A lot of people seem to think that online community management started with Twitter and Facebook, but the truth is that is goes back much longer than that. Online Community (and by extension Social Media) Managers started appearing in the very early days of the Web, first by managing mailing lists and forums.
Over time this role was semi-formalised as a paid job, as companies realised there was value in either building a community around their products or monitoring online discussion about them. Nowadays, this role can cover strategy, management, content moderation, content creation, influencer outreach, and customer service amongst others.
The Community Manager still doesn’t always have a clear position in the organisation often straddling several departments, yet it is increasingly recognised as one of the most important roles in a company.
As a Community Manager (or Social Media Manager, advocate, moderator, organiser, host, executive, strategist or any other related job title that you might have been given), you often find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, you are bringing in community opinion to people who often would rather not hear or act on it. On the other, you are trying to maintain an equilibrium within your community, all the while standing by the company line which may not be a publicly agreeable one.
The community might be happy, but the company isn’t, and vice versa. All the while, you are serving two masters with little recognition of your daily actions and successes, and continuous pressure.
With this in mind, Jeremiah Owyang suggested last year that we celebrate a Community Manager Appreciation Day, in his words:
“Let’s take the time to pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”
We are fast approaching the second celebration, to be held on the 24th of January 2011. I and others thought it would be nice to have a simple social event to acknowledge this day.
Come and join us for a drink and/or some food if:
- You are a community or social media manager, whether officially or not
- You employ or work with community or social media managers and want to show them some love
- You want to become a community or social media manager and want to hang out with some
- You work with and want to support a community manager
- You are looking to hire a community or social media manager
Being a community manager means often working in the background and our achievements not being recognised; take this opportunity to give yourself or your staff a slap on the back!
The Twitter hastag for this event is #LDNCMAD – please do feel free to promote this event and tweet about it before, during and after the event!
The venue is The Blue Posts, 81 Newman Street, London W1T 3ET – I’ve included a map below. We will be meeting upstairs from 6.30pm onwards.
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You can either sign up to attend (so we have an idea of numbers!) on the eventbrite page or by using the widget below.