In 2013, Community Managers are trending, both online, and their impact to their organizations and the customers, who they serve.
Community Managers are the most powerful group online
As professional online communicators, Community Managers are the most powerful group for 5 reasons: 1) Professionally trained 2) Access to top tools 3) Manage the largest social media accounts in world 4) Highly connected to each other, and 5) Their interactions with market are public, which resonate. I’m pleased to report that yesterday, on Jan 28th the Community Manager Appreciation tag (#CMAD) became a Twitter trending topic in at least Finland, France, and United States for over five hours.
Recognition of the Community Manager Role, Globally Known
Each year, Community Manager appreciation day grows in size and in location, this year I was stunned by the community involvement and market reaction. I heard comments that while in emerging markets there’s still justification required for the role, but within US, there’s already wide understanding and approval of this role within today’s modern company, both big and small. Last night, at the SF meetup whether or not CMs were the final decision maker for social tools and software, and depending on size of company, it could vary, however they often short-list the social business toolset for management and teams to analyze. While they often need to work with the Corporate Social Strategist, they’re internal influencers on how programs role out.
2014 CMAD Will Host A Theme to Advance the Career
Next year, in 2014, Community Manager Appreciation Day will be on Monday, Jan 27th. (It’s on the fourth monday, every Jan). We will discuss this year what the theme will be –beyond appreciation. While some markets still need awareness and justification of the role, developed markets are seeking to push the agenda and be forward moving. We’ll find a theme, announce it in Dec, and ask the industry to collectively move forward. It goes without saying, that appreciation doesn’t stop, but now that we’ve collectively raised awareness, let’s advance as one.
Here’s a wrap up of all the events that happened around the globe, and analysis on the online impact, from a number of social analytics tools. Please leave a note or URL in the comments, and I’ll update it.
Social Analytics Reports from Industry
A number of social analytics firms are running reports, I’ll cross link to all analysis and capture highlights here, it’s interesting to see the common data points and look at averages points and trends. It’s interesting that the various tools have roughly the same data frequency count.
||Provides a list of the top 1000 Community Managers
||Social graph heat maps finds influencers, see my take, see the Twitter list
|| Mid Day Capture Yields: 17.1 million impressions from 5,121 tweets… 3,096 mentions, 1,644 retweets, 381 @reply – #cmad
||Mid-day capture, not a full 24 hour run, but roughly matches other data sets
||10,004 Mentions, thanks Rich Schwerin for the URL.
||Can’t leave date range, so this report may phase out over time.
|Keyhole (report also in Spanish)
||17,548 tweets by 13,479 users
||Interesting tool. Showed hotspots in CA and NY, with Mashable as a major influencer
||16,628 Total Tweets. 8083 Total tweeters
||Shows keyword map, and analysis. Most active include jpedde, evanhamilton
||Shares that the hashtag was used 17.5K times
||Indicates most activity in United States
|NodeXL (Social Graph Analysis)
||This focused data set analyzes the interactions with the core graph during a period of time, shows Mashable at core.
||Several leaderboards on top URLs, and top tweeters, keywords used
|Salesforce Marketing Cloud (slides, also embedded below)
||24,000 conversations, most on Twitter, in English followed by Spanish
||Interesting how dominate Twitter is over FB and Blogs.
|UberVu (dashboard report)
||19k Tweets, 281 plusses on Google+, 256 posts on FB
||Interesting how the sentiment was overall good, at 43%
|| I’ll cross link
Above: UberVu has a dashboard of metrics
Above: Screenshot of Bluenod
Above Screenshot: NodeXL has a detailed visualization of the cmad social graph
Above Screenshot: Topsy
Above Screenshot, Keyhole
- There were multiple physical locations spanning SF, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Tokyo, France, Finland, and beyond, it’s difficult to track them all.
- Online events included a 12 hour Google Hangout, I watched a few hours, learned from global CMs, see videos
- Percolate hosted an all day event in NY for CMs
- At SF’s packed event, I spotted Bill Johnston’s with this clever shirt (pic)
- Of course, some CMs get their desks decorated, or cupcakes, flowers.
- Events in DC, at LivingSocial locale (pic)
- The Online Project in Jordan had an event, complete with banners, food
Media, Press, Blogs
Voices of Community Managers, and Shout Outs!
Technology Vendors and Innovators (alpha sorted)
Collection of 2013 Community Manager Day Artifacts
Above: Yammer Community Playbook
Above: Get Satisfaction provides insights for CMs
Above: Get Satisfaction provides infographic on the Hats of a Community
Collection of CM Advice via MarketWire
Uservoice has several clever CMAD cards. Ironic empathy makes me feel ok.
SocialFresh offers a helpful infographic with demographics and salary data
Please leave a comment below of any coverage I missed, I’ll add.
Update: Here’s a Wrapup of #CMAD 2013, which Trended.
Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, in celebration of saluting this important role changing the face of corporations and customers everywhere, I wanted to share original data and insights on the state of the space. Community Manager Day (#CMAD) is hosted globally every fourth Monday in Jan, I’ll do a wrap up post and cross-link for this fourth year. Why do Community Managers get their own day? Essentially, they serve customers every other day, so they should get a day of thanks to highlight how they’re changing the face of business, customer care, and our industry. Here’s key stats on the essential skills, requirements of community managers, as well who they follow the most on Twitter.
1) Top Required Skills of the Community Manager
Altimeter Group conducted analysis of 30 global job descriptions of Community Managers to ascertain patterns on job requirements and skills.
Above: Out of 30 Community Manager job descriptions, the most critical requested skills were writing ability (83%), customer relations in online channels in normal daily conditions (76%), and working with other departments (53%). Other critical skills included reporting, and providing feedback to product teams on innovations and improvements. A few of the requirements included passion/tact/clever people skills, as well as passion for the topic and vertical the CM was covering.
2) Top Tools of the Community Manager
Above: Interestingly, 43% requested that Community Managers to participate in social networks –not just online communities owned by the brand. The heritage of the term originated with online communities (before Facebook and Twitter were founded) but the job requirements now suggest that 43% of community manager roles must interact with customers wherever they go.
