Marshall poses the question (and does analysis and conducts informal interviews) do startups need Community Managers? He points to my growing list of enterprise class companies who are adopting these roles, but we should also examine the startup.
First of all, if you don’t know what a community manager is, start with these four tenants on my blog, or read the Forrester report (aimed towards corporate, not startups) how to staff for social computing.
An excellent piece, but let’s step it up and look at the bigger question, for startups, corporations, or mid sized companies. The real question to ask is “Should companies engage customers and prospects in a collaborative nature online”. The answer? “it depends”.
Marshall’s post gleans opinions from those that agree and disagree with the notion, all of them make sense, and I’m sure I’d agree that you don’t always need one. For example, the cash strapped company, having a dedicated role to manage community relations is costly, especially when you’re trying to get the next product iteration out. Another thought is that for small startups, nearly everyone is doing community relations, it’s not one specific role. Lastly, a few reasons why it doesn’t make sense is if there is no social aspect to your product, if it’s just being consumed, and no one has questions or needs to develop or share it with others (a component part perhaps) they the need to have relations doesn’t make sense.
Of course there are lots of considerations, Dawn lists out others, for some financial companies this may be a challenge due to legal restrictions (although Mint had Damon Billian as the community manager for some time). But taking a look at most startups (as to how Marshall is referring to them) he’s often asking about the web startups.
[Should Startups Have Community Managers? It depends, use this informal scorecard to conduct self-analysis and to trigger an internal discussion]
Startups are unique compared to large funded corporations, so, let’s list out when it makes sense and when it doesn’t using this scorecard
Add Positive Points. Startups should have a community manager when:
You should tally check marks as “+1″ for each of these:
Score one point if the startup has a thriving online discussion around their product
Score one point if the startup has a thriving discussion around the “lifestyle” that the product provides (different from above)
Score one point if the startup has an online web product or service
Score one point if the startup wants to improve products from direct customer feedback
Score one point if the startup’s business model requires third party developers to help growth
Score one point if the startup has a competitor with a community
Score one point if the startup has a strong product in the market and is ready for mass adoption
Score one point if the startup has a competitor that has a community manager role
Score one point if customers are ‘banging at the door’ with questions, suggestions from forums, blogs, and other resources.
Score one point if your customers are specifically asking for a community manager
Tally your positive score
Subtract Points. Startups should NOT have a community manager for the following scenarios
You should tally check marks as “-1″ for each of these:
Minus one point if the startup is in stealth mode and the product isn’t yet revealed
Minus one point if the startup is small enough where everyone can participate
Minus one point if no one interacts with your existing products, or perhaps it’s quickly consumed and not discussed
Minus one point if the startup is small enough where every employee can act as community liaisons
Minus one point if the startup if there is no current online discussion at the “lifestyle” level
Minus one point if the startup’s product is failing and all resources should be focused on building the product
Minus one point if the product can be supported by the community at a 95% or greater threshold
Minus TWO points if the startup’s management and the orginization is not prepared to take in community feedback to make changes.
Tally your negative score
= combine positive and negative points
Next: Conduct your own self-analysis and have an internal (and external) discussion
If you can suggest other additions or subtractions, leave a comment below. First, put yourself in the seat of the CEO or COO, does this make business sense?
I’m not going to give you a single number where a startup should or should not hire a community manager, as I think there are internal factors that will set each companies ‘go or no go’ threshold number, but instead, use this checklist as an internal discussion point and conduct your own self-analysis.
If you’re interested in jobs for this space, please read the “on the move” posts.
Understanding how companies staff, organize, and prepare for social media/computing is one of my top interests personally and professionally. Having been a former Online Community Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, I want to make sure companies do it right. I’m often asked which companies have one of the two emerging roles, (companies love to benchmark against their peers) so I’ve decided to start a list, not only to back my research, but also for those wanting to show to their companies “hey this is starting to happen for real”.
The first role is the Social Computing Strategist, the second is the Community Manager, although the titles vary, and sometimes it’s a part-time function, there’s clearly a trend as corporations staff.
It’s important to note, that in the end, these skills (the ability to communicate online) will disperse and grow to many employees. Generation Y comes to us with these abilities built it as a “digital natives”– yet the need to organize will still occur, it’s a knee jerk reaction to every corporation.
This list, which I realize is going to be a lot of work, will be an ongoing index of these professionals, I will only do this for a limited time (probably till end of 2008, or until I can’t scale).
