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A chat about the business of online communities. Founded by Sonny Gill and Bryan Person.
It's been 3 months... Any plans to bring back CmtyChat?
Sonny Gill
Hey all! So, some of you may know but I'm moving to Chi for a new job & things have been crazy to say the least. That said, I'd unfortunately have to cancel today's chat until things settle and a new chat day/time is set (given responsibilities w/new gig). If someone would like to guest-host, that'd be great. Otherwise, I'll keep everyone posted :)
Good luck with your move! - Michelle
Good luck Sonny both with your move and your new job. I'm sure you're going to do great! - Tanya McGinnity
Any thoughts yet on bringing CmtyChat back? Hope things are going well in the new gig. Still working on finding a new one for myself. - Joe Kikta
Sonny Gill
Just an FYI, given the Thanksgiving holiday, we'll be taking this Friday off for CmtyChat and starting back up on Friday Dec. 4th. Enjoy the holidays and if you don't celebrate, enjoy the rest of the week! :)
Did you move the chat somewhere else today? I'm not seeing it. - Michelle
Sonny Gill
Q4: November 13, 2009 - A question for the community here. Where do YOU want to see this group evolve to? What opportunities do you feel CmtyChat has to further expand and reach out to more CMs and those wanting to just learn more about community management?
Open-forum: so don't be afraid to share your thoughts :) Really want to gauge ppl's feelings and ideas on CmtyChat after several months since starting this chat. - Sonny Gill
That's an awesome question. Since social business is starting to catch on, I think it'd be great to talk more about the growth of the CM role internally. Also, maybe start discussing Dir. of Community roles? I dunno, I'm spouting off here... - Teresa Basich
Good suggestions, Teresa! Spout away :) I've been getting a lot more into the social business side of social media and CMs definitely play a huge role in that shift. - Sonny Gill
Definitely Sue. Does everyone enjoy the FriendFeed format still in comparison to all other chats being on Twitter? Always something I think about so worth asking everyone here. - Sonny Gill
I think CMs are going to take on a lot of work on the internal training and education side as social business takes hold, for sure. I'd love to get some ppl here working in director positions at companies going toward social business. And yes, Sue has a great point -- maybe a different time to integrate some new faces? - Teresa Basich
That's a good question, Sue. I've thought about that a lot as well - especially as Bryan and I would much of the time have conflicting schedules on Friday afternoons (travel/work). What times would you suggest? Mid-week evenings? Obv not coinciding with other chats. - Sonny Gill
Yeah, I really like the FF format. Threaded discussions rock. - Teresa Basich
I prefer FF - Joe Kikta from iPhone
A lot more to think about now as we move forward with CmtyChat. Glad you guys still dig FF but timing may be something to think about adjusting. - Sonny Gill
I think we need to tell more people about it (each one of us tell 2 CM friends) and possibly reschedule it so it doesn't conflict with my lunch! LOL - Arié Moyal
I think it can be a place to learn and a place to share I think we should also maybe have a job board and possibly help develop some best practices & case studies we can share - Arié Moyal
I hear ya Arie & Sue. Sorry for taking your lunchtime, Arie ;) But evening chats come aplenty and people seem open to it, so definitely worth thinking into more and seeing which time slot we could fit it into. - Sonny Gill
Suck it up Arie :) - Joe Kikta from iPhone
Thanks a lot everyone! The hour flew by - but it's been great, as usual :) - Sonny Gill
What's great about FF is that it's threaded and you can go back and read the stuff even after the chat is done (which means we have to be on our best behaviour) - Arié Moyal
I like that Sue! - Arié Moyal
Interesting idea, Sue! So starting it up here in the FF room on Monday w/ a question and then full on discussion still on Friday? - Sonny Gill
I missed the chat but wanted to add my +1 for FF over Twitter. I don't use FF normally but for this chat it's perfect. I miss the chats a lot and love being able to come back and read them so easily in this nice neat format. - Michelle
Sonny Gill
WRAP-UP: November 13, 2009 - It was a bit quieter this Friday but appreciate everyone who was able to spend their afternoon here and chat it up. You guys rock! :)
Thanks, Sonny! And thanks to our tiny little group today. :) Looking forward to seeing where this group goes! - Teresa Basich
Yes thank you Sonny and thanks everyone for putting up with my shenanigans ;) - Arié Moyal
Thanks for sharing today guys! - Joe Kikta from iPhone
Thank you, Sue! That's me. :) And thanks for stopping by my blog! I really appreciate it. - Teresa Basich
Yay! I'm part of a community! LOL - Arié Moyal
Sonny Gill
Q3 : November 13, 2009 - Being that it's Friday the 13th, let's hear some horror stories. What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a CM but also, how did you overcome those obstacles? (suggestion by Tanya McGinnity)
What about one I'm facing? my JobAngels clean-up and re-engagement project? - Teresa Basich
Sue - that does not sound fun! Sorry to hear that - has it happened before? If so, any extreme reactions? How did you help calm the situation? - Sonny Gill
T - definitely. What obstacles do you have? JobAngels has a pretty large community but with that are huge opportunities to become better. - Sonny Gill
Biggest challenge by far is re-engaging users. The community's core is really on LinkedIn and right now there's so little management that it's heavily spammed. I have to clean up as much as I can and set some boundaries while getting a very needy community to engage in a positive way. Also, figuring out how to draw people into the conversation who aren't unemployed or who can and want to help job seekers. - Teresa Basich
@Sue, can you say a little more about what happened? Was it a mix-up on the inside of your company? Or a misunderstanding of some sort? Often that info is proprietary, so I understand if you can't say more about it. - Teresa Basich
T - that's definitely a challenge but I've seen job seekers and those wanting to help the unemployed, typically stir up some great conversations about the job market and specific situations. I think it'll be a welcomed change for the cmty to see that they want to be heard and can engage now, outside of just getting job leads. - Sonny Gill
Sue - sorry is definitely one of the most underused words, especially in a business setting. Ppl sometimes equate sorry to failing. But I see it as a second coming, where you can grow from and get better. Whether with communities or otherwise, it's no different. - Sonny Gill
@Sonny -- Definitely. I think the key will be inspiring people to start talking, not just blasting. Getting rid of the spam and filtering, etc. Right now most members see JobAngels as a place to find leads, not necessarily talk about their job search and use the forum as support. Not sure this work is as much challenging as much as just downright hard work. - Teresa Basich
A bit of both :) - Sonny Gill
@Sue, that's definitely a tough situation. Communication is key, especially to managers who are doing customer/community facing like you. - Teresa Basich
Q4 is up, and it's direct at YOU :) - Sonny Gill
@Sue, I think that's one of the biggest challenges for any community, and especially prevalent on LinkedIn. I'm still utterly impressed by Beth Harte's mgmt of the MarketingProfs community on LinkedIn and I think I'm going to need to pick her brain. :) - Teresa Basich
Sorry my browser crashed - does that count as a community crash? LOL - Arié Moyal
Yes Arie, we're offended! ;) - Sonny Gill
Teresa I love JobAngels I DM you guys stuff all the time - Arié Moyal
I know I've shared it a few times but Rachel Happe's Power and peril of Online COmmunities presentation is awesome! - Arié Moyal
@Sonny Sorry. (There I can admit that I've failed) Will you forgive me? ;) - Arié Moyal
Arie - of course! ;) - Sonny Gill
Have a link to Rachel's presentation? - Sonny Gill
SOnny: - Arié Moyal
Sonny Gill
PREVIEW/INTRO: November 13, 2009 - Hi and welcome everybody to the Friday the 13th edition of CmtyChat :) Feel free to introduce yourselves and post any thoughts/questions you would like addressed!
Hey everyone. Tanya here. I'd love to hear some horror stories on this Friday the 13th. How have you dealt with some of the challenges of Community Management? - Tanya McGinnity
Hey Tanya - nice to see ya again! I'll be sure to incorporate your question within today's chat :) - Sonny Gill
Arié here, communtiy manager for babyTEL's Social VoIP division in Montreal Is anyone noticing new trends in CM we should know about? - Arié Moyal
Hey Arié! Glad you could make it. Interesting question - perhaps we can build on that here in this discussion post and hear from other folks? - Sonny Gill
Let's kick things off! - Sonny Gill
Trying this on the iPhone today. Probably skulking today - Joe Kikta from iPhone
Hey Joe! Curious to see how that pans out Which app are you using? - Arié Moyal
Just accessing thru browser - Joe Kikta from iPhone
Hey Joe - hope the browser version on the iPhone is working ok for you! - Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill
Q2: November 13, 2009 - With some businesses slowly shifting their internal culture and how they run their biz towards the way of this social web (re: P2P social business:, how will CMs have to adjust to these shifts? Where will their skills/roles evolve to with this change in how businesses function?
