Do You Have A Community Manager?

What are community managers and why are they important to building a brandful workforce?

I recently met a community manager from The Huffington Post. According to Wikipedia, community managers “work to build, grow and manage online communities around a brand.” They are familiar with emerging technologies and ways to engage customers purposefully. As well, they understand how various communities form around specific products and services and how to keep them interacting during ongoing evolution of the brand.

Tim and I met over the holidays, online. We both commented on a LinkedIn update. Then we started looking at each other’s profiles. Tim shot me a message saying: “Hey, we’re both in New York if you ever want to meet up.” Then after the holidays I shot him over a quick message: “How about coffee next week?” We had a plan to meet. Of course, this was after we already knew everything there was to know about each other online.

Tim was supposed to come to my office, but as luck would have it (or not), he forgot his wallet that day and couldn’t come, so I offered to go to his neck of the woods and buy him lunch over there. He immediately took me up on my offer and suggested giving me a tour of his office at The Huffington Post. What a treat! If you haven’t watched the live stream of Huff Post Live, you should check it out. They have shows on politics, entertainment and general interest and it appears to be gaining in popularity.

I learned a lot from Tim. Not just that community managers are probably the most brandful employees at any organization. (It’s actually part of their job description to be a brand evangelist.) But the insights and experience of community management can be brought inside of an organization. What they do to engage customers can be done with employees. I’m going to start to follow Tim and other community managers more closely.

Thanks to Tim for meeting up. I’m glad to be part of his community. And thanks for reading this and being part of mine.

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