Community Managers- Stick with Gorilla Glue!

The community manager plays a central role in the success of any organization. The decisions you make as a Community Manager can impact entire organizations. Especially in this world, it is important to put the needs and beliefs of the organization before personal beliefs, as platform for the organization, your beliefs can become theirs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaIqMVRzvgs

Within hours of the Duck Dynasty stars interview, he was suspended for his own personal beliefs in fear that these beliefs would impact A&E. Regardless of whether you agree with Phil or not, the beliefs of the individual were temporarily passed on to the television station.

I think it is important for a Community Manager to represent the company’s belief respectful and honestly. Even if there is a controversial  topic that needs to be addressed by the organization, the community manager needs to do so delicately. Additionally understanding, what is said or represented will have an impact on their organization.

It is important for branding to share beliefs and goals for the organization. If you are representing an organization who is working to raise money for a purpose, sharing that purpose and where those funds will go will help with branding. If the community manager puts this effort in, the brand will speak for itself.

Apple is an example of one of the most successful brands in the world. Up there with Apple are organization like Coke and Nike. These companies have used social media, product, commercials, website design and many other resources to build the reputation behind their brand. Now, Apple users have expectations of what they will be receiving when buying their product.

It is important to bring personality to the Community Manager position because it helps build a sense of community for the brand, however, the Community Manager should not function as an individual. In small communities, I think the Community Manager could function as the face of an organization, but the goals and needs of the organization should come first.

Understanding diversity and geographical individuality is a central part of the Community Manager’s role. Just like with the Duck Dynasty, disrespecting diversity will travel fast and create a bad reputation for an organization. The community manager should accommodate cultural diversity and embrace it. One of the greatest attributes of America is that despite cultural diversity and everything that can come between individuals we all unite; sometimes over brands like Apple and Coke. We are able to enjoy common products and ideas even though we think very differently. Respecting that as a Community Manager will build a community around the brand that would be capable of  translating on a large scale as well.

Community Managers serve as the glue that holds the bricks together for an organization. The stronger the glue, the higher the organization can build. The weaker the glue, the faster the crumble.

I noticed that most people wrote about their positions and I wanted to talk some about one of the positions I just interviewed for. The Relay For Life Specialist position for American Cancer Society. This position with ACS is much like the community manager position. ACS sets goals for each community for fundraising. If the community doesn’t reach their fundraising goals, this reflects directly upon the Specialist position. The specialist maintains the community social media and blog forums for Relay for Life. It is their responsibility to reflect a positive reputation of ACS in the community and to drum up recruiters. Without the Community manager specialist, Relay For Life would have huge barriers in reaching their goals.

Not only does the community specialist position for Relay for Life have to recruit volunteers, meet fundraising goals, and build a relationship and reputation within the community based on the ACS beliefs, but they also have to manage donors and chairs within the community. They have to adapt to the needs of volunteers, stakeholders, participants, and the over all goals and beliefs of the ACS.

Once mishap in the community, like that of the Duck Dynasty could prevent the community from reaching it’s goals. This would drastically impact the goals of the nationally non-profit organization as well. That’s a lot of pressure for one person. Luckily, they have the ability to channel assistance from other specialist’s in other regions, however, your region is your responsibility.

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. Your last paragraph sums up the community manager position extremely well. If a community manager is lazy, the company won’t reach it’s true potential. Social media takes such a large part in advertising a brand. The companies that you mentioned like Coke, Apple, and Nike are prime examples that demonstrate what a successful community manager can do for a business. I like how you chose companies that take advantage of every type of social media.
    The celebrity example that you used is awesome! It shows how quickly a company’s reputation can be ruined or jeopardized. I agree with you in which the community manager needs to be loyal to the beliefs of his/her company. If a community manager were to incorporate their own beliefs, they wouldn’t be able to create a good community because this may create controversies between the community manager and the audience. You made a lot of good points in your post!

    Like

  2. I agree that the last sentence is the one that sticks out the most. I think it sums up your entire post in a metaphor that will stick (no pun intended) with readers. The example of Duck Dynasty was a nice way to demonstrate how not to act as a community manager. That interview almost derailed their brand because of the attention that it got through social media. I would like to see what their community managers did to recover from that… Great post!

    Like

  3. Like your post. Here is one of my favorite quotes from your post: “Community Managers serve as the glue that holds the bricks together for an organization. The stronger the glue, the higher the organization can build. The weaker the glue, the faster the crumble.”

    Your use of Apple, Coke and other products are great. Also another important quote ” The community manager should accommodate cultural diversity and embrace it.” This is very important for any Community Manager to understand embracing cultural diversity. Depending on your product such as Apple or Coke, you will have people in your online community from all walks of life. These are your brand evangelist. And you are the first person they view as the voice and personality of the brand. Never interject your personal views or politics into the conversation, even if you agree. This Sunday the Coke commercial was awesome. There was some criticism that if it is truly American to drink Coke, why were there more people from all walks of America in the commercial. A good community manager would share with the community that the commercial reflected those who are American citizens and are a part of this ever growing “melting pot.” We are probably on the only country where we all do not look alike or sound alike but can still be American’s and drink Coke 🙂

    You’ve done a great job with this post.

    Like

Comments are closed.