And here I thought we *were* the change! - Arié Moyal
Ooo, me, me! Kidding ;) I think one of the biggest changes will be internal community management. I feel like there will be a bigger push to expand the community inside the walls of business. Connecting more people, creating more bridges. - Teresa Basich
Ha - we are but there's an even bigger change happening that we and social media heads alike, will play a huge role in. - Sonny Gill
@T - most definitely. Connecting not just more people, but the entire org. in what the business is trying to accomplish. For everyone to understand goals, have resources at hand, open doors and open-communication on what's happening within the biz. - Sonny Gill
The Canadian government has an internal social network aimed at making things run more efficiently Of course its closed :) - Arié Moyal
I guess for me the answer is does out job really change or does our public change - Arié Moyal
(Ok that was a question not an answer...) - Arié Moyal
Arie - good question and I agree w/Sue that we're already doing this - so In essence, our role may not change all that much. But in most cases, we'll be dealing with our internal community more than we ever have in the past. - Sonny Gill
@Sue Neener neener neener! ;) - Arié Moyal
Q3 is up! - Sonny Gill
@Sonny The internal shift needs to happen - Outside people just want more ways to connect with their brands - Arié Moyal
Right Sue. We need to be vocal and be sure we're helping lead the charge. To us, it's a no-brainer, but the organization will be looking for that leadership still to help in this shift. - Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill
Q1: November 13, 2009 - Living in a social economy where a company's every move is seen/heard, there are org's that have communities who don't necessarily believe in them. How can these co's/CMs bridge this trust gap? What steps do they need to take and where do they start?
Way to hit hard nice and quick, Sonny! Can you give an example of what you're talking about? I mean, I get what you're saying, I just can't think of one! Trust is based in strong relationships that deliver on promises, that are consistently beneficial to both parties involved in the relationship. I think companies and CMs have to start there -- addressing concerns and figuring out what exactly makes community members distrust them or not fully believe in them. - Teresa Basich
Oops - maybe a little too hard :) You're right, addressing concerns and seeing where these problems are stemming from is very important. I think it begins with the company itself understanding where their business is and if leaders across the board, internally, are conveying that message properly. Everybody really needs to be on the same page. - Sonny Gill
Obviously we have to make every community member read Trust Agents and give us their feedback LOL Kidding But I think it's important to find your enthusists and really talk to them - Arié Moyal
Have to know yourself before knowing how you can help others -- absolutely true. - Teresa Basich
I think that holds true outside of CM and even outside of business hehe - Arié Moyal
@Arie - good idea ;) That's a great idea as well - even going as far as bringing those loyalists in and gaining valuable feedback from them as well. Where THEY see our shortcomings and where they see us shining. - Sonny Gill
@Arie, thanks for the book recommendation. I am looking forward to reading Trust Agents. - Lou Ordorica
And you're right - it holds true in all aspects of business and life. Internal cultures and leadership has been a growing topic as of late and something many companies are slowly addressing. - Sonny Gill
Do you guys have any examples of companies who you personally have lost trust in but also see an opportunity to change that? - Sonny Gill
@Sonny Dell is a good example. They went from burying their head in the sand (remember Dell Hell?) to fully embracing social media, and even innovating (Dell Ideastorm, Dell Pulse). - Lou Ordorica
@Lou - good, popular example. You're right - they opened up, started listening more, taking action. They tapped into several communities through different strategies across the social web. - Sonny Gill
I'm with Sue -- Not just Twitter, either. Many companies broadcast and ignore problem. Maybe not even blatant ignoring, just misunderstanding of platforms and philosophy behind online engagement. - Teresa Basich
Starbucks - they're gone gone gone for a lot of people - They've gone ubercorporate and lost their way - Arié Moyal
@Sue - that's a problem we've seen from the get go, but shows even more now that businesses really don't know who they're targeting, what goals they have, heck even which people to employ as these CMs/SM 'strategists'. - Sonny Gill
@Sue I got told I need to be pushing stuff out and that I "listen" I think listening is the MOST valuable part of an org's "social media strategy" - Arié Moyal
@Arie - I've heard that as well. Honestly haven't kept up on what they've been doing, but their culture has become a lot more rigid from the bits I've read. - Sonny Gill
So, is this an issue of building trust internally before being able to bridge any sort of trust gap w/your external community? - Sonny Gill
@Sonny two words: Instant coffee - Arié Moyal
@Sonny, I think so. Building trust AND being on the same page re: co. philosophy, core of business efforts, and forward moves. - Teresa Basich
@Lou Not only has Dell done well from a CM perspective, they've been able to show ROI from it - Arié Moyal
As companies evolve in their use of social media, I think we will see more focused and purpose-specific outreach. For example, setting up a private community for top customers, giving them access to the firm's expert resources, and using the community instead of focus groups to glean insight and market intelligence. - Lou Ordorica
Private communities for top consumers have been around for a long time - Communispace does that almost exclusively I think - Arié Moyal
@Arie, you took the words out of my mouth re: Communispace and closed communities. - Teresa Basich
@Teresa I'm sorry, do you want them back? I didn't meant to take without asking How very un CM of me ;) - Arié Moyal
@Lou - good insight there and I totally agree. Those focused communities have been and will become even more important as businesses continue to evolve. It's more about a value-proposition (gah - buzzword) for their community vs. constantly pushing and pushing stuff out there. - Sonny Gill
@Arie, LOL, no, they're just fine with you. Probably happier and better used, actually. :) - Teresa Basich
Q2 is up! - Sonny Gill
I think community is about that exactly - community - it's not about the hard sell - Arié Moyal
The hard sell for CMs is to get the understanding/buy-in of the entire organization :) - Sonny Gill
@Sonny The irony there is most are hired to be CMs which would imply buy-in to the untrained eye LOL - Arié Moyal
@Arie - very true and very ironic. We're sometimes in an unfortunate position where many companies don't understand what they exactly need, but CMs looking to get a food in the door and cont. their career path, jump in these roles with the proper mindset, but doesn't mean the co. has the same. - Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill
Q4/WRAP-UP: November 6, 2009 - Share your best community resources (not necessarily jobs/job boards - re: competition ;) that can be valuable to people who are on the hunt. (Only if you feel comfortable doing so)
I'll start with - great podcasts and posts that are helpful to any career field you're looking to get into. - Sonny Gill
LOL my best resource is Sue :-) - lizGreaux
Good point - she is pretty damn awesome! - Sonny Gill
that she is :-D - lizGreaux
Yay Sue! - Tanya McGinnity
I'm kind of with Liz in that a lot of my resources are people I've connected with. - Teresa Basich
I figured it'd be a slightly tough question also for ppl wanting to share their resources, outside of Sue ;) - Sonny Gill
Daniel interviews people about how they got their current job on Video podcasts - Joe Kikta
I read and re-read Sally Hogsheads 'Radical Careering' whenever I'm feeling down. - Tanya McGinnity
BUT! Okay, I haven't gotten started yet on the JobAngels volunteer community management gig, but when I do...I think it's going to be an awesome resource for job seekers. - Teresa Basich
Joe - that's awesome. Thanks for that. - Sonny Gill
Teresa - that's going to be awesome, for us, as well as for you! JobAngels rocks. - Sonny Gill
I agree with Sue, too, that this chat is an invaluable resource for sharing and connecting. - Teresa Basich
Totally agree... These chats invigorate me! - Tanya McGinnity
I'm a member of the Community Roundtable--a peer-to-peer network of Community practitioners. It does cost to join but we have great discussions. It's run by Rachel Happe and Jim Storer. - Rachel Makool
Thanks so much you guys - Bryan and I wanted to start this for the community and bring some sort of value to you all. Glad it's been a resource in your own respective careers! - Sonny Gill
@Rachel, I love Community Roundtable. I'm not a member but I've heard such great things and really like Jim and Rachel. Glad to hear it's such a good resource for you! - Teresa Basich
One thing I'll also mention is a core group of colleagues/friends that are somewhat like mentors that you can always reach out to. - Sonny Gill
I've a close group that's been so helpful in my search, in supporting me, in shooting me leads, connecting me w/folks. Just really great to have them in my corner. - Sonny Gill
Absolutely, Sonny. Those people lift you up and keep you afloat. They're priceless. - Teresa Basich
On that note guys and gals - it was a really great chat today! I must jet a couple minutes early to jump on a call, but really appreciate everyone's input today. Many of us are in the same boat and am glad to see that, in some form or another, we're all willing to help each other out during tough times. Cheers! - Sonny Gill
Thanks, Sonny! Great chat. And thank you to everyone who participated, too -- it was great bouncing thoughts and ideas around in here. :) - Teresa Basich
Yes, thanks to everybody here for a great chat! @Sonny Thanks for hosting today! - Joe Kikta
Thanks @Sonny! - Rachel Makool
Great chat today as always, thanks again! - lizGreaux
Sonny Gill
Q3: November 6, 2009 - Wise words always tell us to network before we need our community. What if you're late to the game, how can you connect with likeminded individuals while gaining value in your search - without the ME mentality?
