Wednesdays 2-3pm EST – A Community for Community Managers

4/6 Designing Engagement April 11, 2011

Sharing the right content at the right time is a challenge for anyone that uses social media. So is offering the right rewards for people who participate and engage. It all really depends on the community.

This week’s #cmgrchat echoes a lot of what Jennita Lopez of SEOmoz recently posted, which is — as CM, you have to do what works for you/your community. See How to Manage Twitter: Do it Your Way.


Q1) How do you map out engagement, and determine what you need to do to increase it in a community?

mhandy1 On FB I look at feedback ratios… what resonates best and then break it down further to types of questions/links

mor_trisha To map out engagement, start with 1) What pain points are we trying to improve? and 2) What actions are people already doing?

tmonhollon Start with primary research: observe current & potential community where they are engaging, and ask Where, When, Why & What

RachelYeomans Oh boy let’s see – Facebook insights, Google analytics, Twitter (of course!) – just started using TwentyFeet and love it!

momnonstop I use blog views, check mentions, insights on fb and response Percent to see when/what engages

evanhamilton Actions vs views. Length of time since last sign in. Number of actions per visit. Interactions with other members

bluephoenixnyc We measure more than Fbook+Twitter; we look at Quora, blog feedback, forums in our industry. It has to be a mix of channels

thebloggerspost Authenticity in communication is key. Are you messaging just to say something or your actual message?

pushingvision I think seeing what a competitor is doing gives can you an edge and way to do it better.


Q2) What are the best times of the day/days of the week to engage your audience?

momnonstop According to an article release by mashable for my company (salon/spa) best times are sun/thurs after hours

mor_trisha Hmm, Q2 feels very ‘push’ related. We don’t use a schedule – it is ‘engage as we can’.

ottogrl here is a must read on how to improve engagement on your brand’s Facebook page: http://t.co/mEqIKl4

RachelYeomans Every platform is different with what time(s) are best to engage – plus audiences are different on each platform

omgitsamr depends on what platform you’re engaging… for ex: stats show retweets are highest 2-5 p.m. ET

JamesVKautz I’ve found only FB is time-sensitive due to the news feed. We are the most active there in the late afternoon.

momnonstop I’m limited to three updates a week

evanhamilton I go for 8am PST, though this report about retweets says 2pm PST for RT’s http://slidesha.re/1tSyHu

timbursch Also, some B2B communities that we manage engage 9AM, 12PM, and 4-5PM, checking networks= new smoke break

_faith Engagement = actively responding & *listening*, sometimes we need to know when to let other people talk


Q3) How do you make it easy for community members to engage (contests/other activities…)?

sarahkayhoffman Open-ended questions. Questions that allow them to talk about themselves. Contests. Sharing tabs

JamesVKautz I use an observation instead of a command, i.e. “Wow” or “This is clever” – the link speaks for itself.

WriterChanelle Honestly, I prefer to avoid contests until the community is actively participating and loyal.

Fisherish identifying influencers within the community & giving them some extent of authority will spark engagement.

corecorina Supernova makes engages by having weekly live events with online voting, and content that changes based on user engagement

RachelYeomans Yes! For Twitter, you start w/ building an audience, then maybe host a twitter contest and then perhaps a twitter chat!

_faith For FB, it’s great to share visuals– allows ppl to share differing interps, find commonalities

bluephoenixnyc Contests always seem dicey unless you’re in B2C. Otherwise, just small talk is a great start. It’s daunting, but it’s sincere.

mhandy1 Twitter chats build engagement develop community… RT contests develop fans… both should play a role

JPedde I think the best way to increase engagement is making sure it’s easy to log in, easy to find you, you’re visible, easy site nav


Q4) What kinds of rewards are in place (built in mechanics, or points, or sm tools to identify top members)?

RachelYeomans I think the badge system is the most recognized/popular right now – we’re trying to play w/ that out for our community

Fisherish Studies show that recognition by the brand and first time brand’s insight news for top members as the most important reward

evanhamilton In our product, we’ve built in game mechanics that encourage our customers when they make their customers happy.

timbursch We still use old-school #followfriday to call out advocates.

greghollings I think badges are great but the badge system needs to grow organically and naturally, not imposed

7Huck what about discounts?

