Are you a proactive community manager?

by Martin Reed on 5 September 2012 in Snippets

A great community manager is proactive. Being proactive separates a great community manager from the rest.

Here’s a simple task for you. Write down all the ways you were proactive in the past week. Work them into your ‘standard operating procedure’. This will make you a better community manager.

Here are a few things a proactive community manager does:

  • Finds and deletes spam before it is reported by other members.
  • Follows up with members who sought help in the past few days to make sure they are back on track.
  • Keeps an eye on the member registration list and corrects obviously incorrect email addresses (think hotmial instead of hotmail).
  • Responds to members who mention any problem they’re having with the site even if the issue is only mentioned in passing and not in the relevant ‘support’ forum.
  • Intervenes in discussions that are about to boil over before all hell breaks loose. Often, just contributing to heated discussions will remind the¬†protagonists¬†that you’ve noticed the discussion, making the need for direct intervention less likely.

What could you do right now, that you don’t necessarily¬†need to do?

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Jyothis Thaliath September 25, 2012 at 6:36 am

Hi Martin,
Brilliant writing there :) I do agree that Community managers have to listen and respond quickly, But the best among them can move beyond that to almost sensing and then responding to their community’s future needs. For this they must have deep knowledge of the community.

Tommy T September 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I do try to be. Sometimes it’s hard, with real life responsibilities, I just don’t and can’t spend as much time online as I can, maybe a couple of hours at night, and even then I’m usually knackered so not in the mood for chores.

But I do manage to do what you suggest, ie: deleting spam, welcoming, responding to any support requests and getting involved in any tiffs that look like is going too far.

I don’t have as much time as I’d like at the moment to really get involved, so I leave it mostly up to my community manager Loz and her couple of helpers to really run the site, when I’m online I concentrate on developing, bug fixing, replying to support e-mails, pm’s, and just popping into chat to say hi and see how things are going etc.

What I do now though is actually an idea I got thanks to you and this blog, I’ve always done a monthly newsletter anyway but now I go that extra mile and use a tip you gave on this blog that both shows that I do read, and take note, and give the impression I’m around even though I only have to write it once a month.

And as an example here’s an excerpt from this month’s newsletter:

“Forum Post Of The Month

Do you believe one night stands are OK, or do you believe they morally degrade society and hinder personal relationships? Meggy believes there’s nothing wrong with one night stands with strangers at all, and that no future boyfriends ‘need know’ about your conquests.

Amby disagrees with one night stands, and gives an example that her friend cannot find a boyfriend due to having a ‘local reputation’.

Loveslife on the other hand states they’re a bit on the fence about the issue. That they like ‘the idea’ but at the same time ‘aren’t really into it’, citing that they once had a friend with benefits that went a bit awry.

Well done to Meggy on an interesting thought-provoking post. Don’t forget to add your own opinion on this discussion:

I believe this shows that although I don’t really have the time to post properly myself at the moment, I do read, take note and value all input.

So basically what I’m saying is even if you don’t have much time to get as involved as you like, there’s no excuse to show that you at least read your own community.

Craig Jones November 7, 2012 at 6:45 am

Hi Martin – great post, I found it quite inspiring. I’m not as proactive as I’d like to be, but this has certainly inspired me to pick it up a little! Thanks!

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