Wooo! This is what happened to me, late to the networking game. Put out feelers for conversations and ideas you're interested in pursuing and join in. Especially in the online space, people are generally really inviting if you talk kindly with them, ask questions and share your experiences. - Teresa Basich
T - I didn't think you were late to the game at all. One day I just saw your name pop up and took notice as you were communicating with likeminded folks. Maybe that's why your seemingly 'late' transition didn't seem like one at all to me. - Sonny Gill
Attend conferences, join online and offline groups, link with former colleagues. - Rachel Makool
I think it's the 'give and ye shall receive' philosophy that has to happen. Sharing (as Teresa just mentioned), posting about jobs (like Sue and Connie do) and being as interested in others as you are in your own search all sound like great moves. - Tanya McGinnity
@Rachel - joining groups is definitely important. People are joining communities on ning and the like for common causes. You won't be looked at awkwardly if you're a new face to the crowd. - Sonny Gill
@Sonny, I think that's the key. You have to understand that community building and connecting with people takes time. I just wanted to learn -- coming at your networking from a position of learning also helps remove the ME factor, I think. And thanks, that's a definite compliment! - Teresa Basich
@Tanya - definitely. The problems that some ppl are having is the issue w/immediacy. We live in a NOW world, where things happen and move fast. But of course, that's dependent on the person to realize if that now mentality is gonna work for them or is being helpful going to. They'll find out quick. - Sonny Gill
I think it's never too late to get in the game. You need to communicate your needs, but also still be willing and ready to help others. Remember that you want to connect with people not just for the short term search but for the long haul as well. - Joe Kikta
Agree Sonny joining groups with like minded folks, and again networking as well as letting people know what you are looking for and who/what you are - lizGreaux
@Joe - right on. Going in expecting immediate results isn't the answer either, as I've seen that happen many times. It's sad really because I wish ppl would their communities and network WAY before needed. But you're right, it's never too late. - Sonny Gill
We talk a lot about online. What can you do OFFLINE with communities that can help in ones search? - Sonny Gill
I started a local group of Girl Geeks that get together monthly for a dinner and featured speaker. This has been a great way for me to get to know members of many various local communities (designers, gamers, coders, artists, moms, fashion designers and so on). The Girl Geeks have certainly been putting their feelers out for me on places where I could go or speak to their organizations about the need for a community manager. - Tanya McGinnity
Organize more meetups. Get to know people in person. I think you're more likely to go to the mat for someone you've met in person. - Joe Kikta
@Tanya, that is such a great idea. Creating groups around a cause or interest and bringing in speakers and holding events that draw a crowd is a great way to meet people. - Teresa Basich
@Tanya -That's a great example of how you launched a local offline community. Meeting face to face is so important (re: going to conferences, meetups) - Sonny Gill
@joe - Meetups are great! - Tanya McGinnity
Conferences are hard to get to, but if you can get to them they're a great opportunity to meet likeminded people. - Teresa Basich
Though harder - what do you do when you're looking to relocate? We can connect all day online w/ppl around the world, but a lot harder to make time/money to go face to face at your desired locale. - Sonny Gill
@Sonny That's a good question. I'd consider relocating, but feel I'm at a disadvantage. - Joe Kikta
Seeing as I'm trying to relocate...I depend so heavily on online interaction for it. I have set up a couple different trips around informational interviews or potential opportunities to show my commitment to leaving California. - Teresa Basich
Y'all should move to Canada and we'll set up an empire of Community Managers. Mwwhaaah Haa Haa <evil laugh> - Tanya McGinnity
@Joe - understandably, everyone isn't able to relocate. But yea, it is harder for us who want to move - but like Teresa said, we have to show that commitment as well. That desire. - Sonny Gill
LOL - I like Tanya's thinking :) - Sonny Gill
Ha! Tanya's got the right idea. - Teresa Basich
Then again.. I'm the CM who's out of work - so let's scratch that idea! - Tanya McGinnity
Good point, Sue. Since relocating is part of my agenda, I hope to supplement my work with some freelance writing opportunities. But, the time commitment will be tough. Fingers crossed. - Teresa Basich
@Sue - those of us wanting to relocate, though flexible, have a lot more to think about when making such a huge move. - Sonny Gill
There's a definite difference between wanting to relocate and being willing to relocate. - Teresa Basich
I think that we also have to so much more to self promote ie: webinars I sat in on the Jono Bacon webinar yesterday and was very impressed, but think that each of us who have communities could certainly share our expertise in a similar way. This exposure could lead to pumping up the old resume (ie: I spoke at CMTY chat webinar XYZ) - Tanya McGinnity
Teresa - right on! - Sonny Gill
It's sometimes the challenge in the industry that only the big gurus get to give their perspective and hence get all the big speaking gigs / contracts. - Tanya McGinnity
@Tanya - right. What are you doing to help not only move your career forward, but move this industry into a positive direction. - Sonny Gill
@Tanya, you're so right. Exposure through shared expertise. It shows your knowledge and willingness to share and gets your name out there. - Teresa Basich
'Q'4 is up! - Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill
Q2: November 6, 2009 - Competition. There's TONS of it out there now. How transparent and open should you be with your communities about your search, companies you're contacting, etc. - without feeling like you've tipped others in the process.
I know the 'social' world preaches us differently, but being honest - we still have to watch out for ourselves and what we do, who we confide in and trust, etc. - Sonny Gill
This is a really good question, because it goes to the idea of whether we're colleagues or competitors. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
Ah, tricky question. I think you have to be really careful what information you disclose about companies you're in contact with, etc., but telling people about your search...that's not a bad thing. - Teresa Basich
I have several people who used to work for me looking for jobs. Sometimes they apply for the same job. We have very open conversations about it. I think it's good to know who you're potentially competing with. - Rachel Makool
@Rachel - it may be good to know, but my thought is if I don't say anything, there's a chance they won't know and there will be less competition. - Sonny Gill
I had someone in my network as for LinkedIn introduction to a hiring manager in regards to a job we both were applying for. It was awkward. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
@Daniel - how did you respond? Did you write it? - Sonny Gill
Agree with Teresa. Let people know what you're looking for, not who you are looking at. - Chuck Hemann
Yeah, the specific companies you are targeting can be a sticky situation. I met someone once at a networking event that had interviewed for the same exact position I had just interviewed for and it was a little awkward. Still friendly, but awkward. - Joe Kikta
@Sonny, I feel the same way you do. I'd rather not open up that discussion with others. It's too in-depth. - Teresa Basich
I've personally had 2 close friends in the SM world get positions for jobs I was after as well. Tough going and how the market is, but they were more high profile and pretty much everyone knew about the openings. The feeling is all the same though. - Sonny Gill
Sorry. Meant to type ASK. I told him I didn't think it was a good idea and why. It turned out neither of us got the job. I was hoping one of us would get it, though. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
@sonny That's true in some cases but currently there aren't many roles so there's a good chance that one of your friends or acquaintances knows about the job and will apply. Just this week, a job popped up in the Bay Area and three of my former team members are interested. - Rachel Makool
Chuck, you said it perfectly. No need to disclose that information to make headway in your search and networking. - Teresa Basich
@Rachel - that's the monster that is today's job market! It's scary and why we have to sometimes be more strategic in how we communicate with our communities and what's divulged. - Sonny Gill
I'm in a fairly small city in so most people just assume that I've applied for anything with the words community, social or marketing in it!! Not much choice in my level of transparency! - Tanya McGinnity
Q3 is up! - Sonny Gill
@Sue - Indeed. It's all relative to where you're at personally in life. Geographically, how flexible you are, who you're taking care and where you can go. - Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill
Q1: November 6, 2009 - We've seen the job search evolve greatly given new technologies and networks that we have access to today. How can communities help out CMs (and the like) get back on their feet?
