 3,000 to about 2 million. He attributes trial and error a large part of the journey, but has a good handle on his community now. Something I found intriguing about the Lenovo community were the special Facebook group set up for the committed members of the brand. This group rewards the top-tier members by interacting one-on-one with the users, and making them feel like they are a part of something bigger. These tactics of recognizing passionate members of the community creates loyalty in addition to fostering engagement.

 

Foursquare

Foursquare Superuser icons

Tracey Churray of the Foursquare community team focuses more on the support side, and tapping into the community to build a database. Foursquare’s strategy is driven by crowdsourcing users for venue updates and tips, so they have unique relationship (and even reliance) with their community. They also have established a hierarchy within their community, giving increasing levels of power to more involved members. These tiers of Superusers are specially picked, and they get perks such as previews and special editing access. It’s a genius program, and plays well into Foursquare’s gamification M.O. Users are driven to reach the next status level of Superuser, and to reap the rewards.

Takeaways

  • Above all, you must have a clear understand of your community
  • Priority levels based on activity or membership establish loyalty
  • Community Management is not solely social media- creating strong relationships is a result of diverse touch-points

Are you part of a brand community with a hierarchy? Does this inspire you to be more involved in the community?

Advice for Future Community Managers

On November 19th, our community management class was able to listen in on another panel of community manager experts. This week’s panel consisted of Lea Marino from Cycle For SurvivalTopher Ziobro of Google Local NYC, Jennifer Lopez from Moz, and Sahana Ullagaddi of Klout. Each individual was able to offer different pieces of advice to our class, especially ones who were looking to work as a community manager after graduation. While each panelist was able to add on or agree with what other panelists were saying, each person was able to contribute their own piece of advice based on their own experiences.

Jen Lopez encouraged the ability to plan ahead. Being able to hear information and quickly turn it into something meaningful is an incredible skill. Asking yourself questions like “Is this a big deal?” allows community managers to make things happen. Good community managers know what to do with information they’re given – quickly. If community managers don’t know the answer, they should know who does. Being able to think quickly and think on your feet is invaluable.

Lea Marino stressed the importance of empathy. Although it’s not necessarily something that  can be taught, it’s important to know how to express empathy through digital channels. It’s not enough to through in an emoticon; it’s important to be able to understand what is being said behind those words and smiles. Connecting with people on a deeper level is important. It enhances your communication skills, which are so important to this field.

Sahanna Ullagaddi discussed the importance of wanting to learn. Many people don’t know what they want when they start working in the community management field, so being able to absorb lots of different types of information is important. Being able to hear information and then follow up can make you a great community manager. While learning, it’s also important to share what you think. Having your own voice can make you your own person, and an even better manager.

Topher shares his advice with the class via Google + Hangout

Topher shares his advice with the class via Google + Hangout

Topher Ziobro talked about the importance of energy. Your energy will allow you to take on challenges and express your excitement for something. Social channels need to be energetic throughout the day, and so do you. Projects may run late into the night, and you might have to too! It’s important to keep up that energy and remember that social media doesn’t necessarily end at 5pm everyday.

All of the different pieces of advice that the panelists contributed allowed each member of our class to think about what skills are necessary to be a community manger. Each community manager was able to contribute something different to the table, and all of their advice was incredibly valuable!

Do you have anything to add? Do you disagree with anything? Let us know in the comments below! 

Advice about Community Management from Community Managers

#CMGRclass is slowly coming to a close and what better way to spend the third and final panel than to speak with community managers? This week we heard from Cycle for Survival’s Lea Marino, Google Local New York City’s Topher Ziobro, Moz’s Jennifer Lopez and Klout’s Sahana Ullagaddi.

A quick background on the companies and communities discussed:

  • Cycle for Survival is a company that has indoor cycling bikes where you can raise money for cancer projects that need funding, like raising funds for cures for rare cancer types, through peer-to-peer fundraising. (I never learned how to ride a bike so I’ve never been able to raise money that way, but this sounds perfect for me and I’m hoping they come to Upstate New York.)
  • Google Local NY is a Google+ community that encourages people to explore places around the city.
  • Klout is a company that helps you understand and measure your online influence. (I highly recommend using it, it is a lot of fun.)
  • Moz is an SEO marketing company with analytics software to manage all your inbound efforts.