3) Top Experience Requirements of the Community Manager
Job Experience Requirements: Out of the 30 job descriptions, 13 (43%) required bachelor degrees, and a majority required that they have Years required about 2.5 – 3 years of experience in social/marketing/customer service. Additionally, 6 companies had a requirement that the community manager have 2.5 – 3 years of experience in the specific vertical which they were serving.
4) The Most Followed Community Managers are in America, Western Europe
If you’re seeking to reach community managers in person, you’ll find key global hotspots in East Coast US, Western Europe, and a scattering up and down the West US Coast. This represents the top 500 followed community managers (update: Little Bird has provided a method and list of top 1000 CMs), and is not representative of the thousands of total CMs in the entire industry.
5) Most Influential Community Practitioners
Long time friend, Marshall Kirkpatrick (RWW, now entrepreneur) provided me data on influential community managers in Twitter. While I’m not involved in creating his social analytics product, Little Bird they provide this service analysis to any topical community. By analyzing which Community Managers are most followed in Twitter by their peers, he generated a list. Here are the most followed (thereby highest potential of Influence) Community Managers followed by their peers. Caveat: I recognize that measuring influence can’t be a sole number, but the data provided is interesting on heat maps on a social graph.
Community Managers followed the following folks, who are mostly providing services, resources, information and guidance to other community managers. Out of the top 500 Community Managers on Twitter, the 5 most-followed by their peers are:
- Jenn Pedde (@JPedde) Community Strategist at 2U and Co-Founder of CmgrChat is followed by 74% of the top Community Managers on Twitter
- Blaise Grimes-Viort (@blaisegv) Head of Community Management & Social Media with @eModeration is followed by 66% of the top Community Managers on Twitter
- Rachel Happe (@rhappe) Principal at The Community Roundtable is followed by 64% of the top Community Managers on Twitter
- Jim Storer (@jimstorer) Founder of The Community Roundtable (like Rachel, above) is followed by 61% of the top Community Managers on Twitter
- Tim McDonald (@tamcdonald) Community Manager for @HuffPostLive is followed by 53% of the top Community Managers on Twitter
Yours truly (@jowyang), is followed by 43% of the top 500 CMs, thank you!
6) Most Influential Community Managers at Corporations followed Community Managers
The top 500 Community Managers followed the following corporate community managers the most:
- Maria Ogneva (@themaria) at Yammer (which is a social business vendor, kudos Maria)
- Lauren Vargas (@vargasl) at Aetna
- Paco Vázquez (@pakvazquez) at Telefónica
7) Top Software Vendors Followed by the top 500 Community Managers
The following are the most followed social software vendor corporate accounts (not personal accounts, like Maria) of the top 500 Community Managers. While just one data sample, this gives light to the mindshare owned by actual product users in the industry:
- Salesforce MarketingCloud (@marketingcloud) is followed by 26%
- Wildfire (@wildfireapp) 11%
- BuddyMedia (@buddymedia) 8%
- Lithium (@LithiumTech) 8%
- Cotweet (@cotweet) 8%
- Sprinklr (@Sprinklr) 6%
- Spredfast (@Spredfast) 6%
- Adobe Social (@AdobeSocial) 3%
- LiveWorld (@liveworld) 3%
- Involver (@involver) 2%
- Little Bird (@getlittlebird) 2%
- Oracle (@oracle) 1%
8 ) Most Influential European Community Managers
Out of the top 500 Community Managers in Europe, the ones most followed by their peers are:
- Camille Jourdain (@camj59)
- Christophe Ramel (@Kriisiis)
- Cédric DENIAUD (@cdeniaud)
- Flavien Chantrel (@moderateur),
- Jean-Luc Raymond (@jeanlucr)
- Isabelle Mathieu (@isabellemathieu).
9) Rising Stars in Community Manager Space
Globally, the most Emergent CMs this year, defined as new but already followed by a large number of other leaders in the field are:
- Hootsuite’s Laura Horak (@laurahoots)
- Rolando Cuevas (@cuevas_rolando) of Spain’s Community Next
- Mark Schwanke (@AdoptACM) formerly of Motorola Mobility
- Fer Rubio Ahumada (@FerRubioAhumada)
- Patricia Fernandez (@triciafernan)
10) Most Connected Community Managers
Globally, the CMs who are following the largest number of other top CMs on Twitter are:
- Nissim Alkobi (@nis519) at Payoneer
- James Baldwin (@TwistedEdge) of the International Game Developers Association
- Paulette Bleam (@paulettebleam) of stealth startup Sumazi
- Jim Storer (@jimstorer) of Community Roundtable
- Robyn Tippins (@duzins) of ReadWriteWeb
Summary: As the broader category of Social Business continues to proliferate around the globe, these day to day business programs will be staffed, run, and managed by Community Managers serving on the front line with customers, employees, and partners. This key role represents the shift to digital real time communications in the business workplace, and demonstrates the changing role of authentic and human customer interactions.
Credit to data analysis by Julie George of essential skills in data point 1-3.
It’s the third annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (every fourth Monday of Jan) and I’d like to salute the folks working on the front lines at companies big and small leading the charge.
These folks are critical in the change as companies have moved from the static website to the dynamic human focused social business we’re seeing across every agency.
Charged with the following four key responsibilities: a community advocate, brand evangelist, savvy online communicator, and involved in shaping future products and services they’ve got their hands full. This exciting new role is common at many companies within the social media team, see composition of a social media team, and how community managers fit in.
Yet despite the sexyness of the modern day community manager job, these roles aren’t just “playing on Facebook all day”. They’re plagued with dealing with customer issues after hours (the “burnout”) , and on weekends, learning to manage undesirable community members, and trying to balance the needs of customers and sometimes conservative corporations unwilling to lean towards social.
Despite the upsides, and challenges, there’s a bright future for this role, as they learn to measure based on business goals, tap into the emerging outsourcing service providers, and extend beyond marketing and support to helping define future products based on real-time customer feedback.
A salute to you, Community Managers!
How are today’s social media teams structured? Ever wonder who’s behind those corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts? Think there’s more to it than an intern just tweeting haphazardly?