In my instance I've had an incredible outpouring of people in the local tech community get in touch with me for jobs/companies that they see me fitting with. - Tanya McGinnity
@Sue - to help spread the word of your interest, who ppl may know and connect you with? - Sonny Gill
Sue does an incredible job in sharing and spreading the word... Kudos - Tanya McGinnity
Create awareness. Talk to your community about other CMs you know in need. - Teresa Basich
@Tanya - definitely. I've experienced the same in my job search and it's amazing how much people WANT to help. - Sonny Gill
Also, reach out to people about what they're looking for. If you know someone is looking, talk specifics with them. Make connections. - Teresa Basich
@Tanya I agree Sue is amazing. I think it is all about sharing and networking - lizGreaux
I was thinking a bit about how community members are the best references for community managers in many ways. - Tanya McGinnity
CM's can't be everywhere, though I'm sure they'd like to be. Have to rely on the community to make them aware of opportunities out there for them. - Chuck Hemann
@Teresa - I'm glad you noted that, T. Many say 'yes I'll help', but only few get down to the nitty gritty and get to know the person and what they wan.t - Sonny Gill
@Chuck, so true. There are opportunities out there but it's hard to keep tabs. - Teresa Basich
Thinking more strategically - should these CM job seekers be open to accepting opportunities within their realm but not FT/paid? To continue their experience while searching for IT. - Sonny Gill
Being part of a Community/Social Media network of practioners is incredibly helpful. - Rachel Makool
Are there any job boards for our 'types'? - Tanya McGinnity
@Sonny, Most people want to help but don't know how. To figure out how to help, you have to ask questions and narrow options down. Creates more opportunities for connection. - Teresa Basich
re: your question Sonny...that probably depends largely on a person's professional experience. Lots of experience and folks are probably less likely to accept something like that. Lesser experienced folks, probably would. - Chuck Hemann
Great question, Sonny. I think you have to be really careful about those opportunities -- choose wisely, because often you can find your time being driven by volunteer, unpaid opps. - Teresa Basich
not unlike what happens with traditional PR students...many, especially now, are taking paid (and even unpaid) internships in order to keep gaining experience - Chuck Hemann
The problem is, if you've been out of work for an extended period of time, people will want to see your filling your time with various opportunities, not JUST job searching. - Teresa Basich
I'm seeing more Community & Social Media managers positions pop up but not many Director or VP roles. - Rachel Makool
Thank you, Sue! Great resource. - Teresa Basich
Teresa/Chuck - I hear ya. That's a scary part of what's going on in this job market that some people are somewhat 'forced' to take these other opps just to fill their resume, build their experience, but in a smaller role. - Sonny Gill
Thanks for that link Sue! Very good. - Tanya McGinnity
@Sonny, that's been one of the hardest things for me, juggling projects to gain more experience while managing the search. Not an easy task. - Teresa Basich
@Sue - yes, CM/SM internships. Do you feel these companies are afraid to hire FT, not sure what it all means, or just don't give CMs enough credit for what they do within an org? - Sonny Gill
How does one manage an internship while still needing to find FT work? That's always been a show-stopper for me. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
@Teresa - totally with you there. I become hesitant at times to accept numerous projects, but know it'll benefit me - even if ti does cut into me searching for a FT role. - Sonny Gill
@Sonny @Teresa - I wouldn't necessarily see it as a "lesser" role (unless it's just flatly way below your skill level). I'd see it as an opp to continue building a skill set, but also an opp to make an impression on a future employer. - Chuck Hemann
Moreover, why would a company or brand trust their communication to an intern? - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
@Daniel - that's definitely tough to balance the two. You've got to make time for the latter for sure, but if the internship is taking up all your time, you may have to reevaluate what you're doing. - Sonny Gill
As a Canadian, there are much fewer CM roles so being able to telework would be ideal, but isn't the reality just yet. - Tanya McGinnity
I'm sort of kicking myself right now, because I didn't go for a part-time internship, because of the low wage and commitment required. Now that person has an in for a possible full-time gig in same organization. - Joe Kikta
@Sue - for those needing remote positions. Can job seekers 'sway' employers or educate them on how CM roles can be well managed remotely. - Sonny Gill
@Joe, I think that's what happens with quite a few internships -- it's like a trial run, you know? Don't kick yourself, just keep moving. - Teresa Basich
Many of you are really speaking to a few issues I have about the way CM is viewed - many are afraid of hiring Full Time, many pay low wages, view it as a support role rather than a strategy position. How do we break this kind of perception? - Tanya McGinnity
I'd be more likely to go for a contract position, but not an internship. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
@Joe - That stinks but it's something we second guess sometimes being on the job search. The thing is - we sometimes ahve to get over our own egos and what we think we deserve, to instead grind it out and get to that goal of ours. Not saying you, specifically. But it's with internships, projects, etc. I've done the same. - Sonny Gill
Sometimes hard to think long-term strategic when the short-term view is not good. - Joe Kikta
There are definitely more contract or temp-to-hire positions available than FT positions. Fear of financial commitment to a fairly new role. - Teresa Basich
Hate to bring up the word, but monetization is key. Curious how many community managers work on that piece as well. Building your resume in that area might help with job search. - Karen Gutierrez
Q2 is up folks! - Sonny Gill
@Joe - I definitely hear ya re: long-term vs. short-term. It's a battle with ourselves, let alone the job market itself. - Sonny Gill
Could it also be an accreditation issue. We don't necessarily get degrees or go to school to become a CM.. - Tanya McGinnity
Sonny Gill
WELCOME: November 6, 2009 - Welcome folks to this week's CmtyChat! Can't believe it's November already but it's a great time of year. Feel free to introduce yourself, what you do, and how we can help you.
Hi! I'm Tanya - a newly out of work community manager here in Canada so I'm sure this session is REALLY going to help me :) - Tanya McGinnity
Hey Tanya! We're actually using your suggestion from last week as a starting point, so thank you! - Sonny Gill
Sonny - I appreciate it! I was so busy applying for jobs that I forgot I suggested it! - Tanya McGinnity
Hi Sue. - Tanya McGinnity
Hey Sure! How are ya? - Sonny Gill
We'll let the late ones sneak into the classroom ;) Let's kick things off with Q1 - Sonny Gill
Hi Everyone - lizGreaux
Hi Liz - Tanya McGinnity
Hey Liz - thanks for joining us :) - Sonny Gill
Hi everyone! - Teresa Basich
Hi, I'm Chuck and addicted to social media. - Chuck Hemann
Joe here, back for some more learning. Looking for marketing gigs that ideally involve Social Media. - Joe Kikta
I'm Daniel Johnson, Jr., and I'm a Social Media Manager on the Loose in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently participating in National Podcaster Post Month. - Daniel Johnson, Jr.
Hi, I'm Rachel, live in San Francisco, used to manage Community for eBay and am now consulting. - Rachel Makool
mark williams
WRAP UP: October 30, 2009 We’re coming to the end of the hour…thanks for the good tips on how small businesses can use social media. As social media goes more ‘mainstream’, more small businesses will be faced with how to devote their precious few resources to drive business, so this will be the next big problem to solve in our industry. Thank you...
Thanks Mark! great discussion and ideas today. Have a great weekend! - lizGreaux
thanks, liz...nice meeting you! - mark williams
Thanks Mark. Great job! Nice to meet all of you. - Tanya McGinnity
have a fun Halloween, Tanya! - mark williams
@Tanya Check your e-mail! Later everyone I'm late for a call! - Arié Moyal
Thanks for hosting today Mark! Great Job! - Joe Kikta
bye folks - thanks for allowing me a flyby! ;-) - Jim Storer
mark williams
Q3: October 30, 2009: Given a budget of say...$50K per year to invest in social media programs, (including time/salary) how would you recommend a small business invest it? (community platform, blog, viral contests, anything else?)