_faith Hmm, tricky, prefer to share discounts with all fans/followers, they’ve already earned 1 level of engagement

JPedde Kind of blown away by today’s chat… thanks so much to @7huck@mhandy1, and all of the new CMs who joined, along w/ the old!


Post by #cmgrchat contributor @7huck, Judi Huck.

Thanks to all who participated!  Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!
If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with myself or Kelly!

3/2 – Smartphones, Apps, and Community Management, Oh My. March 3, 2011

It was kind of a fun coincidence that this week’s chat topic of Apps took place directly after the Apple event announcing the new iPad2 and some of the new apps that will be featured on it.  As community managers we generally have a sick fascination with new tech toys, apps, and shiny objects.  Or that might just be me.  Regardless of the type of phone we all use, we all add, try, and delete a number of apps for a variety of reasons.   In the 554 tweets by 87 people there were quite a few amazing suggestions for apps.  See below!


Q1 What kind of smartphone do you have? and does it matter?

HSirhan: Mostly use iPhone 4 and HTC Desire – it does matter to an extent I think

evanhamilton: G2 (Android). It’s awesome. I think it matters – the interactivity of the apps and the background tasks are essential for me.

blaisegv: I have an iPhone 3GS but switching to an HTC. I’d say depends on role but emails at least a must.

JPedde: It only matters when it comes to #apps & the availability of a lot of them in their stores.


Q2. Can community management be done WITHOUT a smartphone?

KellyLux: I personally could not manage my life (personal or professional) at this pt, without a smartphone. It’s always by my side.

RachelYeomans: It could but wouldn’t be nearly as effective – I always have my smart phone AND iPad handy no matter what

DanKlamm: Yes, but it’s more difficult. I had a regular phone until last June- tough to live tweet events, take photos, etc.

semantic: Seems like it could, but you’d have to be tethered to a laptop at all times

rhogroupee: Smart phones facilitate faster response, but do they make it harder to take a break? Need to use them “smartly”

evanhamilton: Sure, but for most situations I say no. If you’re not available to deal with a crisis on the go, you’re in trouble.

marcuspowers77: Smartphone = faster response and reaction. But I think it depends on what your community expects and the expectation you create


Q3) How many apps do you have on your phone? How do you manage them?

sacevero: I have 4 pages of apps on my iPhone. Haha. Folders help keep social media apps for work organized.

rhogroupee: 126 (never counted before, whew!) I do occasional purges..

elysa: Yeah I have a good 300 apps. But I’m crazy about organizing apps. I use @appolicious to manage my library/find new apps

SunnyinSyracuse: I use folders to group apps together like “Going Out” or “Shopping”

marcuspowers77: I only have 12 apps on my iphone but I use all of them regularly. I like to keep it clutter free.I’m distracted enough as it is.

elysa: oh speaking of I did a list of iPad apps I use for CM: http://appo.me/fv0me

qualitylogo: I have 8 pages’ worth of apps on my iPhone, but not every page is filled up b/c I manage them by sorting according to category


Q4) What are the top 3 apps you can’t live without and WHY!?

pushingvision: Anyone use an app like Pandora Box or App Miner to find what apps are currently on sale?

elysa: @pushingvision I do – FreeAppADay & AppDeals are pretty cool

rhogroupee: My top 5 would be: Kik, Flixter, my GaGaJoyJoy app, Evernote, & Twitter

pushingvision: Mail, InstaGram, Echofon/Hootsuite, Facebook & Camera

amfunderburk1: My top 5 apps: Google Reader, tops news app, Twitter for Android, sticky notes and Facebook

JPedde: KIK has changed my life. Saves me $15 a month in texting!

JPedde: I love Red Laser for iPhone. Always scanning bar codes in stores for cheaper deals.