This data, in the below graphic, is compiled from Altimeter’s recent survey to 144 global national corporations with over 1000 employees shows how today’s teams in 2011 are breaking down. This is the core team that operates the social media program within a corporation, often within corporate communications or a marketing function they will work with other business units. For very large corporations, they may be fragmented among many business units (the Dandelion model), and this data doesn’t even include agency, consultants, or even research firms who help out. Here’s what we found:
Finding: A Social Media Team Consists of Four Major Functions
While the team size may vary, it’s important to understand the components of a team. Also, it’s key to look at the ratios between the groups, so companies can know how to plan and budget. Although you can learn more about the specific titles here, among the responses, we found a trend of four key groups, segmented by:
- Leadership Team: We found 1.5 folks are focused on leadership and vision, the most common title is the Corporate Social Strategist, and we published a research report discussing the aspirations and challenges of this Open Leader, and how they organize internally. They are primarily focused on the overall program ROI, and are internally focused to drive business results. This role is a requirement, even if it’s a part time role.
- Business Unit Facing: Two folks are facing the business units (liason, education), and work inside of the company to help multiple business units from sales, support, products, field, execs get on board. Often they can be segmented by region (like Sarah Goodall, SAPs EMEA social strategist) and even by product units. These roles are key for coordinated scale, once the center of excellence has been established
- Market-Facing: Three three community managers are facing customers, and serve as a go-between to balance the needs between customers and the corporation, I’ve written at length about these important professionals, see all tagged posts. These units are key for customer interaction, but in the end cannot scale and will shift to advocacy or enable customers to respond to each other.
- Program Management: We found 4.5 are in program management (developers, analytics) that keep the ship growing by running programs often at the corporate level like the social media managers, the analyst that’s conducting reporting and brand monitoring programs, and lastly the developer teams, which get systems to work. As a corporate resources serving spokes, these roles are key, esp as data needs to be aggregated for business intelligence.
Applying This Data To Your Program
Averages are helpful, but only if we can apply this to your business, and because it’s not easy to publish about all the variations, here’s how to apply it to your business:
- Company size changes team headcount –yet ratios likely stay same. This is an average, so the changes of you having exactly 11 folks is not likely, chances are your company is larger or smaller than this average –and your team size will vary. In fact, this is often a cross-functional team, as a majority of companies are in the hub and spoke or dandelion models. In fact, if your company is smaller, you may be wearing multiple hats –but we should expect the ratios of the roles to roughly average out, all things equal.
- Mature programs shift to empowerment, changing team dynamic. We’ve sorted data by maturity in previous sample sizes, and know that in 2010 the team sizes were a little under 4 for novice, about 8 for intermediate, and could get up to 20 for mature programs, read the report on budgets and team sizes. You should expect similar modeling to occur in all corporations. Furthermore, we’ve seen trends that more advanced companies will have more business unit liasons to empower teams, and reduce their core community managers as the conversations move the edges of the company.
- If these teams are successful, they fade into the background. In the future, these teams will likely shrink, or evolve into customer experience teams. Know that the corporate social strategist will work themselves out of a job. Why? Business units will be able to operate their own programs without excessive oversight, following program guidelines, and using pre0-set best practices and sanctioned software systems. With that said, a core team will always be required, to coordinate the enterprise, but we predict this will evolve into a customer experience team (or back into the CX team)
Thanks to Christine Tran, Senior Researcher at Altimeter (and part-time tomato farmer) for work on surveying brands, analysis, and collating data for this graphic. If you’re in one of these teams, I would to hear from you, what your team size is, composition, in the comments below.
Update: Here’s a related graphic detailed the team roles and descriptions, all from the report on Social Business Readiness where the data above is from.
For seasoned or budding community managers, investing in a solid foundation of learning through an education program and becoming certified is a good investment –yet don’t think classroom time is sufficient, as time and experience in the field is the most important.
A Need for Capable Community Managers on the Rise
If there’s one thing I’ve been learning in my research it’s that corporations need skilled staff to use new media tools. Enter the Community Manager, part customer advocate, part product manager, part host, who tirelessly deals with customers online. In fact, Altimeter’s research indicates that budgets increase significantly for social media boutiques, and digital agencies as corporations become more advanced. Despite the increase in adoption from corporations, they are often ill-staffed, or throw traditional communicators into a new media mix –with poor results. Furthermore, we’re seeing a rise in out-sourced community management services, which raised quite the online conversation.
[As the Social Business Space Emerges, Education and Certifications Will Emerge --Yet Be Sure to Balance Your Team with Education --and Real World Experience]
WOMMA and Friends Launch Community Certificate Program
To meet the needs listed above, a group of very talented and experienced community professionals have teamed up with Womma to launch a certificate program with Community Roundtable and ComBlu, to aid education and standards across the industry. I chatted with Rachel Happe of Community Roundtable to learn that their focus provides:
“Our training helps organizations in three specific ways:
-It sets common expectations for individuals and companies about what individuals should know at different levels.
-It ensures that individuals are introduced to the issues and concepts that they will face over time.
-It consolidates learning so that individuals can more quickly ramp up and become productive contributors.”
I also like how they segment their classes for different roles: Community specialist, Community manager and the Community strategist. As this program grows it can certainly advance the industry, as well as the professionals involved in partaking in the offering.
Risks of Certs: Best Practices are Few and Far in Between
What’s one big challenge with certs? It’s hard to define best practices in a nascent space that may be just as much art as it is science. In fact, Dells’ Bill Johnston who’s leading their Community Strategy told me that “The inevitable downside will be a lack of standards. I’m assuming that every association or firm that is involved with social media / community will develop their own curriculum and standards” He also writes; “Further, certification without hands on training and mentoring is not going to help advance the practice of community management and development.”
Yet, Don’t Over Rely on Education –Real World Experience is Key
Like any trade or art, from sales, PR, performance arts and beyond, real-world experience is the most important teacher of all. Unlike black and white task orientated jobs, Community Management, and the art of dealing with dynamic humans, is as much of an art, as it is a science. I asked the CEO of Liveworld (who hires hundreds of Community Managers), Peter Friedman who says we should look broader; “The key is to get someone with the right personality, enthusiasm and skills. Experience counts too. Even if there were good CM certification programs around, I wouldn’t disqualify someone for not having such a certification. I’d look at the person’s other specifics” he also put certifcations into priority order: “For example a person with 5 years real CM experience is likely to be much stronger than a person with 1 year of experience and a certification”.