I'd recommend they hire someone to teach them how to get the most out of free tools and an SM savvy VA to help manage it and then I'd focus on contests but it depends on the business - I'm currently coaching a business coaching company on customer engagment and those are a few of the things we're working on - Arié Moyal
This will definitely vary widely by your type of business and what goals you have. - Joe Kikta
Assuming the salary part might be for a separate part-timer to work on social media programs, or for training, as Arie suggests. - Bryan Person
Much of this is more going to involve *time,* which is, of course, money in the end. Big community platform is probably out (too $$$), but a smaller one may work. Blog probably depends on the biz having someone who can blog decently. - Bryan Person
okay...I'll toss out some random small businesses and maybe folks will brainstorm? These are actual businesses that I know of, but are NOT clients. How about a campground. How would you spend their $50K budget? - mark williams
I agree with @Arie - lizGreaux
I'd recommend determining clear goals first. There is no money to waste going places where your customers or potential customers don't frequent. - Angela
for the campground, I might actually start with discussion boards on their site. so users can connect and ask about local amenities, whether there are bugs/snakes in the area etc. - mark williams
@Angela...let's assume that most small businesses would say their goal is to drive sales. - mark williams
doing a flyby in between calls... - Jim Storer
(and granted, that might not be realistic, but that's probably how they would state their goal.)how would you advise them? - mark williams
hey Jim! - Arié Moyal
as others have mentioned, it really varies based on type of business and goals.. but I think taking a look at a listening service and joining the conversations happening elsewhere will give you the most bang for your buck. - Jim Storer
@ Angela Too true. Goal setting is most important. It helps determine success. - Arié Moyal
hi arie... sorry i'm so late - Jim Storer
We'll forgive you this time - Right guys? :0 - Arié Moyal
what about a local movie theater? How would you recommend they spend their $50K budget? - mark williams
As a CM who is still identifying community members listening is the biggest part of my job - Arié Moyal
let's assume that the small business owner has come to you and said "I've heard I have to be using social media to market my business. I have $50K. Tell me what to do." - mark williams
if it is local i'd probably be out on the street more and connecting to the people who already come often - Arié Moyal
@Arie...once you listen...are you engaging too? What form does your engagement take? - mark williams
@ mark I engage when appropriate So far it's been more responding to tweets and being helpful if I can - Arié Moyal
ok - movie theater owner... if i already have a web presence, i'd probably create a blog and do as Arie said... get out on the street more and connecting to the people who already come often... highlight other local businesses and figure out how to become a more robust member of the community (vs just a business) - Jim Storer
@ Jim Yep! it's about the offline a lot more than the online for local business imho But giving memebers of your community recognition online is helpful Also it would depends on the movies they played in the theatre - I might set up a wiki or discussion forum for movie buffs - Arié Moyal
The first thing i would say to someone who came to me with 50k burning a hole in their pocket would be "Why?" - Arié Moyal
lol @Arie. I would assume because they want to turn that $$ into more sales. - mark williams
Teaming up with local businesses to offer a complete "experience" is a good idea. - Joe Kikta
@ Joe & @ Jim Indeed it's all about co-petition - Arié Moyal
that's definitely the new trend, @Joe..."experience marketing". I think social media is an excellent tool...especially a a good way of sharing the experience with others vicariously. - mark williams
In many cases, folks like to see quick results as well as have an opportunity to tell their story. A blog is a great low-cost way to be able to express yourself and your business in more than 140 characters plus in anchors nicely to your existing website. - Tanya McGinnity
@ mark Sure but I'd ask them why they think spending 50k on online activities is the best - Arié Moyal
@ mark Not everyone is a good blogger - Arié Moyal
be sure to allow a "subscribe to this blog via email" option... best option to build a strong DB of passionate local folks. Spend some of that money to host special night (i.e. show Halloween on Halloween). - Jim Storer
@Arie..nice! I like that word--co-petition. - mark williams
side note: i miss the small, local movie theaters... - Jim Storer
@Arie @Jim Participating in the local Chamber too, as a part. @Mark Agree. The wiki idea not a bad one either - Joe Kikta
excellent suggestion on local Chamber and I like to remind folks that *email* is a social media tool too. - mark williams
tanya - i agree a blog is a good anchor for other socmed efforts (i.e. twitter, youtube, etc) - Jim Storer
so emailing your other Chamber members with your sales/specials or industry insights is a way of being social locally too. - mark williams
@ Jim Great to build a DB yes but like Bryan said at SMB15 in Boston Don't use that list in the wrong way - Arié Moyal
@Mark Not sure I agree with email as Social Media... Unless it's a two-way discussion, not Social Media - Joe Kikta
adding social media buttons/widgets to your website is not a bad idea - Arié Moyal
@arie - always be careful with how you use your house list... always. with blog subscribers, you can create a new post that achieves your objective (announce an upcoming event, etc.) and you're not spamming them. - Jim Storer
Sure Joe but there are ways of inviting that discussion Especially if you write the e-mail in a way that invites them to share - Arié Moyal
SMB15... how do you remember that? i barely remember 11/29 - Jim Storer
Haha I have a long unforgiving memory and there was a handout :P - Arié Moyal
email = social media? i think it's a semantic discussion. email can support social, but agree it's not really what I think of when someone says socmed. - Jim Storer
No it's not necessarily SM but it's an engagement tool - Arié Moyal
@Joe...yes, many businesses use email as a broadcast mechanism, which is wrong imo. I answer all my emails people send to me, so I think the core concept of SoMe is that a business should act like a person. - mark williams
@Jim You beat me to it. Well said. Can support, but not social by nature - Joe Kikta
@Mark I guess it is all in how you utilize it. Twitter is not really Social Media for some either - Joe Kikta
@Joe Check me out I'm using SM See? This is my latest blogpost and this is my achievement - Look at me I'm tweeting - I need 100 more followers - ooh lloky I'm social - Arié Moyal
Email can be a great way to showcase a community member, supplier, contest winner so that extends it from just being a mechanism to only speak about yourself. I do agree it doesn't lend itself to being very social, but it can show personality more so than what I usually see done by most businesses. - Tanya McGinnity
yep @Joe. Without getting too deep into the semantic discussion, I consider my email address a more personal access to ME, socially. An email is a direct conversation. (or could be) But maybe my definition of 'social' is too broad. - mark williams
anyway...I have to go be social with a few workmates in 12 minutes...aka "a meeting". nice chatting with everyone and will see you next week! - mark williams
mark williams
Q2: October 30, 2009: What about Facebook Fan Pages or Groups as a platform for small businesses? How would you recommend a small business engage on FB...or would you?
So far, it seems like for small biz it can be hard to get enough Fans to generate a significant interractions on FB. And most are using it as a broadcast tool anyway. - Beth Brodovsky
@Beth ironic isn't it? Since FB allows one to be more personal than Twitter, imo. - mark williams you have a FB Group or Fan Page set up for your biz? - mark williams
@Mark Yes and No. There are opportunities to share more personal content, but how many take advantage? How many just play games and take quizzes? - Joe Kikta
good q, @Joe. Of the people I know, MOST don't take quizzes or play games. - mark williams
Well I dont think there's any harm in putting social media buttons on your website - if you have a website - Arié Moyal
Of the 150 or so FB friends I have, gamers and quiz takers represent maybe 20% of my friends. But that could be representative of my friends, and not FB in general. How about your friends? - mark williams
It depends on your demographic - Some people will - the point with facebook is that a lot of the internet connected world is on there - Arié Moyal
Although I've had interesting conversations with people on FB, I've had more on Twitter. I think it's because it's more public and searchable. Easier to target people with similar interests - Joe Kikta
@Tanya....loved your idea about promotions (and discount codes) on Twitter...does that lend itself to FB as well, or would you expect a smaller return on FB? - mark williams bring up a good seems to me that there are either Twitter people or Facebook people...but only a relatively few use both platforms equally. Do you find that to be true? - mark williams
Joe i thik the idea with facebook is to drive website traffic to facebook so you can interact with them and they can interact with each other - Arié Moyal
There is defintely an easier *in* on twitter - It's easier to listen there - Arié Moyal
Let me also mention that Twitter is more Open. By that, I mean that people are more open to friending/sharing with new people. - Joe Kikta
The ties are a lot looser on twitter than on facebook - part of that is the reciprocity requirement on FB - Arié Moyal
@mark - I agree with the Twitter people / FB people distinction. My FB group is mainly comprised of family / non tech folks whereas Twitter is a much tech savvier crew. I'm sure I might be generalizing here but this is just my experience. - Tanya McGinnity
@Mark I think most people have a strong preference one way or the other - Joe Kikta
@ Mark Re: return on fb - I'd say the return on FB is probably larger since there are more people there - but it can;t hurt to run the same promo on both and use different codes - Arié Moyal
so maybe Twitter is good for introducing yourself to new customers, and FB is better at deepening relationships with existing one?s Is that a fair suggestion for small businesses? - mark williams
twitter can't go mainstream until it's easier to "get" I also think the openness freaks people out - Arié Moyal
@Arie I think it depends on your product or service and your brand name. I think it's easier to attract followers on Twitter than Fans (that pay attention) on FB. - Joe Kikta
I think location has much to do with this as well. If you are a local business, then starting with building connections with the local Twitterites is quite important as a first step. I think a FB fan page comes after you've built a local following- otherwise it's pretty much just a group of you, your mom and a handful of folks who like you or your business and care enough to support you. - Tanya McGinnity
@Tanya...that's really good advice, imo. - mark williams
feel free to keep this discussion going...and...just posted Q3. :-) - mark williams
Joe it defintely depends - For some businesses I'd stay away from SM :) - Arié Moyal
@ Tanya I think you can encourage people to become fans via your website but there is no question that the offline is just as important as the online if not more - Arié Moyal
@Tanya Well said. @Arie I'm not saying to stay away! Be smart though :) - Joe Kikta
Hi everybody. I just interviewed a local company for a story I'm writing for EContent magazine and they shared a great tactic they use on Facebook. They call it "Facebook Friday's." The store manager posts a new product or item they 'd like to get more sales on every Monday and people discuss it all week. they give it away on Fridays. Drives monster sales for that product. - Angela
@ Angela Sounds interesting! - Arié Moyal
@Angela That's really cool. I'm sure people look forward to this and tell their friends who might not know about this shop. - Tanya McGinnity
Yes @Tanya and @Arie. I spent some time observing the process before deciding to write about it and it works big time. the customers comment ad naseum about these products. - Angela
So it would appear that SM works well for companies with a diverse or constantly evolving product offering and those that feed hungry SMites - Any other examples? - Arié Moyal
Now I suspect it would also depend on the business and the type of products. For instance, if the products are embarrassing or private, that company may not have much luck on FB. - Angela
I've seen flickr used exceptionally by a local cupcake shop. When users search for photos of creative cupcakes, hers show up and they truly show off how creative she is. - Tanya McGinnity
Love that @Tanya! Can you send me a link? - Angela
@ Tanya did you see the QR code cupcakes @clever_cupcakes made? The QR code directs you to her website Too cool :) - Arié Moyal This is just a small set of photos that had created a lot of chatter in the community - both local and international (so much that someone in Bahrain is copying her style!) - Tanya McGinnity
mark williams
RANDOM: October 30, 2009: Hello, and welcome to Community Chat! I’m Mark Williams, a senior community manager at LiveWorld and I’m filling in for Bryan Person today. Please take moment to introduce yourself, and suggest topics for future #CmtyChat discussions.
