The Power of Small: How Little Gestures can Make Your Brands Social Community a Hit

April 23, 2009

As more and  more brands take the leap into Social Media we continue to hear  horror stories.  Some brands think that they should jump on the Social Media Bandwagon, create a community  – set it, and forget it.  BIG mistake. 2945559128_53078d246b2

While attending the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco  I sat in on a session regarding something that I didn’t even know existed before  – Community Managers. The title of the session was What would the Community Manager Do?  Micki Krimmel @mickipedia presented ideas that are worth restating there, and are certainly appropriate consider all of the brands jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon.

The 4 Tenants of the Community Manager:

  1. Creators
  2. Empathizers
  3. Pattern recognizers
  4. Meaning makers

Community Advocate – Listening to what the community wants – solving customer needs

Brand Evangelist – PR Events and Panels, participate, vision and personality – admit mistakes

Flexible – Can’t just be a megaphone for the PR company

Communication – Shape editorial, new media tools, responsive, 2 way street

Gathers Input – Actively seek input, build relationships, ask questions, report feedback

How do you hire a community manager?

The person you hire for this role MUST reflect your brands core values.  Micki shared a job offer she received from Tesla car company. She knew instinctively that this was not the appropriate role for her because she isn’t passionate about cars.  If you’re a brand looking for a community manager you must hire your biggest fan.

How do you fit this role into your company?  The community manager must be offered 4 “luxuries” in order to be successful for your brand.

  1. Autonomy
  2. Authority
  3. Agency
  4. Accountability

Your Brand can’t have a “build it and they will come” attitude. Your brand must focus on the little gestures. The conversations, interaction and nuances of your community. Hire the appropriate person in this role, and gain commitment from the whole company/brand to be advocates.

images-3Case Study:
Zappos –

A woman purchased a wallet via Zappos.  She didn’t like the wallet purchase so she returned the wallet and mistakenly left $150 in the wallet. The person that recieved the returned item sent back the $150 to the woman.

You’re successful when EVERYONE is a community manager

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Gary Vaynerchuk – Online Man of the Year 2008?

December 24, 2008

Question:  Who inspired you this year?

My answer:  Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m a wine neophite, yet I find myself watching Gary’s online reviews obessesively.  I like to think of myself as a positive, motivated, focused guy yet Gary’s online activity (endless tweets on twitter), and non stop production of killer content makes me question my own  work ethic (this is a good thing).  When everyone in our industry is freaking out about layoffs, and who they’re going to point the finger at Gary’s message never wanes  “love, hustle, family”….

This guy is what the online industry should all aspire to be.   How can you not love a guy that decided to proclaim a “Good People Day”.…awesomegary-masthead

When I saw Gary deliver this keynote at Web 2.0Expo it changed my life.  Seriously.  Watch it.  Then watch it again.  I even made my parents watch it.  I made my colleagues watch it.

I nominate Gary Vaynerchuk as Online Man of the Year 2008