Hiring and Compensating your Community Manager
- Look for experience match against the Four Tenants of Community Managers. In 2007, I analyzed 16 job descriptions, and published the Four Tenants of the Community Manager and we found the following four job requirements: Community Advocate, Brand Evangelist, Savvy Communicator, and Shapes Product Roadmap. Your Community Managers should match these job needs, and have the relevant experience to boot. For example, Dell’s community strategist Bill Johnston told me he made his two hires (Connie Benson who’s written a post covering this topic, and Cy Jervis) based on “experience & impact” and cited both of their previous work.
- Ask them how they’re polishing their skills, beyond the day job. Although Community Managers are often social creatures, they could be working in a vaccum, and may be missing out on greater training or perspective. Ask them how they stay current on industry trends, as well as help them connect with their peers in groups like the Community Roundtable, and participating in online discussions such as the Twitter #cmgrchat tag. By bolstering skills and learning through education programs (like the Womma Certification), and see this older list by CM Roundtable.
- Reward them based on Business Impact. As orginizations invest in communities, they must serve business purposes from marketing, increasing adoption, self-support, or even using for innovating new products. Companies should measure based on the business impacts that these communities provide –not just raw engagement or community growth. I asked Evan Hamilton the Community Manager for UserVoice (which in itself a community) what he thought and he told me; ”I think employers should pay based on what their team members accomplish. I didn’t start in community management with any sort of training, but I deliver results for the companies I work for, and they pay me accordingly. Companies should always encourage employees to get more training…but they shouldn’t pay based on a piece of paper that says you’re good at something.” …well said.
The Bottom Line: The emerging Community Manager education and certifications are a good thing for all professionals –yet be sure to balance them out with peer to peer learnings, and real-world experience.
As we continue to conduct research in the social business arena, it’s important to point out the trends in the space. In particular, a role that is so key to success for customer engagement (marketing and service) is the challenging (and often under-appreciated) community manager role. Lately, I’ve found a few trends that community managers (and their bosses) need to be aware of, as the space continues to grow.
Third Party Community Management Specialists On The Rise:
Here’s what we’ve been seeing based on a few briefings and interactions I’ve taken in the past few months:
- Recently, I spoke to a group of community managers at Weber Shandwick (invited by Stephanie Agresta) a communications agency, they work closely with their clients and are often representing the brand on behalf of the client who is unable to scale with limited resources. They also offer an interesting service called Firebell which simulates crises in a safe environment.
- A few days ago, I was briefed by Cap Gemini who offers BPO (Business Process Outsourcing, a term I’ve found most on the marketing side don’t know), and they are partnered with Attensity (software) to provide community management services and support.
- While many community platforms offer CM services, Liveworld (client) has focus here and, is one of the seasoned mainstays in community management and offers services (and software) to brands that seek community management services on demand.
- I’ve been briefed by Sean O’Driscoll at Ant’s Eye View and they offer a range of services at the strategy level for their clients but also offers community management and analytics services.
- A few weeks back, Chief Strategy Officer Peter Kim from Dachis group briefed Altimeter on their various strategy, implementation services, including community management as a managed service.
Altimeter Data Shows Staff and Agency Spend Top Spends
If you look at Altimeter spending data in Social Business, we already see a significant amount of revenues going to internal staff as well as agency folks, and it’s interesting to see how boutique social media agencies overtake traditional agencies in spending, I’m seeing an increase of community management staff be on demand from agency and third party side.
Expect Emerging Markets to Offer BPO Services, Outsourcing Some Activities
Last year, I went out to Manila to meet with the local web, agency, and business groups, and met some folks who work within the established BPO industry, most of these companies are known to manage the overseas call centers that you speak to for customer support. While I found they were not ready for ‘social support’ I’m starting to get briefings and hearing how they are gearing up to move into outsourced community management. Based upon my experience, I see a range of Community Management services, I’m open to adding to this, based upon your feedback:
Matrix: Four Levels of Community Management Services:
||What it looks like
||Often behind the scenes, they lead the overall strategy of how customers fit into multiple business units. Often does reporting and responsible for return on investment.
||This activity is likely to stay within the corporation as they have understanding of business goals, and key relationships
|3) Brand Representation
||Represents the story of the brand (and of course that of customers) and is often a primary face of the company in online communities on an ongoing basis.
||Often within the corporation, sometimes this role is being held by agency partners, such as “Jenny at Axe” who was a full time Edelman employee.
|2) Member Response
||Responds to frequent product inquiries such as “Do you have this or that?” or “Does anyone know how to X”
||Often this is being served by a Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, or Customer service representative –all who have been trained and know where knowledge is. Like other customer service channels, expect more of this role to be shifted to third-parties.
|1) Moderation, Curation, Analytics
||Often behind the scenes, this group reviews content, and conducts triage for the content. They also may curate content and conduct basic reporting.
||Frequently, I’m hearing these skills are being leveraged by outsourced providers as they have minimal impact to customer relationships, I expect this to continue
Expect A Change in Community Management Sourcing:
The one constant of business is that it is always changing. Due to weak financial markets and inability for most to measure social business, scrutiny of resources is always top of mind, as a result, expect the following trends:
- An increase in offerings of community management services from “emerging” markets. While in many cases, I’ve found that community managers are often in the brand or agency side that are close to the corporate HQ, expect to see an increase of service providers from Philippines, India, and perhaps in South America. They’ve over a decade of experience managing customer service operations for brands on channels like phone –and can benefit to use channels accents won’t be a distraction to the customer experience.
- Brands to continue to outsource some community manager activities –while strategic skills stay in house. Expect that brands will outsource activities such as moderation/curation and often reporting, and rely on knowledge workers who have specific product information or key client relationships to stay close to the brand. In the case of a few companies who enter the “holistic” formation, they will enable thousands of employees to respond –spreading the role across the company.
- Backlash from embedded community managers –yet savvy will “skill up” now. While we see that the number of social media accounts a brand has to manage on the rise (data), this trend won’t be met without opposition, in fact, many voiced their concern on my Google+ page how outsourcing key relationships between brands and customers is what gets companies into hot waters in the first place. Yet, I expect many community managers to move into high echelon activities such as community programming on the content side, reporting and analytics, and learning to manage outsourced teams.