Unlike a wiki, I will be vetting this list to ensure quality. Kindly leave a comment but first read the requirements:
1) This is your full time (and current) job even if you have a variation on the title –you are not a consultant. Sure, you do more than social media alone, but the organization realizes you’re on point as the expert.
2) You’re at a large corporation, in fact, a Fortune 5000 company, or you’ve over 1,000 employees. I can easily list out thousands of community managers at startups, but I’m trying to demonstrate how large corporations are moving forward.
3) Provide reference: You must provide your title, and a link to your blog/profile/linkedin that indicates your role and title, perhaps a post that announced your title or intentions.
4) Indicate which role you are, a Strategist (inward focused) Community Manager (externally focused), or Research of Product focused (developing a social media product/service for sale)
5) This is primarily for external efforts with customers and prospects –not internal
6) If you do not meet the requirements to meet this list, you can create your own, and I’ll prominently link to it. Update: April 2009, Ted has created a list for community managers that focus on internal communities.
I’ve you’re a social media professional (at a smaller company, agency, startup) I’ve a list for everyone on my “on the move” posts.
Ongoing List of Social Computing Strategists at Enterprise Corporations
The Social Media Strategist, whose job is to lead the internal charge, develops the program, gains resources, convinces management, and measures success.
Key differentiator for this group? They are primarily internally focused program managers.
Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Global Communications Group at Intel Corporation
Bob Pearson, Vice President, Communities & Conversations at Dell
Chris James’s Experience, Social Media & Community Strategist, Advanced Micro Devices
Gunjan Rawal, Worldwide marketing manager at Intel Software Network
Adam Christensen, Social Media Manager, IBM Corporation
Bryan Rhoads, Sr. Digital Strategist at Intel Corporation
Brian Ellefritz, Sr. Mgr, Social Media Marketing at Cisco Systems
Todd Watson, Social Media and Search Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group
Rawn Shaw, CoE Lead – Social Software Programs & Enablement at IBM
Vanina Delobelle, Global Product Director, Monster
Jeanette Gibson, Director of New Media, Cisco Systems
Karen Snyder, New Media Program Manager, Verisign
Marc Sirkin, Sr. Marketing Manager – The Microsoft CIO Network at Microsoft
LaSandra Brill, Manager, Web & Social Media Marketing at Cisco Systems
Tac Anderson, Social Media – CRM – Search, HP
Adam Gartenberg, Team Lead, Social Marketing Initiatives at IBM
Christopher Haro’s Experience, Social Media Manager, Premiere Global Services
Justin Kestelyn, OTN Editor-in-Chief, Oracle
Richard Binhammer, Senior Manager, Dell
Deanna Bell, New Media Program Manager, Cisco
Dave Mastronardi, Program Manager / Implementation Architect at Raytheon
Jamie Pappas, Social Media Strategist, Evangelist, and Enterprise Community Manager, EMC
Michael Brito, Global Social Media Manager, Intel
Annie Rodkins, Social Media Manager, Intel
Lorna Li, Web Marketing Manager , Social Networking & Social Media, SalesForce
Kelly Colgan, Media Relations Specialist, Schneider Electric
Dan Schawbel, Social Media Specialist, EMC
Bob Duffy, Senior Social Media Strategist, Intel
Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President, SAP Community Network, SAP
Steve Mann, GVP, Social Media & Customer Experience Strategy, SAP
Bob Duffy, Senior Social Media Strategist, Intel
Fred “Fritz” Alberti, Senior Manager of Social Media, Salem Communications
Tilly McLain, Community Manager, MyBlogLog, Yahoo
Diane Davidson, Sr. Manager of Customer Success and Community Program, Cisco, the WebEx Technology group
Rick Reich, Sr. Mgr, Social Media & Technologies, Citrix Systems
Rachel Makool, Sr. Director, Community Development, eBay
Mark Squires, Head of Social Media Communications, Nokia
Marcie Cohen, Sr. PR Manager, Sony Electronics
Cassandra Jeyaram, Social Marketing Manager for InterContinental Hotels Group
Chris Barger, Director, Global Communications Technology, General Motors
Scott Monty, Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company
Christopher Barger, GM Director of Global Communications Technology, General Motors
Sylvia Marino, Executive Director Community & Social Media Operations, Edmunds.com Inc.
