Three essential questions about community management

Try your hand at these three questions about community management. My answers are below to give you some inspiration!

Q1. What has been the biggest surprise you’ve had while community manager, during the process of building your community?

The degree of difference there is between growing a conventional website and an online community, where the success depends so much on engaging people and sustaining that engagement. While it’s true that ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply to any website, this is particularly true for communities where you need to attract not just readers but contributors who are willing to take time and effort to provide their ideas and feedback.

Q2. In your opinion, what are the top 3 ingredients for building a great community?

1. The community should have a clear audience with a clear purpose with which to serve them in mind.

2. The community manager must know how to nuture an online culture based on reasoned debate and knowledge sharing, from implementing a clear and consistent use of community guidelines on the one hand, to an effective strategy for balancing the needs of both top contributors and the majority of readers on the other.

3. The community manager must know to capture metrics of success, and be able to convey these at all levels of the business to demonstrate the value of the community especially in terms of ROI.

Q3. In your opinion, what are the top 3 skills required to be an effective community manager?

1. Know how to create the conditions which optimise the emergence of valuable conversations between members, so-called ‘golden nuggets’ of information, so that quality as well as quantity of participation is clearly demonstrated, balancing the needs of the organisation with the needs of the community.

2. Excellent organisational skills as so much of good community development involves successful co-ordination of a wide range of tasks, from listening to community feedback and raising that with technical developers through to implementation, to promoting the benefits of the community through online and offline marketing.

3. A passionate ability to see the value of the community in every aspect whether it’s valuing contributions from the smallest comment to the most in-depth blog post, or balancing the value of individual top contributors with the importance of aggregate indicators of value such as content views, so that they all can harnessed to contribute to meeting the business objectives of the community.