While I’m no longer in a community role (I used to be on brand side for social media), I wanted to provide my perspective from my vantage point. Lastly, remember that Community Manager Appreciation Day is every fourth Monday in Jan, every year (this coming Monday, Jan 24th 2012), and should be used to celebrate all community managers, whether on brand side, agency, or outsourced.
Update: Taking a briefing from Crowdflower that have some of these services, but it must go through their platform and API. They do crowdsourced BPO
Update Jan 7, 2011: I am no longer updating this list, instead, find the more updated list for 2011 for Corporate Social Strategists.
As an industry watcher, I look at trends, data, spending, technologies, yet what’s really important is watching the trend of professionals as they grow into these roles managing disruptive technologies. Update: Brian Hayashi has created a spreadsheet of this with additional info –like Twitter handles. We’re staying coordinated so the data is matched, follow Brian on Twitter.
[Connecting with customers using social technologies is deceptively challenging, as most outsiders don't recognize the leadership to change internal cultural. Now, in public, let's recognize those who are paving the way]
Methodology: About this List
This 2010 list is an update from the original I started in 2008, it was woefully out of date as people moved around. This list is updated, as I’ve separated the large technology section in HW vs SW and am only linking to LinkedIn accounts.
A majority of this data is based off submissions in the 2008 post, which most which are self-submissions or from their fellow colleagues and we only link to their already public profile in LinkedIn for verification. We’ve spend days compiling this data, but due to the content ever changing, we expect there to be some inaccuracies, leave a comment if you see something that needs fixing. Thanks to Sonal Mehta a student at American University who I’ve hired helped me in this research.
Read Carefully: How to get on this List
In a world of noise, curation becomes very valuable, as a result, there are very specific requirements for this list, which include: 1) You must have a public LinkedIn profile page, as this is one of the best way to verify employment. 2) The profile indicates that social media is part of your full time employee role at the corporation–not just for personal or casual use. 3) You must work at an enterprise class corporation with more than 1000 employees, 4) Must be on brand side 5) You’ll kindly leave a comment below with the submission for review. Due to excess volume, submissions by Twitter and emails or other channels will not be included, kindly leave a comment in this centralized area below.
In an effort to keep information in a tight scope, I’m not able to include folks who are doing great work in other sectors. However, if you decide to create a list for other sectors, I’ll prominently link to it from this post. Update: Here’s a growing list for non-profits.
Sign Up For Upcoming Free Report: Skillset of the Social Media Strategist
The Altimeter Group is developing a free research report, on “Skillsets of Social Media Strategists” and will identify the attributes, backgrounds, experience of this emerging role, if you’re interested in receiving a copy, please register on this form. We will use portions of the data found in this post for the research report, so thanks for helping to update it.
Social Media Strategists at Corporations
The strategist is a program manager, who mainly focuses internally rather than being the external public face like the community manager. They are primarily responsible for resources, processes, teams, they are usually internally focused and ultimately, return on investment.
- Corey Mull, Social Media Strategist, Marketing Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board
- Matt Anchin, Senior Vice President, Digital Communications, The Nielsen Company
- Michele Frost, Director, Web Marketing, Forrester Research
- David Thomas, Strategist Social Media Manage, SAS
- James Davidson Web Strategist, Interactive Marketing, Manpower
- Collin Douma, Vice President Social Media at Proximity Worldwide
- Debbie Curtis-Magley, Public Relations, UPS
- Tiffany Monhollon Wilson, Communications & Social Media Manager Express Employment Professionals
- Aneta Hall, Social Media Marketer, Pitney Bowes
- Donna Tocci Director, Web/New Media at Ingersoll Rand
- Michael Palko, Manager, Solution Education Programs at The Healthcare Business of Thomson Reuters
- Jaimee Clements, Senior Online Product Manager, eBusiness at AAA NCNU
- Eran Barak Community and social media strategist SVP, Global Head of Community Strategy at Thomson Reuters
Consumer Product Goods
- Philippe Borremans, Chief Social Media Officer, Van Marcke Group
- Eric J. Oliver Director, Digital Brand Communications Converse, Inc.
- Jordan Williams, Manager of Digital Engagement, REI
- Dave Knox Strategist Brand Manager, Digital Business Strategy, Procter & Gamble
- Bonin Bough strategist Director of Digital and Social Media, PepsiCo
- Michael Donnelly Group Director, Worldwide Interactive Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company
- Jennifer Cisney Chief Blogger and Social Media Manager, Eastman Kodak
- Jim Deitzel Sr. eMarketing Manager, Newell Rubbermaid
- Bert DuMars Vice President E-Business & Interactive Marketing Newell Rubbermaid
- Paul Banas Senior Category Insights Manager at Kraft Foods
- Rick Mahn, Social Media Strategist, Land O’Lakes
- Marisa Thalberg VP, Global Digital Marketing at The Estee Lauder
- Marco Roncaglio, Director of Strategy and Planning. On-line at Philips
Electronics, Devices, Mobile
- Ken Hittel, Vice President, Corporate Internet Dept. New York Life Insurance Co.
