One point from the Q&A roundup from Marketing Now bears deeper exploration: Online communities require investment in people.
Technology is necessary, and beneficial. But it’s only the beginning.
Nothing will happen if you set up an online community platform and expect a community to form and manage itself.
In 2008 the Tribalization of Business survey found that this was the case – businesses were spending up to a million dollars on community platforms that were then becoming ghost towns.
It’s not because the concept isn’t valid; it’s that the job has been half done.
Communities, movements, any collection of people for a purpose, happens because someone makes an effort.
So what skills are required? In our years of observing and participating in this space, we believe a good community manager is like a:
- Magazine editor , who pulls together information from various sources and makes it easy-to-consume.
- Orchestra conductor , who brings the best out of a group of diverse people.
- Counsellor , who listens to people and helps them solve their own problems.
- Improv actor , who uses the situation at hand to create a completely new experience with his audience.
- Parent , making sure that no child is left behind, and that everyone treats each other well.
- Exploration leader, taking the community down new and exciting paths.
- Publican , whose job is to provide a convivial environment for conversation and entertainment, with the minimum of distraction.
Any I’ve missed?