 

Courtesy of David Armano.

Courtesy of David Armano.

 

So how did our panelists get where they are today?

Marino is a 2008 Public Relations graduate from NewHouse (go ‘Cuse!). She moved to NYC right before the hiring freezes and the economy collapsed but she has since discovered a career path that she is happy with. She wears many hats and works with email marketing, and social media. She also shared a good piece of advice when it comes to internships: you might not always like the internship you’re doing but doing it will help you figure out what you do and do not like so you’re better prepared to search for jobs.

Ziobro started out as a member of the Google+ community he now manages and so he has unique insight into what community memebers want and what a community manager should do. As he says, he gets to “do community in the trusest sense of the word.”

Ullagaddi studied Economics, with a specialisation in International Development, with an original career track to be a Management Consultant. She found herself drawn to careers that would allow her to work and interact with people, “I’m passionate about people, I love people and I wanted a way to interact with people,” so she moved from NYC to San Francisco in order to intern at her mentor’s start-up company.

Lopez has a degree in Journalism and focused on Public Relations. She loves doing web related work, developing and writing code and she also loves speaking in front of people. She came across the world of SEO and became a consultant for Moz. She says that her background in Public Relations has been incredibly helpful, especially when it came to crisis management. She describes Moz as, “everything I love combined into one place.”

Below is a list I put together from a question Kelly Lux, one of our professors and moderators, asked of our panel. Lux wanted to know what traits or skills our panelists thought were the most helpful for a community manager to posses or what they would look for if they were to hire someone:

  • Someone who was able to figure out what to do next, someone who can make stuff happen and someone who can think on their feet. (Lopez)
  • Empathy. It’s not something you can be taught but when it comes to social media or emailing someone you want someone who can has the ability to connect with people; to make sure what you’re saying can be easily read and interpretted. “You read emails how you percieve them to be written, rather than how they were meant to be sent.” (Marino)
  • A hunger to learn. You won’t know anything when you first start out and being excited to learn something new and the ability to recieve feedback, ability to speak up and share your opinions will go far. (Ullagaddi)
  • Be perceptive. Empathy is really important in order to have people open up to you, you need to make them feel comfortable. (Ullagaddi)
  • Energy. How you display it and how you manage it. It shows how interested in something you are and there will be times when you’re going to have to put in a long night. Build reserves so you can tackle a task at anytime of day. (Ziobro)
  • Time management. It’s important to plan things out so you don’t drain yourself. (Ziobro)

 ***

If you are a community manager reading this list, what would you add? Or, do is there something you would take off? Why?

Also: if you’re a student interested in being a community manager but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, consider taking #CMGRclass in the spring 2014 semester.

Community Management Pros Talk Big Picture and Efficiency

Looking back at older blog and discussion posts, I’m realizing that I’m definitely not the only one who enrolled in this class with a half-formed mental definition for community management and what it means to be a community manager. But now, midway through the semester, I’ve got a better grasp on the material—thanks in part to weeks’ worth of reading and practice, as well as one Online Content Panel Google+ Hangout already behind my back. That’s probably why last week’s panel—with David YarusMorgan Johnston, and Nick Cicero—proved this semester’s highlight thus far. Not just because the discussion flowed easier for me, but because I could finally relate to the conversation and connect it with ideas we’d already visited in class.

MRY

I loved that David was able to put community management into perspective during the panel. Through his management of influencer communities for MRY, he could share a different aspect to the idea of community management, one that sits apart from our typical idea of community management as a whole social channel with millions of users and fans and followers and engagements. I found that incredibly helpful, since it helped scale down the idea of community from something so large and nebulous to something more tangible and comprehensible. And because his work centers on igniting advocacy and word of mouth across college campuses, he proves that community management doesn’t necessarily need to remain confined to Internet work; it can break beyond normal web barriers.