- Allan Schoenberg strategist Director, Corporate Communications at CME Group
- Ben Foster Strategist, Senior Strategy and Content Manager – Social Networking, Allstate Financial
- Ken Burbary strategist Advisory Services Ernst & Young
- Alan Edgett Sr. Director, Digital Strategy & Innovation Experian (FTSE)
- Scott K. Wilder, GM – Online Communities / Social Media, Intuit
- Matthew Lehman, Web Experience Director, Progressive Insurance
- Ed Terpening, VP Social Network Marketing, Wells Fargo
- Christine Morrison Roszak, Social Media Marketing Manager, Intuit
- Annalie Killian, Director Innovation, Communication, & Collaboration, AMP Ltd
- Shawn Morton, Director of Mobile, Social and Emerging Media, Nationwide Insurance
- Zena Weist, Director of Social Media, H&R Block
- Stacy Gratz, Social Media Marketing Manager, American Express
- Steve Furman, Director, Design, Customer Experience and Social Media at Discover Financial Services
- David Meiselman, Director of Digital/Web Strategy, The Hanover Insurance Group
- Brian England, Marketing Manager, Social Media Strategist, Western Union
- Jennefer Meyer, VP Social Media Strategies, BBVA Compass
- Rhonda Sloan, Associate Director – PR, Web and Online Strategies, American General Life Companies
- Suzanne Stull, Social Media & Brand Manager, E-Business, Discover Financial Services
- Keith Paul, Online Experience Specialist, MassMutual Financial Group
Health and Life Sciences
- Ryan Squire, Social Media Program Director, Ohio State University Medical Center
- Bob Stanke Community Manager, Interactive Community Manager | Social Marketing Strategist Life Time Fitness
- Shwen Gwee, Lead New Media Communications, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
- Marcus Frank, Director of User Experience & Digital Strategy Lockheed Martin, National Cancer Institute Contract
- Charlie Schick, Sr Media Producer, Children’s Hospital Boston
- Lee Aase, Communications Manager, Mayo Clinic
- Bob Hazlett Internet E-Marketing Liaison at ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Greg Matthews Consumer Innovation, Humana
- Holly Potter VP Public Relations, Kaiser Permanente
- Erin Macartney, Public Affairs Specialist/Social Media, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Vince Golla, Director, Digital Media and Syndication, Kaiser Permanente
- Keith Boswell Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Kaiser Permanente
- Erin Macartney’s, Public Affairs Specialist/Social Media Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Nick Dawson, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Bon Secours Health System
Hospitality, Food Service
- Paul Dillon Head of Digital Communications Mondial Assistance Group
- Vanessa Sain-Dieguez, Social Media Strategists, Hilton
- Virginia Suliman, Vice President – Websites, Hilton
- Cassandra Imfeld Jeyaram, Social Marketing and Promotions Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group
- Kara Imai Senior Director, Online Marketing at Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
- Pamela Naumes Web/Interactive Marketing, The Cheesecake Factory
- John B. Moore Social Media Administrator, B and B Hospitality Group
- Shannon McDowell, Director, Website Management & Communication, Hilton Worldwide
- Gavin Baker, Social Media Manager, Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
- Diana Plazas, Director, Doubletree Online Marketing at Hilton Hotels Corporation
Government, Armed Services, Education
- Christina Whitlock, Social Media Management, Supervisor, Marine Corps Recruiting
- Kevin Jones, Social Media Manager, NASA / SAIC
- Scott McIlnay, Director, Emerging Media Integration at Dept. of the Navy, Office of Information, U.S. Navy
- Mike Boehmer, Senior public relations specialist Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services
- Sonny Gill, Online Marketing and Social Media Strategist, DeVry University
- Sherri Maxson Director, Digital Marketing at DeVry University
Media and Entertainment
- Brett Rudy Director, Strategic Consulting, Epsilon
- Andrew D. Nystrom, Sr. Producer, Social Media + Emerging Platforms, The Los Angeles Times
- Charles Miller Director, Digital Care/Social Media Strategy DIRECTV, Inc.
- Michael Hall Director of NESN.com New England Sports Network
- Jason Richman Director, Digital Product Strategy & Development NBC Universal
- Laurent Courtines Community Manager AOL , Games.com
- Dan Thornton Digital Marketing Manager, Absolute Radio
- EM Stock Studio Community Lead, Paragon Studios
- Amy Worley, Vice President of Marketing, Andrews McMeel Publishing
- Jessica Berlin Social Media Manager at Cirque du Soleil
- Robert Michael Murray Vice President, Social Media, National Geographic Society
- Casie Stewart, Digital Marketing Coordinator, MuchMusic & MTV, CTV
- Kelly Owen, Social Media Manager and Strategist with SPEED Channel, Inc, Fox
- Tom Fishman, Manager, Social Media & Community at MTV Networks
- Natalie Malaszenko, Director of Social Media & Commerce, PETCO
- Winnie Hsia Social Media Specialist Whole Foods Market
- Barry Judge strategist CMO, Best Buy
- Tracy Benson, Digital / Interactive & Emerging Technologies at Best Buy
- Denise Garciano, Social Media Manager, PacSun
- Gary Koelling Director Emerging Media Technology, Best Buy
- Stephanie Pike, Director, eCommerce Product Development Sears Holdings Corporation
- Vanina Delobelle, Manager, eCommerce Product Management at Sears Holdings Corporation
- Ed Gawronski VP, Digital Marketing, Kohls
- Daniel Giordan, Creative Director, Social Commerce Sears Holdings Corp
- Alexandra Wheeler, Digital Strategy , Starbucks
Technology, Hardware, Networking, Component, Computer
- Bill Johnson, Head of Global Community at Dell
- Todd Shimizu Director of Communities, Juniper Networks
- Brendan Lewis Director, Corporate Social Media Relations, Juniper Networks
- Len Devanna, Director Web Strategy & Operations, EMC
- Gunjan Rawal, World-wide Marketing Manager, Intel Software Network
- John Earnhardt, Senior Manager, Global Media Operations Cisco Systems
- LaSandra Brill Sr Manager, Digital & Event Marketing at Cisco Systems
- Richard Binhammer Senior Manager, Dell
- Dave Mastronardi Product Manager / Implementation Architect, Raytheom
- Bill Pearson Manager, Intel Software Network Intel Corp
- Aaron Tersteeg Community Manager Intel Corporation
- Bryan Rhoads Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist Intel Corporation
- Amy Barton, New Media Communications Manager Intel Corporation
- Bob Duffy, Social Media Strategist Intel Corporation
- Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Global Communications Intel Corporation