Paula Berg, Public relations specialist, Nuts about Southwest Blog, Southwest Airlines
Brian Lusk, Manager Customer Communication, Nuts about Southwest Blog, Southwest Airlines
Morgan Johnston, Manager Corporate Communication, JetBlue Airways
Alma Dayawon, Electronic Communications Manager, The Boeing Company
Ariel Waldman, NASA CoLab program coordinator
Finance and Insurance
Ed Terpening, VP of Social Media Marketing at Wells Fargo
Matthew Anchin, Vice President, Online Communications, American Express
Christine Morrison, Social Media Marketing Manager at Intuit’s Consumer Group
Scott Wilder, GM – Online Communities at Small Business Division, Intuit
Paula Drum, Vice President, Marketing, H&R Block
Alan Edgett, Sr. Director of Advanced Marketing Systems, Experian Interactive
Justin Gibbs, Online Marketing Strategist, Manager, Experian Consumer Direct
Annalie Killian, Director of Collaboration, Intranet, Communication and Innovation at AMP
Shawn Morton, Senior Consultant for Social Media at Nationwide Insurance
Matt Anchin, Vice President, Online Communications, American Express
Matthew Lehman ,Web Experience Director, Progressive Insurance
Jim Deitzel, Sr. eMarketing Manager at Newell Rubbermaid
Lindsay Lebresco, Public Relations & Social Media Manager at Graco Children’s Products/Newell Rubbermaid
Bert DuMars, Vice President E-Business & Interactive Marketing, Newell Rubbermaid
Todd Feldman, Sr Manager, Emerging Marketing Channels, Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Stephanie Pike, Manager, Content and Community, Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Gary Koelling, Sr Mgr Social Technology, Best Buy
Steve Bendt Sr. Manager of Social Technology, Best Buy
Denise Garciano, Online Content & Community Specialist, PacSun
John Andrews Emerging Media Sr. Manager at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc
Yemil Martinez, Director, New Media Marketing and Web Strategy, Institute for International Research (IIR) a subdivision of Informa
Michele Frost, Director, Web Marketing at Forrester Research
Marcus Frank, UX Strategist & Creative Director, National Cancer Institute
Burt Lum, Business Relationship Manager, HMSA
Shwen Gwee, Lead Business Analyst, Health Informatics and New Media at Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Media Gaming and Entertainment
Jessica Baker, Marketing Manager, Interactive Media, American Greetings Interactive
Michael Hall, Community Product manager, ABC.com
Charles Miller, Director, Inbound E-mail Operations and Blog Outreach, DIRECTV, Inc.
Eby Ghafarian, Manager, Product Engagement & Community Development at Hachette Filipacchi Media (Elle.com, caranddriver.com, roadandtrack.com)
Jean Fahmy Director, Director, Digital strategies, Transcontintental Media
Jason Richman, Director, Digital Product Strategy, NBC Universal
Daniel Thornton, Community Marketing Manager at Bauer Consumer Media
Charles E. Miller, Director, Inbound E-mail Operations and Blog Outreach, DIRECTV, Inc.
Shiv Singh, Vice President, Social Media & Global Strategic Initiatives, Avenue A Razorfish
Brad Mays, Senior Vice President (Social Media), Fleishman-Hillard
Jon Burg, Emerging Channels Specialist with Digitas
James Davidson, Web Strategist, Creative Services & Branding, Manpower
Ongoing List of Community Managers at Enterprise Corporations
The Community Manager, who’s job is to primarily be a community advocate is a social media user, and is externally focused, they are primarily the face to the online community. As companies scale, I expect to see these types or roles appear often for each product group at larger companies, they often report directly to the strategist or at least have a dotted line.
Key differentiator for this group? They are primarily an externally (customer/community) facing role.
Lionel Menchaca, Community Manager, Dell
Anton Chiang, Web Communities Manager, Juniper Networks
Lacy Kemp, Social Media Communications Specialist at RealNetworks
Stephen Spector, Sr. Program Manager, Xen.org Community, Citrix
Michael Sandoval, Global Communities Manager, Texas Instruments
Vishal Ganeriwala, Sr. Manager of Citrix Developer Network, Citrix
Amie Paxton, Channel Community Manager, Dell
Angela LoSasso, Community & blogs strategist, HP
Tom Diederich, Social Media/Web Community Manager, Cadence Systems
Bill Pearson Bill, Manager, Intel Software Network, Intel
Josh Hilliker, Community Manager of the vPro Expert Center, Intel
Robyn Tippins, Community Manager, Yahoo! Developer Network at Yahoo!