KellyLux: Hootsuite, Smartr, techDygest Instagram and @BrianSolis (yes, he’s an app)

KellyLux: My password keeper, FB, foursquare, NYTimes & PulseNews, Camera+ are some other favs

sacevero: I made a list of tools on @oneforty I use regularly–we should all compare! http://bit.ly/hXcZ5O

RachelYeomans: Seesmic, Evernote, &Google Maps- Seesmic 4 my Twitter addiction, Evernote for memos & Seesmic synch & Gmaps for not getting lost

gilmoreglobal: Jumping in! Apps: UnberSoc, BlackBerry Maps, Drivesafe.ly, QRcodescanner pro, my camera!

rjburkejr: Twitter, bitesms, and skype

elysa: Top 3 for CM purposes: Evernote (gotta have access to everything), BoxCar (push notices on tw/FB), Yammer (we use @bizzy a lot)

Triplyksis: For CM purposes on my iPad… Tap11 (iPhone app – social media), Dropbox (file syncing), FeeddlerRSS (Feed reader)

SunnyinSyracuse: Apps I can’t live without: mail, red laser, tipulator, @instagram, pandora, maps..oh wait, you only wanted 3

KellyLux: Forgot about Instapaper, Bizzy, hipmunk & Vogue Stylist.

CallFireMktg: I can’t live without Words with Friends. It’s not for work or anything, but it’s all I ever do anymore

pushingvision: Have you seen Fooducate? You scan a barcode and it rates the nutritional value and offers alternatives.

maggielmcg: Super late to the chat–apps I use every day: toodledo, Audible (addicted to audiobooks), Twitter

sarahkayhoffman: My dear @swonderlin suggested: @plancast @hashable @groupme @gowalla I’m so excited for @Bump, too!

KellyLux: I use Smartr to find good content for twitter, same for TechDygest…it cuts out all the junk & just leaves the links.

7Huck: Recent app I found pretty helpful was @ZocDoc, book appts instantly!

7Huck: There is an app for ordering movie concessions right from your seat – @munchlymobile. Putting it out there


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!


12/8: Transitions & Leaving a Community December 9, 2010

The “Community Manager” role as we know it today hasn’t been around very long.  Most of us in our positions have only been in them a short period of time so the idea of leaving one behind wasn’t on the minds of many in the chat today.  However, it’s always good to keep in mind what good protocol would be if you do decide to work elsewhere or for another community and leave your current one.  Wednesday had 308 tweets and 58 participants, all about some of the best thoughts on transitioning.


We were also really lucky to have Chanelle Schneider (@WriterChanelle) as our Guest Co-Moderator today because Kelly was working in LA for the week.  She’s the Founder of the #GenYChat which takes place Wednesdays at 9pm EST.


Bonus: On David Spinks’ blog today, he discusses part of the side conversation we had in the chat on Wednesday.  Do you really like everyone in your community?

Also make sure to follow the @CmgrChat Twitter Account and join the Linked In group as well (Link on the right side of the screen)!


Q1) Have any of you left a community for another community? Did you train a new cmgr?

jvkautz: No. SM started under my watch and I grew into the role. But I’m a succession-plan thinker so I’m chronicling every detail.

SunnyinSyracuse: I have left a community due to funding cuts, all staff except top execs laid off.

jvkautz: Yeah – our communities are so imbued with our selves that it’d be weird to see them w somebody else.


Q2) Have you searched for a new community mgr position while in one? Where do you look?

digitalmention: Not me! But…when I was looking: Community Roundtable, LinkedIn, Mashable, Jeremiah Owyang site

evanhamilton: Yup. You gotta hit everything, never know where the good stuff is. Craigslist, LinkedIn, CommunityGuy, Web-Strategist.

cochinealred: Search local networks, approach industries you love… something that you can feel comfortable getting deeply involved in.

DanielaBolzmann: Found my current job on Craigslist, but like browsing job postings on Mashable.


Q3. What should the company do and what should you do to announce a transition?

jvkautz: If it’s forced on you, be professional to the end & beyond. Bridges burn for all to see in the SM world.

DavidSpinks: If a community manager did their job well, the community will be tied to the company, not the person.

cochinealred: Company should do no more than post the position on all of their networks… personally I’m not too sure what is required

AndrewVazzano: The words “grinding halt” come to mind. RT @JPedde: If you leave but they don’t hire a new cmgr, what happens?


Q4. Do you continue to engage with the old community once you’ve left?

evanhamilton: Only if it would be awkward if you didn’t. If you use the product a ton, sure. If not, don’t get in the way of the new person.

digitalmention:If building a community is about relationships, then yes! Relationships don’t end just because u move on!