- Adam Christensen, Social Media Communications Manager IBM
- Jeanette Gibson, Director, New Media, Cisco Systems
- Amie Throndson, Social Media Manager, Dell Inc
- Angela LoSasso Global Social Media Strategy and Programs, Hewlett-Packard
- Deirdre Walsh, Community and Social Media Manager, National Instruments
- Annie Rodkins, Program Manager Intel Corporation
- Kelly Ripley Feller, Social Media Strategist, Sales & Marketing Group, Intel
- Adam Gartenberg, Program Director, Information Management Marketing and Strategy IBM
- Chris James, Social Media Strategist, Advanced Micro Devices
- Todd Watson Social Media and Search Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group IBM
- Jamie Pappas Manager, Social Media Strategy, EMC Corporation
- Colleen Swanger Director, Graphics and Digital Marketing, NCR
- Tony “Frosty” Welch Lead Social Media Strategist and Community Manager : Personal Systems Group, HP
- Tawnee Kendall Social Media Manager, Creative Labs
- Amy Paquette, Sr. Manager, New Media Communications, Cisco
- Zoya Fallah, Social Media Manager, SP Video, Cisco Systems
- Colleen Seery, Social Media & Customer Relationship Marketing, ECI Telecom
- Frank Days, Director, New and Social Media, Novell
- Stephanie Marx, Social Media & Web Marketing, Cisco Systems
- William Robb, Social Media Marketing, Cisco
- Steven Lazarus, Lead Strategist, Social Media & Interactive Marketing for SOA and WebSphere Software, IBM
Technology, Software, Internet
- Kristy Bolsinger, Social Media Marketing Strategist, RealNetworks
- Matt Hicks Manager, Corporate Communications, Facebook
- Diane Davidson Sr. Manager of Customer Success and Community Program Cisco, the WebEx Technology group
- Steven Tedjamulia, Sr. Product Manager Open Text, Vignette Corporation
- Anton Chiang Marketing Programs Manager, Web Communities and Social Media Juniper Networks
- Alison Bolen Editor, sascom magazine and sascom voices blog, SAS
- Marilyn Pratt Community Evangelist SAP Labs
- Lacy (Doolin) Kemp, Social Media Communications Specialist RealNetworks
- Marty Collins Group Marketing Manager Microsoft
- Mark Yolton Senior Vice President – SAP Community Network SAP
- Brian Ellefritz strategist Sr. Director, Social Media Marketing SAP
- Holly Valdez Marketing Programs Manager Cisco WebEx
- Rick Reich Sr. Mgr, Social Media & Technologies Citrix Systems
- Maria Poveromo, Group Manager, Social Media, Adobe Systems
- Brian Watkins, Social Media Manager, Formerly Omniture, Adobe Systems
- Shashi Bellamkonda Social Media Swami Network Solution
- Natalie Hanson Director, Global Business Operations SAP
- Steve Bendt strategist Sr Marketing Manager Social Media Microsoft
- Lorna Li SEO & Social Media Marketing Manager Salesforce.com
- David Kim Grp Manager, Online Marketing and Communities Symantec
- Karen Snyder New Media Program Manager Verisign
- Fred “Fritz” Alberti Director of Social Media Salem Web Network
- Vishal Ganeriwala Sr. Manager Citrix Ready Program Citrix Systems
- Peter Parkes, Social Media Communications Lead at Skype
- Valeria Maltoni’s, Director, Marketing Communications SunGard Availability Services
- Betsy Aoki Sr. Program/Product Manager, Social Media, Microsoft Bing
- Kira Scherer Wampler Word of Mouth/Social Marketing Leader, Small Business Division at Intuit
- Marcus Nelson, Director of Product Marketing, Salesforce.com
- Michael Procopio, Social Media Strategist, HP Software
- Karen Wickre, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Google
- Gurmeet Dhaliwal VP, Internet Marketing at CA (formerly Computer Associates)
- Justin Kistner, Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing, Webtrends
- Winton “Sonny” Adcock, Program Manager, Social Media & Customer Channel for Technical Support, Intel Corp
- Jamie Grenney Sr. Director of Social Media at Salesforce.com
- Lynn R. Girotto, Sr.Director at Microsoft, Bing, Exchange, Mobile
- Brian Kling, Social Media Manager, Autodesk
- Kirsten Watson Director, Corporate Marketing, Kinaxis
Community Managers at Corporations
The community manager is primarily externally facing, and interacts with customers as the public face of the company. They are primarily customer advocates, evangelists, bloggers, community moderators, and experts at using social technologies to communicate. We honor them every fourth Monday of January on Community Manager Appreciation Day. To keep the focus tight, this list is only of corporate community managers, and not those on contract at community platform vendors or service companies on contract.
Government, Armed Services, Education
Hospitality and Travel
Electronics, Devices, Mobile
Technology, Hardware, Networking, Component, Computer
Technology, Software, Internet
- Ryan Sommer, Marketing and Community Manager, Hellotxt
- Linda Skrocki Community Manager Linda Skrocki Sun Microsystems
- Justin Kestelyn Senior Director, Oracle Technology Network & Developer Programs Oracle
- Robyn Tippins Community Manager, Yahoo! Developer Network Yahoo!
- Erica Kuhl Sr. Community Manager, Salesforce.com Community Salesforce.com
- Craig Cmehil Community Evangelist SDN
- Kellie Parker Community Manager, Sega
- Rachel Luxemburg Group Manager Developer Relations Adobe Systems
- Jon Mountjoy Community Manager & Editor-In-Chief Salesforce.com
- Scott Jones Manager, SAP EcoHub Content Operations SAP Labs
- Jeff Sandquist, Senior Director Platform Evangelism, Microsoft
- Melissa Daniels, Sr. Community Manager at Yahoo!
- John Troyer, Sr Manager, Communities at VMware, Inc
- Heather Champ, Director of Community at Flickr, Yahoo!
- Marilyn Jaynes, Y! Answers Community Manager, Yahoo!
- Brenda Law, Shine Community Manager, Yahoo!
- Elsa Chang Community Manager at Yahoo!
- Ben Gaines, Community Manager, Adobe Systems
- Erica Leep, Community Manager, RightNow
Social Media Researchers and Social Media Product Managers at Corporations
When I started this list in 2008, I didn’t have a specific slot for researchers and product managers who are creating these products. These roles are not folks who are using the technologies for marketing, support, or other business use cases (end users) but instead are researching and creating the products that the above professionals will use in their jobs.
I’m passionate about what these folks do, as I, myself, was a strategist/community manager at an enterprise corporation a few years ago. Update: Thanks to Altimeter’s Andrew Jones for the assistance on the updates.
Every fourth Monday of January, let’s take the time to pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.
