To all organizations who think they’ve got it all sorted out so nicely because they have a community manager MANAGE it all…
Calling them ‘manager’ doesn’t mean they can control everything their community does or say unless you actually:
- give them managerial rights over their community members (which you can’t if the community is comprised of customers or external parties);
- inform them of the things you are doing BEFORE you are doing them instead of just dropping a bombshell and expecting them to manage the fallout;
- understand that their role requires them to build a personal relation with their community which means that they are VULNERABLE when you take decisions that affect those community members without communicating them properly.
And to community members out there that seem to think the community manager is there just to help them….
Loving your community manager is great but that doesn’t exempt you from the responsibility to understand that:
- your community manager is no philanthropist and needs that pay check their employer sends them every month just as much as you do. It’s not a case of loyalty, it’s a case of simple economics so don’t expect them to take impossible stands against their own employer;
- the fact that they are called a ‘manager’ doesn’t mean they actually have any real managerial power or influence within their organization. In fact a community manager is by far the most powerless manager in any organizational tree. Don’t expect them to change the world, just ask them to help you find the right tree to bark up;
- you think you are frustrated by how things go…?!? think again and start realizing they are probably too. Work together and don’t just vent. That’ll get a lot more done.
And to all… give them a bit of respect and TLC and realize they are in general doing a really good job of doing the impossible!
In dedication to some pretty awesome community managers out
there and a few in particular.
You know who you are ;)