I'm still learning how to use the interface, so those deleted comments you might see are mine, btw! - mark williams
Hi Mark! I'm Arié, the community manager for babyTEL, a VoIP company here in Montreal - Arié Moyal
Doing OK so far, Mark! - Bryan Person
nice to meet you Arie! - mark williams
I'm Beth and I own a small business (membership marketing) & spend significant time every day using social media, but I train, speak and consult on it so I doubt I am the norm. - Beth Brodovsky
haha...Beth...are ANY of us in here the norm? :-) - mark williams
Its always hard as zealots to remember where others are. - Beth Brodovsky
I'd like to throw a few stats out from the US Small Business Administration to help frame today's discussion. - mark williams
99% of all US businesses are considered small business=less than 500 employees - mark williams
of those...80% are single proprietors with NO employees - mark williams
I'm Tanya... I'm a newly unemployed Community Manager and I'd love to have a discussion at some point on how communities have helped out of work CM's get back on their feet again. I'm experiencing some great community love currently and would love to see if others have had this experience. - Tanya McGinnity
of the remaining, 66% have fewer than 10 employees...80% have fewer than 20. - mark williams
That doesn't surprise me. - Beth Brodovsky
25% of these businesses have revenue of less than $100K per year. and 75% have revenue of $500K per year. - mark williams
So, lots of solopreneurs. - Bryan Person
yes, Bryan...or few hands, doing much work. - mark williams
and many working from home (SOHO's)? - Tanya McGinnity
@Beth Re:Norms My boss doesn`t ge how much I use social media (although he hired me because I knew the space LOL) - Arié Moyal
Really, there are small businesses and microbusinesses - Beth Brodovsky
@Arie - luckily for me, I am the boss. - Beth Brodovsky
Joe Kikta, in Cincinnati, currently on the hunt for a marketing job, preferably involving Social Media. - Joe Kikta
Tanya, good topic for for future discussion...was at a seminar yesterday with a sociologist who noted that 'loose ties' (like community) are the ones who help most for finding jobs. - mark williams
Q1 is up! - Bryan Person
@ Mark Definitely @ Tanya Check your DMs ;) - Arié Moyal
Sorry I was late to the party everyone. Hope to see you next week. - Angela
mark williams
Q1: October 30, 2009: Given the lack of people power available to most small businesses, do you think a small business MUST be adopting Twitter as a connecting resource?
I don't think that *any* business MUST necessarily adopt Twitter. Depends on the business and its goals. - Bryan Person
@Bryan what types of small biz would you recommend using Twitter? - mark williams
I think small retail businesses can benefit by utilizing twitter for promotional use - lizGreaux
Just putting it out there - Would a funeral home have a place on Twitter? (Not sure why that popped into my head!) Are there some businesses/ areas that might not be best for Twitter? - Tanya McGinnity
I agree with Brian, Twitter isn't for everyone - Arié Moyal
how so, @lizGreaux? - mark williams
@Mark: Not trying to avoid the question, but it would be a business whose customers are/potentially are on Twitter. - Bryan Person
In small biz I have seen not wanting to do anything that doesn't give an immediate ROI and, on the other side "networking" to the point of distraction. - Beth Brodovsky
An example: @CoffeeGroundz, a small coffee shop in downtown Houston. They make good use of Twitter--even allow people to send in their orders that way. - Bryan Person
@Mark, exclusive offers, sales, contests. I personally think that for the mom or pop business trying to compete with the giants, this type of platform is a no expense way to advertise - lizGreaux
Coffeegroundz is an awesome example! - Arié Moyal
liz You can't use twitter like direct marketing though - Arié Moyal
I don't mean in the true meaning of direct marketing, I believe it can be done - lizGreaux
I think its hard to benefit from anything if you haven't thought about your audience and what communicating in a certain medium has to offer them. The goal isn't to get your customers to use social media, its to get your customers to use you. - Beth Brodovsky
I think the small business owner has to enjoy connecting with their customers and engaging in the community first before they just open an account to broadcast their message. It does take a level of personality and understanding your brand that some small biz owners might not have in their skill set. - Tanya McGinnity
@Bryan...that makes me there a 'type' of person who uses twitter? I mean, we're all human on Twitter (I think) so aren't we all customers of *something*? - mark williams
@Mark: A year ago you might have said it was the tech-savvy person primarily on Twitter, but now I think it's gone mainstream. - Bryan Person
@Bryan, I agree, I think it is the latest bandwagon that everyone seems to be hopping on - lizGreaux
@Mark That's a good question. Is there a profile? @Bryan I agree, somewhat. Still, tech-savvy more likely to stay - Joe Kikta
broadly many hours a day would it take for a small business to develop a following on Twitter in order to make promotions worthwhile? - mark williams
In many cases, twitter / social media tools seem overwhelming to many folks and they think they have to push out a zillion messages rather than the quality/ tone of what they're saying. - Tanya McGinnity
I think it depends on a number of things, type of business, target audience, level of comfort, etc - lizGreaux
@Tanya Agree. Theme and tone are getting lost - Beth Brodovsky
@Mark: As you get started, 20 minutes a day would probably do. As a business gains more followers and receives more @ messages, that likely scales up. - Bryan Person
I've personally only had one promotion on twitter that caught my eye...a pizza company here in SJ. But I forget how we connected...I think they followed me because of my address in my profile. And they were giving away free pizza. :-) - mark williams
I also think many are "pushing" too much instead of starting conversations - Joe Kikta
@Joe I agree...but doesn't it come back to time available? It take awhile to have conversation...and there isn't always a payoff for it. - mark williams
Re: Mainstream Well look at all the people who joined to follow Oprah They're not follwoing anyone else and she's barely tweeting - Arié Moyal
Q2 is now up...following the same theme concerning Facebook for small businesses. - mark williams
@KojiBBQ - - is very popular on Twitter. It's based in LA and tweets out where/when it's truck will be stopping. By accounts I've seen, it's a raging success. Long lines on the streets! - Bryan Person
Personally as a CM I'm still nervous that I'm using twitter wrong for the company :S - Arié Moyal
I think goiveaways are a great way to get people to know who you are Everyone likes giveaways - Arié Moyal
I remember my days working in a small retail crafting store and I'd sit behind the counter reading the Enquirer or dusting shelves. Imagine if I was connecting with customers, informing people about our specials, answering questions and showcasing crafts made by our customers? - Tanya McGinnity
@Arie - Great point re: giveaways / discounts - Tanya McGinnity
@ Bryan It would appear food and social media go hand in hand - Arié Moyal
@Mark True, time is definitely a concern, but you can ramp it up slowly and get things to the point where you get a lot of bang for your buck. You need to be patient and not expect overnight success. - Joe Kikta
agreed, @Arie...lets go out for lunch! lol - mark williams
@ Tanya Thanks - Reminds me: Discount codes are a great way of tracking ROI :) - Arié Moyal
@ mark When I get to SoCal I'll look you up Haha - Arié Moyal
Q2: October 30, 2009: What about Facebook Fan Pages or Groups as a platform for small businesses? How would you recommend a small business engage on FB...or would you? - mark williams
oops...posted q2 in the wrong place...sorry! - mark williams
Tanya makes a great point If you have downtime use it as your SM time I know people who have done a lot of business from SM - O got my job because of my use of SM - Arié Moyal
This may not be popular but I don't want to say that ANY one platform is a must. I just don't see things that way. That's an answer they need to determine based on goals. - Angela
mark williams
TODAYS TOPIC: Roughly two-thirds of all businesses in the US have 10 or fewer employees. Let's examine how they might (or might not) use social media to grow their business. As a precurser to the YOU work for a small business? How much time do you devote daily to professional social media use?
Bryan Person
PREVIEW: October 30, 2009: LiveWorld senior community manager Mark Williams will host this week's CmtyChat, starting at 1:00pm Eastern. Topic is "Social Media for Small Business." Hope you can join us!
Bryan Person
WRAPUP: October 23, 2009: We've just about come to the end of our appointed hour. A quieter conversation this week, but still plenty of good nuggets. Many thanks to Connie Bensen for kickstarting the discussion and to *you* for participating! See you next week starting at 1:00pm EDT.
@Bryan @Connie, thanks very much for hosting. - Lou Ordorica
Thanks @Bryan @Connie for hosting.. And thanks everyone for the illuminating chat. I always come away from these discussions with some great takeaways. - Tanya McGinnity
@ Sue we had snow yesterday All that was left was ice on my strairs though - Arié Moyal
@Tanya: Glad to hear it! - Bryan Person
Thanks to Connie & Bryan - Arié Moyal
Connie Bensen
Q1: October 23, 2009 - Is an organization's culture a factor in how successful their ability to adopt social media & participate is? Does there need to be a culture shift? Who should lead it?