John Summers, Community Manager at NetApp
Mario Sundar, Community Evangelist at LinkedIn
Tom Ablewhite, Community Manager, Thomson Reuters
Craig Cmehil, Community Manager for the SAP Developer Network
Lou Ordorica, Social Media Producer at Sun Microsystems
John Earnhardt, Senior manager, media relations and blogger in chief, Cisco Systems
Deirdre Walsh, Community Manager at National Instruments
Rachel Luxemburg, Community Manager at Adobe
Aaron Tersteeg, Software Developer Community, Intel
Josh Bancroft, Software Developer Community, Intel
Jeff Moriarty, Software Developer Community, Intel
Cathy Ma, Yahoo Community Manager, Yahoo Europe
Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami , Network Solutions
Ian Kennedy, Product Guy, MyBlogLog, Community Manager, Yahoo
David Kim, Manager, Online Marketing and Communities at Symantec
Marilyn Pratt, Community Evangelist, SAP Labs
Scott Jones, Community Manager and Content Strategist, SDN at SAP Labs
Badsah Mukherji, Sr. Community Manager at VMware
Jon Mountjoy, Community Manager & Editor-In-Chief at Salesforce
Senior Director, OTN & Developer Programs Oracle
Jake Kuramoto, Oracle Apps Labs, Oracle USA
Kelly Feller, Web Marketing Manager leading the IT Community site Open Port, Intel
Erica Kuhl, Sr. Producer & Community Manager, Salesforce.com Community
Aaron Tersteeg, Community Manager (Multi-core Development) Intel Software Network, Intel
Jeff Moriarty, Community Manager (mobility) for the Intel Software Network, Intel
Alison Bolen Editor, Sascom voices blog, SAS
Melissa Daniels, Community Manager for All-Star group for Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo!
Amy Barton, Strategic Programs Manager, Intel Software Network, Intel
Holly Valdez, Community Manager, Cisco, the WebEx Technology group
Ray Haddow, Blogger Outreach, Nokia
Charlie Schick, Lead on Nokia corporate blog, Nokia
Media, Gaming, Entertainment
Kellie Parker, Online Community Manager at Sega
Kristopher Shaw, Community Manager at MTV Networks UK
EM Stock, Senior Community Manager at Sony Online Entertainment
Katie Hamlin, Community Manager, Fodors.com, Random House
Justin Korthof, Community Manager at Microsoft
David Cushman, Digital Development Director, Bauer Consumer Media UK
Laurent Courtines, Community Manager at Games.com AOL
John Cass, Online Community Manager, Forrester Research
Scott Moore, Senior Online Community Manager at Schwab Learning
Jose Antonio Gallego, Community Manager at BBVA (Spain)
Amy Worley, Director, Marketing Manager, HR Block
Fran Sansalone, Community Manager for the Open Calais Web Service, Thomson Reuters
Karen Spiegler, Community Manager, Edmunds.com, Inc.
Alicia Dorset, Blog editor, General Motors
Slaton Carter, Online Community Development Manager, Whole Foods Market
Winnie Hsia, Online Community Moderator, Whole Foods Market
Jennifer Cisney, Chief Blogger, Kodak
Christopher Paton, Social Media Team Lead, Monsanto
Ongoing List of Social Media Researchers and Social Media Product Managers
It’s become evident there are other roles within large enterprises that focus on Social Computing, in fact, these folks are researchers, analyzing online behavior or creating specs for future products. Expect large enterprise software companies to offer these features in their product suites in the coming future.
Key differentiator for this group? They are researching or building social media products that will be brought to market.
Jonathan Grudin, Principal Researcher, focused on the adoption of emerging (social computing) at Microsoft
Marc Davis, Social Media Guru, Yahoo! Corporation
Kingsley Joseph, Sr. Manager, Successforce.com & IdeaExchange, SalesForce
Jamie Greenly, Product Line Director Salesforce Ideas at Salesforce.com
Lawrence Liu, Senior Technical Product Manager for Social Computing, Microsoft SharePoint
Frank Gruber, Principal Product Manager for AOL in the social networking & platforms group, AOL
Alan Lepofsky, Senior Strategist at Socialtext
Filiberto Selvas, Social Media Strategy Director at Avenue A Razorfish
Marty Collins, Sr Product Marketing Manager, Social Media Strategist Windows/Windows Live, Microsoft
Matthias Zeller, Group Product Manager, Project Genesis, Adobe Systems
Moz Hussain, Director of Product Management, Unified Communications Group, Microsoft Corporation
Suzanne Minassian, Product Manager for IBM Lotus Connections, IBM
Steven Tedjamulia, Sr. Business Product Manager at Vignette Corporation
Dan Truax, General Manager for the Microsoft Server and Tools Online (STO) group, Microsoft
Dick Costolo, Social Media, Google
I’ve kick started this list with a few that I know, please be detailed in the comments, as I’ll be reviewing to ensure accuracy. If you’re seeking a job, or wanting to hire folks, start with my “on the move” series of posts. Also see the New PR Wiki list of CEO blog. Shel Israel’s Global Survey of interviews on text and video have stories of many of these folks. Mario Sundar has a list of community mangers of all industries and sizes. Connie Benson left this list of community managers on twitter.
