Any community manager knows that it can be a big struggle to get a community off the ground and active. Even with a solid focus, the right platform and promotion, providing that key initial engagement spark can be tough.
Maintaining and managing a community is a little more of a structured process (I’d highly encourage you to check out blogger Angela Connor, who is also the author of 18 Rules of Community Engagement). But, no matter what, at the heart of any strong community is a community manager that is open, honest and transparent. It’s also crucial that a manager be willing to take risks and put themselves out in front to help get the community going and facilitate dialogue.
Last month, I came across the video below from the Sasquatch Music Festival. Music truly is a universal language and one of the most prominent community-building aspects of our culture. Sure, most people don’t feel completely comfortable letting loose and dancing on their own at a music festival but we all know the thought crosses many people’s minds.
Would most consider this dancer goofy? Sure (the same people that consider Matt Harding goofy). But what you have to respect is the dedication and overarching honesty that pulls others to join him. The bigger point is this – If you’re going to manage a community, you need to be the type of person others gravitate towards. Be a leader, take a risk, set the example, encourage interaction and when your community starts to snowball, run with it and keep dancin’.
LOVE this post Scott and not because you mentioned me and my book. People often underestimate the hard work and dedication that community managers must possess. Going out on a limb can be very rewarding in the long run. Like you said, what’s important is that we “keep on dancin’.”