Community Managers Are Mandatory Mayors.

Content is king! Or so I have learned over time.

It has always been the case. Even back when websites couldn’t talk back, a vibrant website was an updated website. Hits and page views ruled the online universe! With the emergence of the now passé term “Web2.0”, the same rings true today – content will always rule supreme!

So who provides content for many of the social communities in business? Who sets benchmarks around success metrics? These are the golden questions that seems to get passed around the office. Who will drive this community? Who will take this infant community to adulthood? Who will clothe and nourish this entity? Many times organizations look at social networking  as a “tool” and a cool add on. When in reality if you feed the community, give it some TLC-it will grow into a powerful business tool if you surround it with hard business objectives, benchmarks and a person who is devout to the community’s growth and success.

When thinking about Social Networking in relation to your business, don’t forget to think about resources in house. A mayor of your community if you will, an individual that knows your company, is passionate and tech savvy enough to:

  • Map community to the business objectives of the company
  • Make it clear what the value is to all members of the community
  • Create marketing campaigns to drive member engagement and sharing
  • Supply relevant content as often as possible (articles, blogs, white papers)
  • Reach out to industry thought leaders to blog and supply valuable expertise
  • Create incredible recognition rewards programs for their members
  • Create community sponsorship programs to drive membership (this is solely for open communities)
  • Harvest business intelligence and analytics and share with the organization
  • Become a thought leader themselves in their industry

These are just some of the tasks a committed community manager can and should carry out. This person does not have to be a full time employee of the community, but does have to be someone who can spend significant amount of time on the project and is completely driven to succeed in this realm of business. A great example of a community manager that speaks in layman’s terms to the member is Barbara Hannan from the CommonGround. She does a fantastic job of being selfless and always relating in a way that the community member feels empowered to engage the community. In the end it is not about the Community Manager, but about what the member has to say that really matters. Community Managers are simply the mayor of invaluable interactions. I will flush out the full lists of Community Manager tasks in later posts.

2 responses to “Community Managers Are Mandatory Mayors.

  • Pauline Brannigan

    Derek, Excellent. I have always thought of a Community Manager as a great innkeeper there to point out activities in the area; there to nourish souls with breakfast or a late night snack, there also to settle complaints and arguments.

    Taking your Mayor concept one point further. We have a client that has many volunteer community mamagers that add and police the social network outside of their work time. This can also be a shared task .. think Town Council or the New England version of small town government Selectmen (or people if you must be PC)

    The point is if you treat your social network as a simply a piece of software you are apt to have a ghost town

  • Tom Diederich

    Hi Derek,

    Very good post! I agree with you 100 percent. The community manager is an essential part of a company’s online community and corporate social media program. He/she is the quarterback, judge, mediator, chief strategist, managing editor and general go-to person for both community members and internal stakeholders.


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