What and How to Submit
First, read the requirements stated above. Then submit Name, Title, Company, Which category (see descriptions), URL to bio that describes body of work. I prefer a link to your LinkedIn account that shows your role, as well as description of social media program or project.
If you’re shy, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line should be “social media role” (I get hundreds of emails every day)
Update June 24: Bear with me, this is a major undertaking and I’m reviewing each entry. I also found quite a few comments being withheld by wordpress, I approved the ones I could find (using keywords to filter 25,000 spam comments). Please, carefully read the requirements before submitting, some I cannot add due to volume. If you wanted to create a list for SMB or internal folks, I’m happy to link to it.
Also, someone I respect suggested that this list is ‘outing’ those that may not want to be bombarded by vendors, most of these are submissions, and all records are public and found on LinkedIn. The kickoff list was a handful of people that were cited in public reports, who blog, or were in books. If you don’t want you name on here, simple email me and I’ll have it removed.
July 30th: Over a month since I started this list, it continues to grow and grow. I think we’ve gotten past the major influx, and now just a trickle of users are being added.
(Left: New analyst, Steven Noble and John Cass, Online Community Manager, stroll with me in Cambridge after work)
A while ago, I mentioned a public call for resumes for Forrester’s Community Manager role, we even heard from the hiring manager, Michele Frost, who is our ‘web strategist’ responsible for our corporate website.
I’m pleased to introduce you to John Cass, who’s in Boston, has a long background with SNCR, has done research (making him a good fit for the culture) and is an all around nice guy. I enjoyed having him in my recent social computing workshop class in Boston, then went to dinner with him and our new Australian analyst Steven Noble (also focused on marketing with a focus on social computing).
Read from John himself why he chose to join Forrester, and how he’s going to use these tools to connect with our customers, so we can provide more value to our clients. You can also find him on Twitter.
If you wanted to learn more about community managers, read all my posts tagged community manager, or if you seeking to become one, or hire one, start here at On the Move.
Lastly, thanks to all who submitted resumes, I wish you the best of luck going forward.
Update: Constantin has created a new wiki of Social Media Managers and Strategists at the New PR Wiki.
I stand by my research, personal experience, and industry monitoring that the need for social media managers will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
This post is a direct response, refuting and correcting Steve’s post that the Social Media Manager will go extinct.
While I enjoy Steve’s predictions (as well as a peer) that the Social Media Manager will be extinct, I’m here to respectfully correct him and leaning on my research findings from my recent Forrester report: How to Staff for Social Computing. In fact, we’ve found that there are two roles to be found in corporations serious about online communities.
Steve comes from the PR agency perspective and from his view, this makes sense. Yet, I come from where demand actually happens: in corporate enterprise marketing, where I was a social media manager at Hitachi.
Currently, in large corporations, specialized marketing managers, are found often sorted by industries, but also sorted by mediums and channels. For example, there are corporate marketers that focus on Web Marketing (my background) Advertising, Direct Marketing (email, mail) Search Marketing, Event Marketing, and even Print Marketing.
While I agree that social media skills will eventually become a normal bullet point in nearly every marketing resume in the future, today, and the foreseeable, we’re needed specializing for the following two reasons: 1) The specific duties are foreign to most other marketers 2) Online communities (like the support team) require a dedicated role.
In our recent report, we indicated that there are two distinct roles appearing within corporations, the social media strategist (I gave the example of VP of Social Media, Ed Terpening at Wells Fargo) and the community manager, who is responsible for being an online face to the community (Lionel Menchaca is a great example).
So, until the roles of medium based marketers (like direct marketer, web marketer, event marketer) go extinct or this skillset completely normalizes or the role of communities (another way of saying customers) go by the wayside, we’ll continue to see the growth of these dedicated and specialized roles.
