I love communities and I am thrilled with the new research from Rachel Happe on Community Management!

First, a community is a group of people that join together around a common interest or goal. It provides an excellent way to connect members of a team and help them to stay in touch and share information.   Communities can be public or restricted, allowing community owners to control who can join the community and access community content.  They provide a central place where individuals new to the organization or discipline can quickly find others or conduct events and training course designed to bring people together and make them aware of individual and collective experience.

A success factor for communities is having a great community manager!  A question I get all the time is Who do you hire?  My advice?

  • Someone who knows Web 2.0 tools and uses them naturally
  • Believes strongly in your company and mission
  • Passionate about the brand/interest area/focus
  • Strong listening skills
  • Motivates others in a cause

Jeremiah Owyang initiated Community Manager Appreciation Day in 2010. People are encouraged to send  “Thank You” notes to their online community managers. People using Twitter include the #CMAD and #CMGR hashtag in their tweets about this event. Many online community managers and vendors in the social media marketplace post blogs in appreciation of their community managers. Cities with large concentrations of Social Media focused businesses hold in-person meetup events to celebrate and honor those who represent and support their online communities

The top lessons for communities are to

  1.      Set clear goals and metrics
  2.      Be there for the community – listen and be honest!
  3.      Network and train!

Rachel has a new maturity model for building a community.

Key themes from the Community Research which Rachel will discuss on Wednesday during Brainyard’s Seminar are:

1.Mainstream adoption of social media tools
2.Maturing of community management
3.Internal employee communities are on the rise
4.Technology is a critical driver but not the primary focus
5.Community leaders are in a unique position