Passionate About Customers
The title matters not, whether it’s online customer advocate, online customer support, company evangelist, disgruntled customer handler. Instead, focus on what they do: A customer advocate willing to help regardless of where they are online. Learn more by reading the Four Tenants of Community Managers.
Yet, Community Managers Don’t Have it Easy
Yet despite their admirable intentions, we know they face several uphill challenges:
- Many challenges are internal: Most companies want to hide customer issues, and shuffle them into existing support systems. Additionally, measuring ROI in new media when a company wants to keep the kimono shut, increasingly becomes a challenge.
- Seemingly never ending job: Customers never stop having problems, and with the global internet, the questions, complains, and inquires never stop.
- Emotional drain impacts lifestyle: The sheer emotional strain of dealing with a hundreds of yelling customers and the occasional trouble maker will take a strain on anyone.
- Privacy risks in the world of transparency: In an effort to build trust with customers, they expose their real name exposing their personal –and family– privacy forever on.
Now, Recognize A Community Manager, Every 4th Monday of January
While we agree with common manners to always thank someone after they’ve helped you, just take a moment to pause.. and think. Why would someone willingly go through the above mentioned challenges? Because of their passion to improve the company, and help customers have a better relationship. In many cases, a genuine ‘thank you’ can mean more than a yearly customer satisfaction survey. Take the time to recognize and thank the community manager that may have helped you while you during your time of need.
- If you’re a customer, and your problem was solved by a community manager be sure to thank them in the medium that helped you in. Use the hashtag #CMAD.
- If you’re a colleague with community manager, take the time to understand their passion to improve the customer –and company experience. Copy their boss.
- If you’re a community manager, stop and breathe for a second, and know that you’re appreciated. Hug your family.
This isn’t just about a single role, but a bigger trend of making product and services more efficient, and thereby our world a little bit more efficient and sustainable. The comments are wide open if you wanted to share your experience working with community manager, or as one, feel free to thank them below.
Supported by Bill Johnston, Connie Benson, Rachel Happe, Jake McKee, Sean O’Driscoll, Lane Becker, Dawn Foster, Thor Muller, Amy Muller and Jeremiah Owyang, as we recognize and salate community managers!
HRZone recognizes Becky Midgley
Jake McKee says this is (just about) the loneliest job
Bill Johnston, recognizes community managers
Amy Muller, Get Satisfaction contemplates where community management is and where it’s heading.
Amy also asks the community to showcase her community management heros.
Dawn Foster asks if you’ve thanked your community manager today.
Dawn shouts out to community managers.
Sam reasons why the community manager role is essential.
Connie Benson, a great friend, shouts out to community managers.
Rachel Happe gives reasons why we should pause and thank community managers
Connie Bensen of Alterian sent me this screenshot of mentions
I’m a former community manager, and many of my friends are currently in this role, and I want to make sure they are armed with the right knowledge to succeed during hard times –I know some of them may get laid off.
Community Managers are at risk of being let go
During a recession, we know that marketing, sometimes new media and unknown expenses get cut. Unfortunately, to some, the Community Manager role may sit in all three of those areas of scrutiny. Although I’ve been tracking quite a few Community Managers working at enterprise class companies, they must quickly learn to measure, and demonstrate ROI or risk getting cut.
Community Managers must educate stakeholders and management.
Measurement depends on which objective they are trying to solve, so I’ll break it down into specific objectives and tasks. During incidents the community manager should report in real-time to key stakeholders. Secondly, they should provide weekly updates that can be quickly scanned in 30 seconds to community managers. Each month, they should provide a detailed report, and initiate a 30-60 minute meeting with key stakeholders to discuss changes.
Among these changes they should measure:
Improvement in marketing efficiency
Community Managers should measure increased speed from word of mouth or marketing awareness, the best way to measure this is time from awareness to close –or spread of WOM. This could also include increase understanding of customers (listening) for marketing research, or warning stakeholders about potential detractors before they become real issues. Unfortunately, these metrics aren’t valued as much as the next two, so focus accordingly.
Reduction in support costs
The bottom line is always important to business, so if you can measure a decrese in customers going to physical stores, emailing account reps, or calling the support center as they instead rely on community to help self-support themselves, you can start to put dollar costs on this actual community savings.
Actual improvement to sales
This matters most. Community Managers should start to measure how clicks from community directly impact ecommerce, go to product pages (perhaps if you’re B2B) or to affiliate marketing to demonstrate how community interaction increases revenue. If you can demonstrate this (like Dell’s million dollar sales in Twitter) tout this loudly to management.
Conduct additional research
If you’re like most companies, layoffs are coming, therefore Community Managers must educate the powers that be the value that they offer when it comes to customer service and support. Rather than focus purely on the role that they have, they should demonstrate the overall of the community –then discusss why a role is needed (like a physical store manager) in order to keep it running smoothly. Consider running quarterly surveys that measure Net Ratings or customer satisfaction, and don’t forget to quote qualitative responses from community members themselves, there’s nothing like a pure customer testimonial about why they are customers.
If you’ve other tips for Community Managers during a recession, leave a comment below.
Update: Bill Johnston has some additional tips you should read, he also left a comment below.
I started out my social media career as a community manager, and can see why several community managers have expressed some concerns about our over connected world. It seems that some of them are cursed with the very technology that gets them paid.
You see, some community managers have a hard time separating their personal and their professional lives. In some cases, I’ve heard that the members of the communities they serve become so comfortable with them as a social contact that they send them friend requests in Facebook, (where some community managers may have personal and family info) follow their tweets, and connect with them in many ways.
As a result, the work of the community manager is never done, they’re now completely connected to the community they serve. While sure, an effective for way to build trust and really know your community at work, this leaves very little personal space. In some cases, I’m sure that community managers will get requests in Facebook to solve issues, or take feedback, as well as exposing their personal life to their customers.
Perhaps one of the most scary cases are those of troublemaker community members that become so livid when they are reprimanded or removed from a community that they seek personal revenge against the community manager, and are able to find out way more information than any phone support person would have supplied.
As a result, expect community managers to create more than one personal identity, withhold personal information, and potentially suffer from burnout or frustration at work and at home. These are the challenges of being connected to the community you serve –even during off hours.
Love to hear from the community managers out there, what are the other hazards of the job?