DavidSpinks: If you’ve developed personal relationships, it would be bad form to ignore them when you leave.


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!


12/1 – Taking Time Away from the Community

We are all married to our jobs as community managers and that’s part of the fun!  We like being connected and involved with our work, but every so often we like to take breaks, go on vacations, or leave for the holidays.  We had a pretty great discussion Wednesday with 670 tweets and 87 participants, all about some of the best practices when leaving the nest just for a bit.

Bonus: The Community Roundtable posted this about Nutella taking the summer off. 

Also make sure to follow the @CmgrChat Twitter Account and join the Linked In group as well (Link on the right side of the screen)!


Q1) What’s the time off structure like at your company?

jvkautz: I accrue 2 weeks per year and can’t take ’em before I earn ’em

AskTim: I accrue 1.25 vaca days per month, plus floating holidays, personal days, & our summer day program

JennaLanger: What’s time off? 😉 We’re fairly flexible as long as we stay connected. Setting up shifts for handling support issues

kerimorgret: I’m able to telecommute two days a week.

BrianneVillano: 3 weeks vacation (can roll over 40 hours starting last week in December), 1 flex day, 5 days sick, 10.5 holidays

MikeFraietta: 4 Four weeks should be minimum if you want to keep your staff more than a year. I’ve never had less at 3 startups I worked for.


Q2) How have you handled leaving your community for various stretches of time?

cochinealred: Longest I have left the community for was 5 days. Updated occassionally as I was able.

SueOnTheWeb: How have you handled leaving your community for various stretches of time? – I’m on 24/7 so never experienced that.

muruganpandian: Or you can scale down your participation and also let the community know that you are on vacation.

rhogroupee: Online community is like a small child, you can never really leave it unattended 🙂

BrianneVillano: Planning ahead and then enjoying the time I have off. Disconnecting is a necessity in the age of information overload.


Q3.How do you prepare to take time off? Schedule tweets/posts? Prepare your community for your departure?

JennaLanger: I make a to do list of things I need to take care of before I leave, and things I need to follow up with when I get back

Mitch_M: Blogs are written way in advance,and automatically post to Twitter. Otherwise, just make sure to check in at least once a day

greghollings: We have a handover process which each CM must go through before leaving on holiday. Includes scheduled content

Arrakiv: I work solo on community. Prepare content ahead of time, let the community know I’m off – smaller community though


Q4. So, say you actually do take time *off* & have a backup. Are you still checking? How? What if no wifi or other access?

SueOnTheWeb: Yes gotta love my iphone. Even manage to put out cmty fires whilst sitting on a ski lift 😀

LvM: If you love your company and job, it’s fun to semi-monitor when off. It’s a part of your lifestyle.

ericfoster: I also utilize my members to keep me updated on mood of community while Im away.

aleveland: Usually out of country so probably not checking in much!

luciagia: I usually check at least 1x a day. If I don’t have internet, its not for long. I always seem to find my way to one somehow 🙂


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!


10/13 – Daily Tasks October 15, 2010

Another great chat for the books with 652 Tweets and 82 participants! We learned a few weeks ago that defining the role of a community manager is difficult because the objectives of the position vary from company to company.   We had no idea how many answers we’d get when we ask how people defined their day!

We had a special guest, Royale Scuderi, join us to help out with some quick productivity tips.  Follow her for some some suggestions and ideas if you need help organizing your life.

Make sure to follow the new @CmgrChat Twitter Account as well!


Q1: What does your average day look like?  Do you have a routine?

rhappe: I have a weekly routine – there are things I do on particular days… but not a fixed daily routine

rhappe: Weekly we do member newsletter, weekly programming, member outreach monthly-measurement & public newsletter

jkhalif: Starts with my early morning workout…work and then my side projects..No typical routine

mor_trisha: My average day routine: Scan discussions, look for issue reports first, go from there

Austin_Curtis: I try to plan out almost every hour of my day to be as productive as possible.  Love making lists and checking things off

heidianspaugh: I’m still figuring that out in a new role. Scan email for issues and mtgs, read SM RSS feeds, create or plan day’s content…

swonderlin: My routine is a tight one since I deal with multiple accounts – have to dedicate time to each one in order to get everything done.