Steve is wise to assert that the blur between social media and traditional media as we know it is correct –from a PR perspective. But when it comes to corporate communities, developing social media programs, these are skills that the majority of traditional marketers have –nor understand.
As an analyst, many of my clients (at Fortune 5000 companies) consult with us for social media guidance, I’m increasingly on more and more concalls where these individuals have a dedicated role in this new medium.
Lastly, to drive my point home, I’ve been publishing a series of blog posts called “On the move” that list out (in groups of 5-6) individuals that have been hired to fulfill this specific job. If you notice, the rate has been increasing, not decreasing over the past weeks. Looking at actual job movements is a more accurate –and telling—way of looking at social media jobs than keywords from a job site.
Recently, I published a report called How to Hire for Social Computing, it indicates what management should look for, how to manage them, and how they should think about compensating them.
Just over a week ago, I put out a call to the industry that we were hiring a Community Manager. Because I was a Community Manager and write about it frequently, I received an above normal response rate, 19 Resumes were submitted. Keep in mind, that some of these folks are not community managers, but they’ve all aspired to be in the role.
I promised to protect everyone’s identity, (as many of them are currently employed) but here are the high level findings at average:
A Persona of the Community Manager (based on 19 resumes)
Years of Work Experience
An average of 10.61 Years
A majority are working in Marketing or are currently social media position (community manager or social media strategist)
What Industries did they come from?
Most are in tech or media or PR. A handful working in education, religious or non-profit (makes sense as these inexpensive tools have great reach)
Most have a BA or BS, followed by many with MBAs and a handful without a degree.
I think I’m in one of the most rare positions in the industry to have my hands on so many Community Manager resumes in one place, especially so early in the industry
Interesting, I fit almost exactly into that persona: 9 years exp, Marketing exp, from Tech, and Bachelor degree.
I’ve been presenting in public at conferences or webinars my high level findings from my recent research on Online Community Best Practices, the detailed version is on the Forrester site. I interviewed 17 companies and leaned on my experience launching the social media programs at previous companies. You can view the powerpoint on Slideshare.
The next time I’m presenting this is in Mountain View on March 25 (yes it’s open to men too), discount code for $50 off for Web Strategy readers is SNC325.
It seems counter-intuitive for me to share these presentations on the web as I’m often hired to present these to clients or at conferences, or hired for advisory, but in today’s social media world, my presentation has already been filmed, blogged, and talked about around the industry. The real value comes from the explanations and and insight from a researcher presenting their findings.
I’ve noticed an influx of the $100 Flip cameras (many received them free as giveaways), I spotted 1-3 of them in every panel I spoke at at SXSW, as well as half a dozen in the bloghaus. Cell phones have on board video, and can upload to the web in seconds. See, even analyst firms are impacted by changes that social media tools bring us. Information can’t be hidden, it simply hasn’t been published online.
The key is to learn to let go to gain more, learn how to offer additional value that a .PPT or a YouTube video can never fulfill. I look forward to presenting at your event!
Update: I forgot to include “Forum One Networks” as one of the companies included in the report. I can’t update this version (I tried on slideshare) and since it’s already being spread, I’m not going to update it, but for future iterations it will be updated.
I write for the web strategist (web decision makers at companies) and was really pleased that we got a top notch professional here at named Michele Frost here at Forrester Research.
A few weeks ago, I announced that Forrester is seeking a Community Manager, and wow did we get a response, over 20 resumes!
I offered her the opportunity to guest post, and she’s decided to take me up on the offer, she shares her experience building the right team, esp in the world of social media
Guest Post from Michele Frost, Director, Web Marketing at Forrester Research
The custody battle is over! After much debate, I’m thrilled to say that Forrester’s newly created position of Online Community Manager will be part of the Web Marketing team. We’re plugged into the business and work online, so it’s a solid starting point.
With Jeremiah’s input, we drafted a job description and spread the word. Now comes the hard part: We need to hire.
My first hiring experience was my worst: It came to a crashing conclusion with my new employee leaving the office via a stretcher within two weeks. She left behind extensive literature on how to collect workers compensation. Lesson learned.
My methods have since improved, which is lucky for me, my employer, and my new employees. Recent new hires have even been quoted as saying that their job matches the job description outlined during the hiring process. Progress.
But with this newly created Online Community Manager hire, I feel like I’m starting from the beginning. During my agency days at Critical Mass, I developed, sold, and managed community projects. But my team and clients majored in something else and minored in community “things.”
