HootSuite – North & South America Community Manager
Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
Hands down, Dave Olson is my #cmgridol. He’s the chief of our Community team at HootSuite and our resident expert in the “beards and beer” department. Building communities is ingrained in his DNA.
Before I took the role, I had the pleasure of attending his presentation at SXSW on crowdsourcing; it was a transformative experience. As part of his chat DaveO detailed a philosophy for inspiring participation that really resonated with me. He stressed how paramount it was to listen and get to know your community’s culture, customs, and unique needs. When it comes down to it, it’s all about respecting your audience, understanding their motivations, providing incentives, and giving them the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves.
What is your favorite book that has helped you become a better community manager?
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain is a must-read for learning how to build communities effectively. Check out the story where Tom talks kids into paying him for the privilege of whitewashing the fence. He manages to turn a mundane task into something that everybody wants to get involved with. #GreatMetaphor.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
We’ve had tremendous success crowdsourcing our international language releases. The HootSuite Translation Project started out in August 2010 and we now have 15 languages available, with the most recent additions being Traditional Chinese and German.
The Translation Project allows fans of the dashboard to easily translate any of our applications to the language of their choice. It’s an easy to use, crowdsourced project where a few hundred owls can work to help make thousands of international hoot-fans happy. To thank them for their contributions we make them #HootStars and give them lots of love in the form of HootKits, swag, and virtual hugs. People become extremely passionate about their languages and participating in the localization effort is a point of pride. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “We let them paint our fence.”
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
Travel! (Ideally alone.) It’s amazing what experiences you open yourself up to, and the people you end up meeting when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. It brings you out of your shell, teaches you about other cultures, and helps broaden your perspective.
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.
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