For JetBlue—as well as MRY and LiveFyre—the community comes first.

For JetBlue—as well as MRY and LiveFyre—the community comes first.

JetBlue

As a frequent flyer, I was very interested in what Morgan had to say as a JetBlue team member. What I found most heartening, however, was hearing about their customer insight team. Having gone through my own share of frustrations while flying, I loved hearing that all the online feedback funnels into what he called “a voice of the customer.” Whereas other airlines might tackle tweets, for instance, on an individual basis, he explained JetBlue’s policy for compiling all of that information while ensuring that something actually gets done to rectify the situation. That tactic embodies the ideal community management aspects of both transparency and efficiency.

LiveFyre

With Nick, on the other hand, I found what he had to say about “looking at the big picture” to be really enlightening. As he mentioned, it’s easy for community managers to get swept in the day-to-day routine. But by having a team—and a position where he can act as a “mentor or coach” for that team—he can ensure that no corner of the community and its goings-on gets overlooked. Most of the community managers we’ve talked to (and the one that I’ve interviewed for my midterm) tend to work with the company as a whole, but mostly as the sole representative of that particular job of engaging the community. Nick’s perspective, however, maintained that yes, there’s a hierarchy of sorts, but not in a way that detracts from the overall group effort to keep the community active and involved.

Learning from a Community Manager Panel

In class last week, we were very fortunate to have a Google+ Hangout which included David Yarus from MRY, Nick Cicero from Livefrye, and Morgan Johnston from JetBlue. This was an extremely interesting chat because each of the men were from different backgrounds and their jobs and responsibilities were a bit different. They each offered unique perspectives on topics that we have been learning about so far this semester.

What the CM/SMM does according to the Panel

It was very neat to see each of the men’s opinions on the role of a community manager or social media manager within their organization.As for David, a community manager at MRY monitors and strategizes while working with creative,strategy, and analytic teams to construct the foundation for their strategy. Also, they are the ones that may be writing the actual posts that we see.

Morgan Johnston speaking to CMGR class

Morgan Johnston speaking to CMGR class

As for Morgan at JetBlue, he focused more on the social role, which was a bit different than the others. Social responsibilities were split up among 3 teams: corporate communications, marketing/commercial, and customer support. Corporate communications does the storytelling, the marketing/commercial focuses on creating content, and the customer support are the ones focused on engagement. So, when it comes to engagement, the customer support team is the part of JetBlue that responds to tweets and other social media engagement.

When it comes to Nick at LiveFyre, there are many different departments that work in different areas, but when it comes to community managers, customer service is the department. He states that there is a marketing team that focuses on marketing, and a customer service department that manages the communities. However, the marketing team works in tandem with the customer service team to find opportunities in social conversation.

Metrics & Analytics

We were able to get a glimpse of different tools that each company uses for monitor trends. Morgan and Nick talked about what their company uses. Nick stated that they use Hootsuite, which is a social media dashboard where you can manage multiple social networks, schedule different tweets and messages, track mentions, and analyze traffic. He states that they use it so that they can identify where specific instances are happening and maintain an effective level of communication.

David Yarus speaking with CMGR class

David Yarus speaking with CMGR class

As for Morgan, they use a tool called ExactTarget Social Engage which allows multiple people to be involved and helps manage the conversation. This tool offers features that support engagement growth and makes it easy to scale up and deliver the kind of engagement that customer’s want. It was interesting to see that no one uses tools designed by the company, but it was very interesting to see the different type of tools that they use to monitor trends, since last week we learned about many different metrics.

 

Important Takeaways

Like previously stated, this was a very interesting panel discussion because of the different backgrounds and companies of the speakers. It was an eye-opening discussion when they all stressed how they work with so many other teams to make sure everything is consistent across the board. When I originally thought of a community manager or a social media manager, I would think of a particular department,  or a community management department. My thinking has now changed and this discussion has led me to believe that the more teams that work together when it comes to social responsibilities, the better. With all of these different people and departments, you get more layers of expertise and the group benefits as a result. Everyone working together can increase engagement and can produce successful social media/community strategies.