Everything is different in this 2.0 pond. How do you quantify Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections? The personal and professional line is blurred on candidates’ sites and I end up knowing more than I should (or care to) about candidates’ positions on religion, gay marriage, reproductive rights, and music.
Later today, I meet with Forrester’s recruiter: We’ll see how current hiring and legal counsel from Strategic Growth maps with the times.
Jeremiah: It’s interesting that Michele learns a 360 view of candidates online lives, not just the resume that they put forth, truly a sign of the times.
For those that applied, this is a good example of how we’re trying to be transparent, we’re real live people, as we expect you to demonstrate to our customers and clients.
And I can promise you, we’ll do everything we can to make sure no one leaves on a stretcher!
Jeremiah: Having been a community manager, I’ve real soft spot to those that are on the front lines, embracing customers using social media tools. Every so often, I hear of really excited folks that landed new jobs, and David thanked me for my blogging and tweeting, which helped him inch toward his goal.
Here’s David’s account on how he became a Community Manager, he’s shared how his networking (using the tools) helped him gain his position.
The following is David’s submitted post:
How I got my job at Myminilife.com
Guest Post by Community Manager, David Peck
My name is David Peck and Jeremiah was nice enough to ask me to guest blog about how I got my new job as an Online Community Manager for Myminilife.com. If you have not heard of it, Myminilife.com is a virtual world company located near me in Palo Alto, California.
A question that I keep getting is how I got a job in social media. The simple answer is social networking. Yep that’s it. Okay, okay some more details.
I first started listening to podcasts back in 2005. This helped me learn about other social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and such. It was not until I entered Second Life that things really began to change for me. In this virtual world I was able to meet and chat with the people I listened to on podcasts. I got to virtually hang with C.C. Chapman, Chris Pirillo, Jeff Pulver, and Adam Curry among many, many other new media mover and shakers. By doing this I was able to form relationships and get more involved in online projects.
One of the first projects I worked on was for crayon’s Steve Coulson and C.C. Chapman on Coca Cola’s VirtualThirst contest. My task was to help build an online community around the project. Yet, it was not until I discovered Twitter that things really kick in for me.
I went from networking and knowing 25-50 Social Media folk to knowing over 500. I discovered projects, people, places and events I had no idea about. I knew some people’s virtual Avatars but had no idea who they were in the real world. Twitter let me discover that and I got to know them much better. It really is a powerful tool. Everyone should be using it.
From this point I was able to locate freelance work that I had the skills to help on. If potential clients needed recommendations I would turn to my Twitter friends for recommendations from people like Ijustine, Eric Rice & Chris Brogan. In the past year I have worked on new media projects involving UC Berkeley, The Grammys, NPR, & PodShow. It was my being profiled on CNBC for my work in virtual worlds that allowed Myminilife.com to locate me. As their Online Community Manager I will lead incentives to increase membership, run the community blog, help generate quality content that stimulates quality activity and grow traffic on the site. The most important thing about this position though, I get to do something I love and get paid for it.
So yes the secret to getting a job in social media is to use the social networking tools out there to network yourself. Start with Twitter as its one of the best and easiest social networking tools. Where else can you talk to Robert Scoble, Jason Calacanis and Michael Arrington? Heck it was Twitter that let me find Jeremiah and allowed me to be a guest blogger on this site. Oh and don’t forget to add me on twitter!!
Jeremiah: Thanks to David for sharing his story, hopefully what he learned on how to network with others will spur others to move forward. Also, David was featured in this recent video news clip covering his alter ego as Britney Mason, his blond bombshell avatar (female) in SecondLife.
If this blog has helped you with getting a new job (or getting promoted) in your career, I want to know, send me an email. Keep at it!
Something that I didn’t disclose in public, that my research on Community Managers (that I published yesterday) serves two purposes, Forrester is seeking a Community Manager at our Cambridge Mass HQ.
I contributed the basics to this job description, which as modified by the hiring manager, our fabulous Web Strategist Michelle F. I know there’s a lot of community folks reading this blog, so I’m really hoping that you’ll come and submit your resume directly to me.
I’m not the final decision maker on this role, but I’m going to do my best to find someone from the community I support, so come work us!
Send me your resume
You can submit your resume directly to me by emailing me at email@example.com, the subject line must say “Community Manager”. I promise to keep your identity secret, as I’m suspecting you work at an existing company now, my research indicated how hard it is to find these qualified folks.
