Advice for a New Community Manager

My winning submission from Khoros’ Community Manager Appreciation Day 2020 Contest.

Most community managers are on a team of one (as I am) so my advice focuses around that – especially when Community is new to one’s organization:

  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks. Select up to 3 initiatives to focus on for that particular quarter or fiscal year. Is it growth? engagement? Your calendar and any task manager software are your friends!
  2. Become familiar with your new organization and how it fits with your community. Go to your intranet, make a list of all of the departments and create bullet points on how they could contribute and benefit your community – tactically and strategically. This list will help you promote community internally and find allies that will help make your job easier.
  3. Have an open-door policy to talk about Community. Find active community members (internal and external) and call them up to learn how they use community and what could be better. This information provides incredible insight into user behavior
  4. Welcome new internal team members, introduce yourself and the Community’s value to their department. Newly hired folks need a buddy…so why not have it be you? Not only will you be their lifeline within the company, you can show them the value of Community. Similarly, newly hired folks want to be recognized and seen by their managers. Share how the Community would benefit their careers within your org (i.e. Give them something they can share on LinkedIn!)
  5. Always think strategically. Connect with internal team members who are influential in making decisions and would encourage their department to participate more in the community. Take them to coffee or lunch to understand their current work struggles and leverage that information to demonstrate how your community will help make their jobs easier.
  6. (Last but not least) Take that vacation…and enjoy it! Don’t feel guilty if you need to take a day off or a vacation. Come up with a process where you can casually check emails (or train a back-up) while you’re on vacation. You will be more influential and valuable when you’re refreshed and well-rested.