Tips for Community Managers in a Social Media Age

I’ve been sitting back for a few a bit trying to take in all the changes that have been going on with Community Management and the “Rise of Social Media”. I put that in quotes because most CMs have been doing Social Media forever, we just didn’t call it “Social Media”. So here are a few things that I think today’s CMs should really take to heart.

Be Human

Today, being a Community Manager is so much than running a forum and posting news and updates. Be a real person, if you are having a great day let the world know! If you are having a busy day, drop a tweet or status update that says, “Leaving one meeting, heading to another”. Anything you can do to become someone they want to know.

You should also be engaging beyond text-based mediums. Get a podcast going, or make yourself available to other podcasters. Hold webinars and plan face to face meet-ups with your audience. Record interviews with interesting people In and around your community. Be visible in as many ways as possible.

Go Easy On The Marketing

You represent the brand, but you shouldn’t be the total marketing force. Do not let yourself become a “Social Media Marketer” where your only goal is to drive numbers and analyze metrics. Some marketing is fine and you do want to help promote things, but try not to be overly formal. Your forums, Facebook Pages and Twitter are all great places to drive marketing but you want them to be sociable too. Engage your users and be friendly; make it fun to keep up with what you and the community are doing.

Take Your Days Off

This, is a tough one. We all know that the Community doesn’t sleep, doesn’t take vacations or even take the holidays off. We often feel like we need to check in every day to make sure things are running smooth. And you know, it’s fine to check in, but don’t get sucked in. You need to have time to process things and to have a life beyond your community. If you have a team working with you then make sure you have people there to help, if the community needs it. If you need to make announcements, Tweets or Facebook posts there are a number of tools to help automate things so you don’t need to be “on” 24/7. Relax and get away for a bit or you will burn out.

I hope you found this useful and good luck with your Community.

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