Last night, I was having dinner with some folks in my social circle. One of them exclaimed, “Good news! We FINALLY get to hire an internal community manager.” We all raised a glass to toast the victory. See, he had been battling to get a headcount to manage his social intranet for years.
Based on his struggle, I decided to develop the Top 10 Roles of an Internal Community Manager.
Now, for some huge Social Business software customers these will come as no surprise, but at smaller companies with more modest resources, an FTE might bust the budget. In these cases, carving out a partial responsibility and making it official reduces the danger of the social intranet becoming beloved in concept but largely shelf ware.
So, here’s the list of the Top 10 Internal Community Manager Roles they often juggle:
1. Ambassador. One of the biggest drivers of social business success is company culture. Community managers help form a successful company culture by being open, responsive, and strategic.
2. Unifier. Community managers helps unite distributed leadership on the best practices for internal collaboration.
3. Builder. Skilled managers focus on best ways to structure and design for interaction and engagement. They also stimulate conversation and have content plans until the community matures.
4. Coach. They are excellent at articulating how employees can use the new technology to accomplish real business objectives, without leaving their comfort zone (which often means their email inboxes).
5. Cheerleader. Community managers often bust out the virtual pompoms. They reward positive behavior.
6. Leader. One of the most important jobs of the community manager is to identify effective volunteer advocates and facilitators for various units (marketing, sales, finance, R&D, manufacturing, etc.). Without these foot soldiers, the community will not take flight.
7. Game Maker. No, I’m not referring to Panem! Community managers come up with awesome techniques to keep employees engaged and reward the most active contributors or the executives who “get it.”
8. Listener. Community managers understand better than anyone the “pulse” of the employee base. They often can be the voice of the masses when it comes to marketing ideas, product features, etc.
9. Governor. Community managers help develop and enforce social media guidelines.
10. Analyzer. Successful community managers can help point to real business value (ie. Employee satisfaction, productivity improvements, increase in sales, etc). They can also do predictive modeling based on sentiment, help find the true expert in a given area, and understand valuable enterprise relationships.
I want to hear from the Internal Community Managers, What’s the biggest value you bring to your organization?
Tired of hearing the buzz word Web 2.0 and want to see a real world examples of technical collaboration online? Then, check out the new NI Developer Zone Community. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this platform allows a community of engineers and scientists worldwide to connect and share example code, tutorials and textbook companion materials directly on the National Instruments Web site. It also has unique collaboration features, polling capabilities, tagging, and other functionality from Jive’s ClearSpace X platform.
This go-live marks one of the biggest events of my career. Since October 2006, I’ve been working with a team of IT developers, computer scientists, and engineers to create a comprehensive online community geared at helping our customers connect online.
Now, ni.com/community will be the home for customer-created content or documents that our engineers wants to work on with users. For example, we are transferring several of the “community nuggets” (or programming tips) from the NI Discussion Forums to this new site, since it allows both employees and community members to interact and edit easily via a wiki interface. Several of our users were using the forum technology for white papers, causing them to have to use several posts to explain one topic. Additionally, the edit functionality on forums is limited to a 3 minute window. We hope this wiki-based approach will help our users share detailed information and collaborate more easily online.
Now, my main focus will be growing the community and obtaining quality content for our users.