I think so. If they don't understand social media, they won't get that adoption of same is important. - Star Aasved
Leaders need to get it, too. They have to understand pros/cons, speak to the organization's need to hear and participate in conversation about the brand/company. - Star Aasved
I think a culture shift will need to happen if the organization is used to being closed or if they are very concerned with control. As far as leading it, I think those that are passionate and who 'get' social should be at the helm, regardless of title, if they can prove their chops (ie: already active with a community/ don't spam/ understand how social fits within a strategy). - Tanya McGinnity
I think the higher the buy-in comes from the better. That said if you force community management on someone who doesn't want the job the results are sure to be less than optimal. - Arié Moyal
If you need to shift culture in order to be successful, you may be setting yourself up for failure. - Robert Swanwick
The culture needs to shift from "Don;t tell anyone what we're doing and push product" to "be transparent and engage" - Arié Moyal
@ Robert Disagree That's like saying getting people to buy wordprocessors in the 80s was impossible if the culture needed shifting - Arié Moyal
Arié, agreed. And that's not a huge shift, IMO -- again, it's based on understanding what social media can do for the organization. - Star Aasved
Social Media can appeal to different cultures in different ways: listening, sharing, measuring, etc... - Robert Swanwick
Some companies don;t need SM for community management They do just as well if not better with direct marketing - Arié Moyal
With the team I work with, they have expressed that they get overwhelmed because the term social media sounds so vast to them. It's really important like Sue mentioned to set realistic goals. - Tanya McGinnity
@Arie: Sounds like the choice of social media depends on the culture of the community? The type of buyer/end user you're trying to appeal to. - Bryan Person
@ Bryan That and the product Some products just sell better offline - Arié Moyal
@Arie: Of course. Plus, most word of mouth happens offline. The social media work is all for a small piece of the total pie. - Bryan Person
@Arie, @Star Leadership by example is a very powerful way to get people off the fence and contributing. A little peer pressure never hurts, either. - Lou Ordorica
What? Communication? :) - Connie Bensen
@Sue I have started a social media saturation count down clock. People are getting impatient to get past the hype, and see real change to their day-to-day businesses. - Lou Ordorica
People are still saying there is no money in SM - I disagree, it's just that there is no direct marketing in SM. Well there is, it's just SPAM - Arié Moyal
But I know that my friend Claire who is the Director of the International Climate Change Programme at WWF started tweeting on her own before she was able to get them to adopt a more SM approach - Arié Moyal
Lou, good point though I think it's not just day-to-day, but over the longer haul that is really of benefit to business if we are looking at the big picture. - Star Aasved
@ Bryan A lot of people forget that social media is a tool for conversation not a magic pill - Arié Moyal
Back to the culture shift. I think that it can be hard for some companies to want to speak with their customers because they are afraid of the repercussions. They don't want to get in trouble with the boss and they're not used to being told that it's OK for them to be open (within limits) - Tanya McGinnity
@Tanya, I think fears can be curtailed with clearly communicating social discourse guidelines and training (rule #1: don't get fired). There will always be corner cases, though. - Lou Ordorica
I don't think you can get much backlash from engaging unless you or the company have been "asking for it" - Arié Moyal
I think that for some, being social online may have been spoiled by having been roughed up in forums where there may not have been a community manager. Just speaking in terms of one staffer who had a bad experience on a film forum. - Tanya McGinnity
@ Tanya Fair enough but then that person may not be suited to a CM role - Arié Moyal
Q4 up! - Bryan Person
@Arie I'm not saying the person is to be a CM, I'm referring to folks who do SM in our org. If they can't handle forum abuse then they are certainly not cut out for the CM role :) - Tanya McGinnity
@ Tanya I guess I'm doing it all so for me it falls under CM - Arié Moyal
Bryan Person
Q5: October 23, 2009: Let's discuss Thomas Knoll's comment: "It seems everyone agrees that CMs should create goals. But, not many examples of goals/measurements people use. Is it because they are difficult to communicate? Or because no one really measures? Too much voodoo?"
Maybe it's just me but there seems to be a lack of books/ training / information on measurement in general specifically for CM's. Someone want to write a book on the topic?! - Tanya McGinnity
The measues are clear to me: Responses, relationships, traffic, conversions What's tough is showing the link between SM efforts and the last two - Arié Moyal
Also Lou just gave us a whole whack of measures on Q4 (Thanks Lou) - Arié Moyal
@Arie, You bet - glad you found these useful. - Lou Ordorica
Bryan Person
Q4: October 23, 2009 (I think Connie is handling an unexpected appt, so I'll jump in). Let's talk tools with this question. Which ones, specifically, are you using to track activity/engagement/etc.?
And if it's all in an Excel spreadsheet, no judgment there. You wouldn't be alone! - Bryan Person
I'll start. For most of our communities we have proprietary tool which tracks activity/enagement/etc. and spits out reports in Excel that we can slice and dice. - Bryan Person
Google Analytics, Peoplebrowsr - Arié Moyal
I like the gold star system that I have going on.. Simple bristleboard and glitter with a gold star everytime I have a successful engagement with a member of our community.. Just kidding.I'm in a space where traffic to our site is of primo importance (as it relates to sales) so web analytics tools are my friends in this respect. As for interactions that help me to push the 'personal'... more... - Tanya McGinnity
For webinars, I use email opens, click-thrus on invites, online registrations, attendance, and attention meters during the event. Also, I measure clicks on call to actions such as sign ups and promotions. - Lou Ordorica
For online communities, I use standard activity measurement - registrations, time spent on the site, return visits, forums visited, posts, click thrus on banners. - Lou Ordorica
For conferences, it's all about sign ups and attendees, number of paid sponsorships, and participant's ratings and reviews of the speakers and sessions. - Lou Ordorica
@ Lou yes but which tools are you using to count those things ? - Arié Moyal
Thanks for that @Lou. These are all very valuable points and clearly demonstrate what we should be looking for. - Tanya McGinnity
@Arie, Tools - WebEx, Citrix, Google Analytics, Telligent, Webtrends, SurveyGizmo, and tools developed in-house. - Lou Ordorica
Just got off client call and can add one thought here - met CEO of @hubspot on Panel yesterday - their tools look great. Look at their website for free 'grader' tools - sounds like a good measurement system - Mark Sylvester
@mark some are but how do they relate to community engagement? - Arié Moyal
Connie Bensen
Q3: October 23, 2009 Are you measuring your efforts? And does this get taken into account in the bigger picture?
Connie: I think measurement *has* to be taken into account. Otherwise, how do you know if you're succeeding? - Bryan Person
I have this convo all the time. I think most people skip the goals they don't even know what to measure. - Scott Bishop
The rub is, what to measure? Common sense says starts with agreed-upon goals and working backwards, but in many cases your sponsor doesn't have a clear picture themselves. - Lou Ordorica
Wondering what measurements today's participants find most valuable - which indicate social is working for the organization? - Star Aasved
@Scott, Yep. This is a HUGE risk, because if you can't show the impact you are having, guess who will be on the short list come layoff-time? - Lou Ordorica
@Scott: The 2009 Tribalization of Business came out recently, and like last year, not measuring activities that track to business goals was again a problem in several communities. - Bryan Person
my community isn't on a platform - Connie Bensen
I measure much around the success stories that the community has in interacting with our website. When I hear that I've solved a problem or helped someone out, that's golden... but it might not be as golden in terms of value to the 'higher ups' - Tanya McGinnity
@ Lou If they don't then its your job to set them How else do you know,as Bryan said, if you're succeeding - Arié Moyal
sorry hit enter too quick! - and I'm able to gather stat's. Last March I provided adv training to 30% of our customer base & they all upgraded. There is a direct ROI to that - Connie Bensen
My issue with goal setting is putting numbers on organic growth - Arié Moyal
@Bryan I find that a big problem for companies. They don't know what to measure or even if they're measuring they can't answer why. Start with the goal and reverse engineer the how. Then you can know exactly what to measure. - Scott Bishop
Lou - I agree that the goals need to be set. People shouldn't be engaged without a strategy. - Connie Bensen
@Arie, the goals don't need to revenue all the time. Can be...we want x of new site clicks, or to come to an event...etc - Scott Bishop
@Scott I agree - Start with the Strategy - which determines the goals - which shows what to measure. Then choose what % change you want. (Benchmark & get busy). The tactical is also driven by the goals & ultimately the strategy. - Connie Bensen
Bottom line is if SM is not leading to increased sales you're wasting your time - No? I mean you have to benchmark it before you start so you can compare. Google Analytics can tell you where traffic is coming from and you can use promo codes but accept that not everyone will use them even if you are driving them there - Arié Moyal
Tanya, I've measured success stories for some communities as well and agree on the value. It's difficult to determine, though, what impact those have on the organization. - Star Aasved
At UGCX this week the CEO of NPR said Nothing might work, so try everything She's done a great job with their community - Arié Moyal
@Arie: Don't agree that it's always ultimately about increased sales. We have a client whose primary goal is education, not sales. - Bryan Person
@Connie, so right...well stated - Scott Bishop
@Sue as someone hired to get CM started I can tell you that the focus is first to set up the infrastructure and then start engaging The company will want to see $$$$$ That's what they're they're for - Arié Moyal
Your can goals can be anything...not always sales. But you need goals, regardless of what they are. Otherwise you're just sending tweets and facebook posts for fun - Scott Bishop
@ Bryan Fair enough but what's point of educating people for them? - Arié Moyal
For many businesses, the goal of customer satisfaction in terms of responsiveness may not be a measurable stat in the short term, but there is long term value in customer loyalty. - Star Aasved
@ Star There is no doubt that SM is a long term strategy Thanks for confirming :) - Arié Moyal
It seems everyone agrees that CMs should create goals. But, not many examples of goals/measurements people use. Is it because they are difficult to communicate? Or because no one really measures? Too much voodoo? - Thomas Knoll
The measues are clear to me: Responses, relationships, traffic, conversions What's tough is showing the link between SM efforts and the last two - Arié Moyal
Connie Bensen
Hi! Thanks for joining us for CmtyChat this Friday. Feel free to introduce yourselves here, The topic I've chosen is Culture shift required. Let's talk about the internal culture required for comm mgrs to be successful.
