It’s Community Manager Appreciation Day and we sure have a funny way of showing our appreciation for ours…by having her write a blog post. But we thought detailing what a community manager does day in and day out may help those who work with them to appreciate them all the more. And she makes it look easy and effortless but we know better.
Thanks Hillary for working even harder today. We hope you know how much we appreciate all the great work you do!
When you read the various “Day In The Life” posts from community managers, it becomes evident that every job is as unique as the company, industry
and the individual that inhabits it.
As the fellow here at The Community Roundtable, I have taken on the community management responsibilities for TheCR Network, our membership-based peer network. This has been a new experience for me, especially because my past work in the social space had been external facing. I’m learning a ton — both from the network of community managers and leaders that I serve, as well as the amazing team here at TheCR. Here’s a peek into my average work day:
I scan my email and our team Yammer account while helping to shuffle my family through our morning routine. I take a quick look and check if there is anything immediate that needs my attention. I also swing through Twitter and check out the conversation.
9:00 am – Get Organized
I start my work day by re-filling my coffee cup, walking out the door and retreating to my office that is conveniently attached to our home.
First things first:
*I open a fresh browser page and open five tabs: yammer, Wunderlist (my to-do lists), Basecamp, our community site and Gmail. I will go on to open dozens of new browser tabs throughout the day, but I try to keep the first five my main working tools. This helps to anchor me when I inevitably find myself awash in open web pages.
*I glance at my calendar and take stock of my day. My time, appointments and tasks are already blocked out making it easy to jump right in.
*I check-in with my team on Yammer and let them know what my day looks like. I also pay attention to what others are working on, as well as set up any collaborative efforts that need to happen.
9:15am – React & Respond
I start off responding to any emails or messages that have come through since the day before. I answer questions, schedule calls, and answer member requests. Depending on the day this could take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour.
10:00am – Morning Tasks
This could mean a number of things:
*writing and curating content for the weekly email
*walking new members through the on-boarding process
*sending out reminders for events happening that day
*updating directories within the network
11:00am – Shake It Up
It’s time to switch focus and swing through Twitter to check out the conversation, read interesting articles and engage with folks. If I find anything interesting I will bookmark it for the weekly email or make notes for potential roundtable calls. I might make tea, stretch a little and put on music before settling back into project based work — just to keep things fresh.
11:30am – Project-Based Tasks
It’s time to settle into another task. Depending on day and circumstance I could be:
*editing and processing new member podcasts
*curating specific content for a member based on a request or conversation
*monitoring conversations happening within the network and pinging folks on the back channel who might be interested or helpful to the conversation
*creating content for the blog
12:30pm – Lunch
Food and either errands or a workout.
1:30pm – Projects, Calls or Events
My afternoons are usually broken into two work session and are often scheduled with calls, podcasts and an occasional webinar. About twice a week there are afternoons without anything scheduled and that’s a good time to dig into a bigger project.
Check-in Calls & New Member Podcasts
I schedule one-on-one member calls and calls with new members, which get recorded as podcasts, for right after lunch. Also, depending on the day there might be an interesting webinar or Twitter chat to attend.
TheCR Network Roundtable Calls
One of the most valuable resources at TheCR are the weekly member roundtable calls. Industry experts (from both outside and within our network) moderate an interactive call through a rotating set of topics. We schedule these calls to fit the current needs of our members, as well as to address hot topics that pertain to the community and social space. These calls require prep and afterwards there are administrative tasks such as processing the call and chat transcripts so we can make the information available to our members as reports they can refer back to.
I have a bigger project that simmers on the back burner begging for my attention, but needs a block of time to really dig into it. Right now I’m helping Rachel Happe with the 2012 State of Community Management Report. Depending on when my calls are, I will try to dedicate at least two hours of time to this bigger project. It’s not a daily task and usually happens on a day that is not heavily scheduled with calls or podcasts.
5:00pm – Wrap It Up
This is only something I started doing in the past month and it’s made a positive difference in my workflow. Instead of abruptly stopping work and running upstairs to have dinner, I take fifteen minutes to clean up my workspace, re-organize my to-do lists and look at my calendar for tomorrow. I note appointments and block off time for tasks and projects that I’ve identified as next steps and priorities.
A General Note
For the sake of attempting to pull together an average day in a single blog post — I’ve consolidated times and tasks. My day varies based on member’s schedules and collaborations with the team. And to be sure, I am checking email, the community and Yammer and responding consistently throughout the day.
Does your day look anything like mine? How is it different?
The Community Roundtable aims to be a trusted resource for all community managers & builders out there. Happy Community Manager Appreication Day. You are doing amazing & inspiring things & we appreciate you for it!