JPedde: 1 Thing I do is make sure to create a weekly to do list at 4pm on Friday

KellyLux: I think the thing that makes this job exciting is there is no ‘routine’ day …But that is also the thing that can make it very stressful

LynnKoves: I also make lists and constantly prioritize based on urgency.

pushingvision:I use a prjt list w/ deadlines, followup dates, status, etc. I sort by priorities/dates to avoid missing smthg.


Q2: What are ways to better organize your day/week/month?

Austin_Curtis: For each day you can make a little timeline and put activities in each slot.  Spend time thinking ab wut u want to accomplsh

KellyLux: One thing I do that helps is I have a big whiteboard calendar color-coded w/ all my events/chats/etc, so I can c what is coming up

Draddog: Having a task list, broken down by priority and current status is the best way I’ve found to organize

jvkautz: Clean desk policy, and a no-unread email policy. Put events on elec. calendar with notifications for imp. events.

RoyaleScuderi: I actually schedule blocks of work by project on calendar.

RoyaleScuderi: Outlook is my command central – categories, folders, color-coded calendars…

Austin_Curtis: Ask yourself where do you want to be in a month from now? Then break it down week by week


Q3. How do you explain what you do to others?

swonderlin: When people ask me what I do, the best way to explain is that I’m an “online reputation manager”

shawn_grainger: You really can’t explain it.. Ppl see it as your playing Farmville, you need to show and show results

jvkautz: I tell others I get paid to be on FB. After the laughing stops, I break it down in more serious detail. Tough though.

joshshear: If you say “online marketing,” most people will get it, even if you’re not in charge of ad buys and such.

heidianspaugh: I kinda love this question. I used to describe CM as a cross between marketing/advertising, customer service, and product dev

mor_trisha: I am manage 2 website cmtys, responsible for overall health & growth. I train ppl, evangelize, advise on design, strategy, directn

@ahvance: To those who know nothing about #SMM, I tell them I help humanize products/brands.

jvkautz: Before I found this chat, I didn’t even know what my job title should be


Q 3.5: Tell us what multi-tasking you’re doing right now

40deuce: haha Q3a: I’m chatting with you, monitoring and responding on twitter and doing research for a blog post

ahvance: I am blogging for a client right now!

jvkautz: Q3a: Ha – with this content stream? I’m zoned in on this chat alone. Multitasking is the devil.

heidianspaugh: A3a: Doing #cmgrchat while editing “rules of engagement” doc, reading a whitepaper on “SMM & Women” & answering email!

Trace_Cohen: @KellyLux Writing a press release, updating strategic documents, SM for three dif acc’s, listening to music and finding an apt


Q4  What takeaways do you have that will help you do something different this week/this month?

40deuce: Q4: so far, none really other than if I want my to-do list programs to actually help me I need to actually populate them

buona_vita: q4: hopefully match up online notes with written ones.

pushingvision: A4: Setting schedule goals. Trying Evernote. Reducing # of “systems” for to-dos

shawn_grainger: Q4. Takeaway –> I am not alone, all of us face the same confusion and pushbacks when explaining what I do all day!! refreshing

jvkautz: Q4: I’m SO making a list.

KellyLux: Keeping my to-do-list in front of me and putting everything that comes in on that list. Gonna be a long one…


Products for Organization:

swonderlin: I use “Things” for Mac – syncs with my #iPhone #iPad and laptop

40deuce: I’ve been trying out @producteev for a few weeks now. It’s good, but I’m bad at scheduling to actually schedule things

RoyaleScuderi: Just downloaded Reqall, been using Todo for iPhone

maggielmcg: I like Toodledo, also having certain days/times to do recurring tasks like approving members to Linkedin, etc.

rhappe: I use DropBox to share and organize files, etc (and access via iPhone) and that is quite helpful

RoyaleScuderi: Its not the tools you use as much as clarity about what needs to be done and priorities!

Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats – Next week’s Chat will be announced on Monday.

If you would like to follow any or all of those who participated today,  please click here.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with myself or Kelly!