Hey there, Connie. Thanks for hosting! Looking forward to the conversation. - Bryan Person
Hello Rob Swanwick. Founder of Speaker Interactive and twebevent. Currently working on a drupal platform to support Chat communities (mostly Twitter chat) - Robert Swanwick
Hey Connie! Looking forward to an interesting chat :) - Arié Moyal
Hi Connie. Am a community manager for LiveWorld, looking forward to today's discussion. - Star Aasved
As to internal culture, I think one of the primary considerations is an understanding of social/community. - Star Aasved
I'd suggest that clear communication internally around the role of community managers is important. - Bryan Person
Hi Sue & Star - nice to meet you! Sue, I so appreciate your enthusiasm on Twitter! - Connie Bensen
Add to that, an understanding of the brand/company's business goals. What are you working toward? - Bryan Person
Hi Connie. Great to see you leading this session! - Tanya McGinnity
@ Tanya Hey! :) - Arié Moyal
Hi @Arié - Tanya McGinnity
Hi Connie, nice to see you here. - Lou Ordorica
hieeeeeee! - Thomas Knoll
Connie Bensen
Q2: October 23, 2009 - Do you think that organizations realize the extent that community people can contribute to the biz obj's? What do you do within yours to push that envelope?
I believe some parts of an organization can see how community contributes - those people who understand how reaching a broader audience can be of benefit. To push, it's a matter of getting one's feet wet, I think, getting involved in listening, hearing what is said and based upon those results determining next moves. - Star Aasved
I think a good question to add to this is whether community managers do enough to provide the business results gained from community participation. I personally don't feel confident enough in this area and could use some tools, tips, training. - Tanya McGinnity
I'm constantly educating my boss about how to use social media but he hired me specifically for community management so I guess I'm lucky in that way - Arié Moyal
Tanya, when it comes to tools I find a weakness -- it's not easy to measure concrete results based on traditional metrics, IMO. - Star Aasved
Traditional metrics still work - not follower/fan/member #s but responses, conversions, traffic etc - Arié Moyal
They work to some extent, but can't measure long term benefit/gain, IMO. - Star Aasved
Tanya, that's a really good point - are you provided with enough training/tools to do your job well? - Connie Bensen
I put up a question on measurement - and I need to join a call in 12 min's - but I'll be multitasking - Connie Bensen
I think that one challenge is that traditional business expects #'s on a quarterly basis. That's about the time that one is just starting to see progress in social media - Connie Bensen
@Tanya @Star @Arie, it's relatively easy to measure activity of your community, but attributing this to key performance indicators (downloads, try-n-buys, paid subscriptions, new business) is what separates men from boys, women from the girls. :) - Lou Ordorica
@ Lou How do *you* do it? ;) - Arié Moyal
@Lou - yes, and a bit sticky from my perspective. - Star Aasved
Rachel Happe has a great preso on slideshare re: growth of online communities let me find it - Arié Moyal
I think that you need to build in the 'how did you hear about us' and collect that info in surveys - Connie Bensen
@Connie - I'm from a digital marketing background with years of agency experience who transitioned over to a few community management positions.. so I'd say I'm self taught. But then again, I guess that's how many of us got our start ') As far as support, I think I would like more integration with internal teams to see how we can all effectively work together. Might be interesting to examine any CM certification if that is indeed something out there (given the position is still somewhat new to many orgs) - Tanya McGinnity
Here you go: Great lifecycle graphs too SM is definitely a longterm strategy which is funny given its immediacy - Arié Moyal
@Arie, I've had success starting small, taking an existing program with clearly identified costs and outcomes (example, producing a product launch video), then applying social media to the same problem (a user generated video contest) and comparing and contrasting the two. - Lou Ordorica
@Connie I agree re: surveys having a great degree of importance in helping a CM - Tanya McGinnity
@Tanya, the community manager is rapidly becoming a fixture in many organizations, I completely agree a professional organization to certify individuals in the art and science is needed. This will give assurance to prospective employers, and help individuals with their careers, tool. - Lou Ordorica
@Connie Could you start an online degree program? :) - Tanya McGinnity
@ Lou yo can;t say that the results are going to be exactly related to how if you don't control for externalities and not everyone has the luxury of doing both What do they do? - Arié Moyal
@ Connie @ Tanya Surveys are great but not everyone will fill them out unless they're super short - Arié Moyal
@Tanya @Connie Are you interested in forming an professional CM organization? I am game! :) - Lou Ordorica
@Sue Yep -- I suggest to @Tanya and @Connie we should take the bull by the horns and form the organization. Grassroots, for the win! - Lou Ordorica
@Arie, I don't understand your question. Can you clarify please? - Lou Ordorica
FYI there is a professional CM organization: - Thomas Knoll
@ Lous Sounds good to me! But do we have proven results yet? How do you allow for a constantly changing landscape? - Arié Moyal
@Arie Good point re: length of survey. I would never suggest a rotten experience by having someone sit through 33 boring questions - Tanya McGinnity
@ Lou How do people who can only run one scenario show their impact? - Arié Moyal
@Thomas, Yep the CR is a cool organization, but I'm thinking along the lines of formal accreditation, a title you can attache to your resume, like project managers use PMP. - Lou Ordorica
@Arie Hunh? I am not understanding your questions. - Lou Ordorica
@ Thomas The CR is awesome we love Jim & Rachel bt are they certifying people? - Arié Moyal
@Lou As a former Project Manager , I like the analogy with the PMP - Tanya McGinnity
What's cool about CM is that soon journalists will all have to become CMs so the CM community will grow exponentially - Arié Moyal
@ Lou Never mind LOL - Arié Moyal
Bryan Person
RANDOM: October 23, 2009 - Here's the thread where you can introduce yourselves and your community, and suggest questions for the wider group. Anything else goes, too!
Checking in with my 3 keywords this week: YouTube video, travel, birthdays - Bryan Person
we didn't get to talk at BWE! - Connie Bensen
keywords for today are poptech, biztechday, embed - Robert Swanwick
@thescottbishop here. Great to see everyone here - Scott Bishop
My three: Soup, snow, shabbath :)) - Arié Moyal
@Connie: I know! At least we said hello for 5 minutes. - Bryan Person
keywords for today : finish "Trust Agents" :) - Tanya McGinnity
I think we need to get the energy level up here. Have you all done your jumping jacks today? Eaten your Wheaties? - Bryan Person
WOO!!! I'm as energetic as Gary V. Thanks for that push @Bryan :) - Tanya McGinnity
Now I'm ready for a CM firewalk.. Who's with me? - Tanya McGinnity
@ Tanya Me! - Arié Moyal
Sonny Gill
WRAP-UP: October 16, 2009 - Hour definitely flew by, but thanks so much for everyone who joined us today! Great chat and things to look forward to as CM roles continue to grow within businesses.
Thanks for another great chat, Sonny! I missed this, glad I could join in this week. :) - Teresa Basich
Thanks so much to everyone, I love this chat, and the people. Have a great weekend - lizGreaux
@Teresa - glad you joined us this week - always nice having you around :) - Sonny Gill
Thanks Sonny for moderating today's chat. Had some great conversations. :-) - Patricia Ooi
Thanks Liz! Appreciated your input today! - Sonny Gill
Thanks Sonny - see you next week! - Rachel Happe
A little late today, but enjoyed, as usual. Good to have you back moderating today, Sonny! - Joe Kikta
Thanks for facilitating, Sonny. These are a nice chance to confab with like-minds. - Scott Moore
Thanks a lot Scott - definitely smart folks in here. Great to chat and brainstorm with one another. Appreciate you stopping by. - Sonny Gill
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