It was also interesting to see how many positions there are that have to do with social media and the community. While we really focus on social media managers and community managers, this discussion really showed how many careers are in this field. Who knew customer support could be where community managers reside? Who knew that marketing teams would work in tandem with community managers? It was great to see the connections and learn about positions in these exciting fields.

Nick Cicero speaking with CMGR class

Nick Cicero speaking with CMGR class

 

  • If you were to ask David, Nick, or Morgan a question, what would it be?
  • Have you worked with any of these monitoring tools like Hootsuite or SocialEngage?
  • Is there anything you would add?

 

Crisis Management and Social Media

Last week’s #CMGRclass panel was on Social Media and featured Morgan Johnston from JetBlue, David Yarus from MRY and Nick Cicero from LiveFyre as guests.

This panel was the second of three panels with the first on Online Content. One of the things that I thought worked better this time than the first time was that the guests interacted with each other outside of answering questions and jumping off one each other’s comments. The panel felt like more of a conversation between friends and colleagues than a Q&A; which allowed for a less formal atmosphere and yielded some interesting stories.

My favourite topic of conversation for the evening came towards the end of the night when Jenn asked them about crisis management. Jenn suggested they share an example of an “ultimate crisis” or how they were able to avoid one.

crisis management

Crisis Management courtesy of Kevin Krejci.

Yarus had an interesting perspective on crisis management, he works with “communities of influencers,” and the crises he handles are different than those of Johnston at JetBlue but one of the things I took away from his discussion on crisis management was the way he described the way he likes to handle them:

“We’re all people on this side of the screen and on that side of the screen, and I really try to influence that way within my team.”

The example of a “crisis” Yarus gave was when students began tweeting about a brand and the response was that the client didn’t want them and didn’t approved of them. Yarus then goes into a discussion on how easy it was for him to get in contact with the posters by texting them, explaining the situation and the tweets disappearing:

“We’re all people. I think we need to break down the barrier of ‘you need to send a formal email’ or send a formal letter, like, no, text them. That’s how I would want to be contacted…treat people as they are and I think you’ll get real results.”

Johnston had a much different take on crisis management and how social media is roped into an emergency response plan because it’s usually the “first indicator of an event or accident.” He hared a story of how he spent one Tuesday afternoon when he discovered a tweet from a customer describing how one of the flight attendants cursed out the whole plane and quit on the spot. He described that the crisis was handled by saying, roughly, “look, we know you’re interested, here’s what we can and can not tell you and here’s why we can’t tell you.” Like Yarus’ response to a crisis, I thought this was handled well – this acknowledges a problem, addresses it and shares as much information as possible so it doesn’t keep curious people in the dark.

Cicero had another interesting story to tell of how he was working with a company that had Subway as a client when they announced that Michael Vick had won Sportsman of the Year, shortly after leaving jail. Cicero describes receiving a “flood of negative comments all over the Facebook page, nonstop” and says the comments continued for month or two after the event. Cicero describes that the way the management team handled the crisis was to delete any posts that violated the rules and told his team not to respond to anything, that the PR team would handle everything.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve heard of any crises taking place in a company that you think was handled well or could have been handled better.

Moderating #CMGRClass on Twitter & Google+

My moderating week did not go as well as planned. It seemed everyone who moderated before had many people involved and participation was much higher. On the flip side, I learned new things regarding moderating and while I thought this week was tough just to jump back and forth from Google+ and Twitter with only a few comments, I know that there is so much more involved regarding community management. For example, in the article by Jeff Sonderman titled How the Huffington Post handles 70+ Million Comments a Year, there can be up to 25,000 posts an hour! Now if I thought this week was challenging, I can’t imagine what they go through daily, even hourly! Although, with that volume, they have up to 30 full time moderators that work 24/7/365 in six-hour shifts where they can go through hundreds of comments an hour.

