The sometimes unsung heroes, The Community Managers

When I originally set out to write this blog, I was actually not aware as to how much information is available out there for community professionals.  While it is a very new profession, given the nature of the job, I really should not have been this surprised that the other community professionals are only too eager to share their discoveries and best practices.  In keeping with the theme of accidentally me, I really wanted to explore the human factor of community professionals and community users and address some of the obstacles we all face in our roles.

While this profession is still in its infancy, and there are a lot documented best practices, this role can still be very overwhelming.  Some of the biggest initial challenges a community manager faces are:

  • Picking the right tools that meet your current and future business needs
  • Finding your own voice and how you want to present yourself in communities
  • Engaging and keeping advocates and enthusiasts in your community
  • When it all starts to move in the right direction, addressing the volume in a timely manner
  • Utilizing statics that is meaningful to your organization and can help measure for some of the goals
  • Evaluating ways to scale in order to support a growing community and eliminating duplicate efforts

I am sure other community managers would be able to add to the list, and the obstacles are slightly different depending on the industry and organization, but these probably make it to the most strategy related list of obstacles.

On a personal note, I also had a hard time posting my picture and having my name out there for hundreds of thousands of people, who started looking up my LinkedIn and other social profiles as we collaborated in the community.  It left me feeling a bit exposed, and even now when I attend conferences I get those looks where people potentially recognize me, where they are trying to check my name tag without being too obvious, and pondering if they should say hello, if I’ll remember, or if it will all  just be one odd experience now that we are not hiding behind our respective screens.  It has taken some time to get used to this, and anyone considering a becoming a superhero community manager will have to work towards accepting that now you can’t keep your secret identity and everyone just expects you to show up in your superhero tights.  While it can all be a little scary and overwhelming it will also give you an opportunity to grow your network and build your personal brand for the superhero that you are!

What’s been the toughest part of being a community manager superhero for you?

If I have left you more confused than informed, here is a good blog covering what a community manager does,,,

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