Last week several members of the The Community Roundtable team along with over a dozen members of TheCR Network descended on Las Vegas for JiveWorld – Jive’s annual user conference that this year was focused on ‘Getting Real’ and articulating how social business can drive value.
In addition to a great keynote and valuable sessions, one of the best parts of the week was catching up with members in person and talking about the great (and sometimes frustrating) work they do. At a member lunch on Thursday Jim Storer asked each member to share the single best piece of advice they’d want to pass on to other community managers. We’ve compiled them here:
1. Always be planning/updating your strategy with where your community will be a year from now in mind.
2. Get out from behind your keyboard every so often. Talk with your members (live or on the phone).
3. Don’t take yourself (or others) too seriously – people are weird.
4. Review, admit failure, adjust.
5. Go slow. Crawl, walk, run. Don’t assume they understand.
6. Have a good sense of HUMOR!!
7. Make collaboration a verb, not a noun. It’s more than a destination, it’s a mindset.
8. Just breathe!
9. Your data will set you free. Embrace it!
10. Governance is not a dirty word.
11. Don’t do it alone. Find allies, advocates and volunteers to help.
12. Be patient and persistent.
13. Research other communities “doing it right” for some inspiration.
This advice dovetails incredibly well with one of the main themes of Dr. Eddie Obeng’s JiveWorld keynote – your community is the people you are trying to reach not just a place on the internet. Get out from behind your screen, accept that they (and you!) are a little weird and collaborate together. Go slow, don’t try to do it alone and be patient! Pretty good advice for living life, in addition to building a successful community.
If I could add my 2¢ I’d say something pretty in line with #13 – ask questions. Need help? Ask! Can’t figure something out? Ask! Not sure what people want or need? Ask! The biggest lesson I’ve learned in community management and in life is that people like to collaborate, they like to add their input, and often people really like to help. Here at TheCR we are used to hearing members swapping their best advice with each other – the collaboration and problem-solving we see every day in TheCR Network is a true testament to the power of cross-company and cross-functional collaboration.
I’d love to hear what your best advice is – feel free to add it to the comments below, or tweet it out with #cmgrbestadvice and I’ll update this post as they come in.
Zachary Chastain @zacharychastain Let your decisions be data driven, rather than based in assumptions. Never stop learning more about your community!
Marie Connelly @marieconnelly – My $.02? Stay curious!
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