Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
The first is Joe Sorge, who has built amazing online and offline communities surrounding his restaurants – most famously @AJBombers. He inspires me because he treats everyone nice, engages with customers and potential customers, and is generally awesome to people whether he’s in the building or on Twitter or Facebook. Want to know how to run a Twitter account for a brand? Study @AJBombers tweets.
Scott Stratten inspired me by teaching me that you don’t open up a bank account and then ask for money right away. You put money into the account before you can take it out. If you’re smart, you let it earn interest. Giving when I can, as much as I can, and not expecting anything in return has paid off in dividends when it comes to social currency within communities.
Chris Brogan inspires me at least once a week to keep being human in everything I do. That’s a super important lesson to be reminded of. He also inspired me to write personal emails instead of emails that look like your typical advertisement filled newsletter. Finally, he inspires me to sell when it’s the right time to sell and to not be afraid of selling when the time is right.
Sally Hogshead inspires me to fascinate people. I’m still working on that
There are many others that inspire me – too many to list, but they are people I’ve met on Twitter and at conferences. Sure, I’ve read some books, but the best inspirations come by watching and studying the individuals themselves.
What is the most important part of being a community manager?
The most important part is the listening. Then the responding. Then the being awesome part. Is it ok to answer 3 things here?
What skill should every community manager have?
People skills. At the end of the day – if you aren’t great in that area – you’re not going to succeed.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
We had a customer publicly state on Twitter that he got his trading cards from us, but that he misspelled something on the cards. He admitted it was his fault. I don’t think he @ mentioned us directly – but the tweet came up in a search column for tweets that might be about us. We manually updated his order, reproduced it, and overnight early A.M. shipped them (without telling him). The next day, he got his cards along with a nice note from us. We had his back. Now, he’s got ours. Not only does he tell that story everywhere he goes (he attends a lot of conferences), but he’s referred business to us. I now consider him a good friend of mine. Oh, and we just did business with the company he now works at – Dovetail Software. The entire “sales” transaction was done via SMS. It doesn’t get more social than that 😉
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
The biggest piece of advice I would have is to find the people and the companies doing it right already and study them. Listen to different communities. Be human in everything you do. Give without expecting anything in return. Watch and participate in the weekly mycmgr.com live hangouts. Become part of the community manager community. You’ll be learning from the best.
Would you like to be featured as Community Manager of the Day?
Be featured as the Community Manager of the Day on mycmgr.com and get your very own badge to show off your achievement on your own site.