Here’s the job description:
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent technology and market research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. For more than 24 years, Forrester has been making leaders successful every day through its proprietary research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.
Forrester Online Community Manager
FLSA status: Exempt
At Forrester Research, we believe a direct conversation between customers and employees is essential to helping our customers make the right decisions in their jobs. We are looking for someone who is passionate about helping customers on a daily basis and who can energize and breathe life into a gathering of minds.
The Forrester Online Community Manager�s mission is to develop a strategy and plan to launch, grow, and maintain customer communities at Forrester. As a passionate customer advocate, you are responsible for representing the best interests of the community. In this hybrid role, you are part support, coordinator, facilitator, yet always remaining customer-focused. You lead, guide, and moderate discussion topics between members and employees, as well as collect and represent the needs from the community. You will align the business and operational needs of the community programs and integrate it with various facets of the business.
* Develop strategy for the launch and growth of our customer communities
* Monitor internal and external Web sites and facilitate discussions
* Engage with the community through a series of online and offline events
* Provide real-time alerts and monthly reports to key internal stakeholders
* Coordinate, publish, and follow up on Forrester content as it serves the needs of our customers
* Identify and develop relationships with research analysts and key internal content developers
* Evangelize and train internal clients on the value of the online community, including research, client group marketing teams, and IT
* Prioritize incoming member requests and redirect to internal clients as needed
* Bachelor�s degree and experience in managing similar online business communities; experience in marketing preferred
* Well-versed in online communications and social media tools including forums, blogs, podcasts, wikis and social networks
* Strong sense of urgency and ability to respond quickly and timely
* Savvy online communication skills � presenting a welcoming and professional voice yet, able to manage online detractors in a discreet and tactful way
* Ability to multitask in several communities
* Proficiency in basic systems administration such as permissions, content publishing, and other �back-end� tools
* Good social and interpersonal skills that translate well into an online persona
Forrester Research is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer; M/F/D/V are especially encouraged to apply.
The same job description is on the website, and you should see our careers section, there are currently 123 jobs available.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I get a bonus for finding the right person, but I’m pretty sure they are in my network (or perhaps a node one off) so please spread the word.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Social Media Strategists know how to share. Forrester was pleased to host the Online Community Roundtable, you can continue the discussion in the Facebook Group.
(Update: I uploaded this video with the Flip Camera, man it’s easy capture, edit and publish with this thing)
Bill Johnston is a community servant (Update: he posts his thoughts from his blog), and I mean that in the best possible way. He organizes events for the Social Media industry that serve those who are practicing, it’s really a very valuable service. Every other month, he organizes the Online Community Roundtable for anyone who’s struggling with the day to day job of reaching to customers using online tools, a different company hosts this event each time. Update: Chris Kenton provides his thoughts from the event, he was expands off the idea of Identity Escrow. Ken Kaplan gives context on his presentation on storytelling, I’d like to see Ken speak more often.
To me, perhaps the most interesting topic was one around the “Future of Social Networks” and Chris Kenton’s historical look at marketing, and how technology has empowered and disabled marketers
This is actually a ‘user group’ or in Forrester terms, what we call a ‘support community’ where friends, colleagues, peers (and competitors) come together to share and learn from each other. The size of the event is limited, around 35 yielded quality conversations, any more would have caused fragmentations. Bill is masterful in not letting anyone pitch, and anyone who wants to share puts their name up on the board, here’s the list of presentations.
One social network even got up and told the group that they were having challenges growing in a particular market and asked for opinions and help. A few questions from the crowd asked for demographic information, objectives, and clarification, then a barrage of suggestions from seasoned community folks came back to help, now that’s community.
There’s a “Soft NDA” in place, so if a member wanted something to stay confidential, then all will have to respect this, it leads to greater sharing and trust. Some of those who attended included those from Intel, Webex, CyWorld, Charles and Helen Schwab Organization, Cadence, YouTube, Lithium, Leverage, LiveWorld, Ringcube, Intuit, Symantec, VM Ware, Wyse, Babycenter, Tesla Motors, Joyent, SixApart, On24, ZapTXT and hosted by Forrester. (who did I miss?)
I think I can speak for Charlene, that for us this was a real treat, these are the folks we research for, these are the problems that we’re also trying to find out what works and what doesn’t for. I’d like to to thank Forrester’s Frans V.E. for funding the food and drink, Frank C. for helping drag the tables around, and Joan M, the Foster City office manager for all her work and preparation.