One of the biggest takeaways from this week was that regardless of how many people participated, there was still good discussion. For Huffington Post, having 100,000 comments on a post isn’t unusual and with that, you can still have a very meaningful conversation. I think the same goes with not many comments. This allows the moderator to be able to be involved in the community and participate more since there isn’t as much on the plate. I felt as though it wasn’t that difficult to respond to what everyone had to say on the posts. It allowed me to follow up with some questions.

Photo courtesy of Jon Gossier  via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Jon Gossier via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Fabrizio Van Marciano via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Fabrizio Van Marciano via Flikr Creative Commons

My Week as a Moderator

As stated above, I was hoping the discussion went a little deeper and I had more participation. I felt that I posted just as much if not more than other weeks, and I was active on Twitter. It didn’t seem that many people were responding nor was I getting many active participants on Twitter. However, with the comments we got, we were able to have a good discussion. The standout was Anne Marie, who posted on everything we put out there on Google+. We only got 1 retweet about an article I posted, and that was by Hannah. The Twitter participation was very disappointing. I would ask open ended questions and not many would respond. I have found this to be true for most weeks though, not just my week to moderate.

I learned that I shouldn’t overpower or dominate when I am moderating and I felt that I just needed to let things flow, and ask follow up questions only when needed. I am not sure if I overpowered the class with articles I found or if simply they didn’t find what I posted to be interesting. I still think to myself what I could have done better and what went wrong. I am open to suggestions for enhancing the experience and getting the class more engaged.

Highlights from an Online Content Panel

Image Courtesy of Richard Stephenson.

Last week our #CMGRclass had a chance to remotely sit down and chat with Ally Greer and Sean Keeley, Community Managers from Scoop.it and Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. The last four weeks of content had been building to this moment: we were going to be able to see everything we had been reading and writing on transfer into the “real world.”

“I have a unique story on how I got into Community Management…”

I’m always curious about how people get their jobs. I love hearing people’s stories and I love seeing their faces light up when they talk about how connecting with one person led them to discover “X” which is why they’re at “Y” and how they’re hoping to accomplish “Z.” What I liked the most about Ally Greer’s story is how she started it, “I have a unique story.” Greer explained that while she was studying abroad in Paris she did an internship at Scoop.it where she assisted them by giving them her “American viewpoint.” After graduating college she was asked to join their team in San Francisco and has been working for them for the last year and a half. Greer says that she spends her days looking through blog posts, investigating how other Community Managers operate and “learning through observing.”

“I was looking for a reason to write every day…”

Like with Greer’s story, I was curious to learn more about what drove Keeley. Why did he start a blog, why is it about sports – is there a reason it’s about sports? Keeley explained that he wasn’t “particularly into sports writing” but decided to start a blog that would allow him to write whatever he wanted to write about. And that is how Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician was created. He jokes that “as a name it doesn’t make sense” but that the blog started out as a hobby in 2005 and now in 2013, almost 2014, he says that it’s pretty much the main thing he works on every day. He explained that the site is not how he supports himself financially but that everything that has come after the site is what has allowed him to pay the bills.

It was really interesting to see how two Community Managers approach the same job differently. Greer was thrust into it not really sure of what to do or how to go about running things and now she helps maintain their social media and is in charge of the ambassadors. Keeley originally wanted something to do that would allow him to write every day and didn’t think too much about what others wanted to read – he focused on what interested him. Hearing that reminded me of an earlier reading in the semester where we learned that one of the ways to have a successful blog or single posting is to make sure you are interested in what you are talking about.

Listening to their stories made me consider where I would like to go with the work I’m doing as Production Coordinator for SU Arts Engage. Part of my job is maintaining a presence on social media, Twitter and Facebook more than anything else, and we’re always looking to grow our audience. Every event we do we have a hashtag that we monitor and we ask for feedback and a like on our Facebook page if they liked what they saw. At the same time as wanting our audience to grow, I’m reminded of something Greer said, “just because you have 100,000 users doesn’t necessarily mean you have 100,000 users.” Find the core group of interested members of your organization and hold on to them tightly – because they are going to be the ones to get others interested.