Blog Archives

ASTDTK14: Experimenting and Engaging to Create Effective Learning

As the days distance me from Las Vegas and the ASTD Techknowledge Conference, the eternal presenter in me is looking for the message, the one big takeaway, the answer to the 3 most important questions: “What is the point? What do you want from me? What’s in it for me?”

My answer today is that learning effectiveness is all about experimenting with learning initiatives and engaging the learner…

 

Both innovation and even real knowledge come from experimentation

In the opening keynote at TK14, Jeff Dyer told us that one of the keys to innovation is experimentation: We have to try new things if we want to get new results. If, as Donald H Taylor told us in Brussels last October, “the goal of learning is to be … agile enough to keep up with an ever changing environment”, then we need to stop throwing traditional training solutions at our business problems and approach things differently: Using open “what if?” questions and associative thinking, we must create hypotheses for the causes of business problems (and their solutions) and then set about designing new learning experiments that can test the validity of those hypotheses and lead to effective results. This approach to dealing with problems is key to any science or research process. But the learning function is not often seen as science and research…

Rueben Tozman said we must start by thinking about business in the same terms as our customers … and then define data models that tie behaviour, processes and learning activities to bottom line results. Based on those models, we can create data-driven-learning initiatives that can truly assess the situation and improve it. Too much of what we do in L+D (particularly training) is either unmeasurable or unmeasured. At the best, we can only say how people reacted to a training, but we cannot say that performance issue “X” is due to reasons “A”, “B” or “C” or that “A”, “B” or “C” can be resolved by specific (and effectively measured) learning initiatives “1”, “2” or “3”. While the rest of the business reports on almost everything, learning stumbles along on hope and faith.

To help us out, things are changing in the world of learning measurements. The traditional LMS and its “who followed what training” statistics will be replaced with advanced learning record systems, using experiential APIs like Tin Can, that could link pretty much any learning or performance activity to a data model that provides real insight to the learning profession.

And so my first conclusion is as follows: Know what makes the business run, be open to something new and be able to design data-driven learning experiments to assess effectiveness and really improve performance.

 

When it comes to creating something new, think “engagement”

Technology conferences tend to focus on new approaches to learning; TK14 was no exception. Starting with quite basic “enhancement strategies and tools” like QR codes for training, video learning initiatives and social media for formal learning and moving past transmedia storytelling to more granular MOOC-based learning strategies or attempts to gamify the learning experience, the thin red line of it all was “engagement”.

Amy Jo Martin kicked-off TK14 day 2 with a message about engagement and sentiment: “What connects people to you is not what you do, but why you do it”. * Extrapolating, I thought about why learners engage with other learners, materials or specific formal initiatives: They do it because they want to improve, to find solutions, to get good at something and because they “dig” it. In all our efforts to support this, we need to keep that basic engagement alive.

* This week, the London Learning Technologies Conference was opened by Brian Solis, known for his message about “the secret ingredient to engagement: empathy” and the importance of the user-experience.

Jane Bozarth and Mark Oehlert said that learning communities exist everywhere and our job is not to convince people of their value, but rather to convince them to see the value of “formalising” community activities at work using specific platforms (like Yammer or LinkedIn) and more open sharing or learning narration. If we start small, think big and move fast (Oehlert – video) with community activities, we can create a river of information flow that has real value for the organisation.

What really stood out for me (and kept me awake at night!) was the unique and numerous possibilities of mobile, as outlined by Chad Udell. Coming to Vegas as a mobile learning cynic, I was thinking only of more boring e-learning delivered on small screens. Leaving, I am convinced that since more-and-more people love to play with their phones and phones can do more-and-more things, there are real opportunities to engage and create learning effectiveness. Bring on the mobile revolution!

What did I miss at TK14 on “engagement”? Augmented Reality. I am running my own experiments with Aurasma for training, orientation exercises and onboarding experiences and I know that David Kelly shared his experience with Google Glass at LT14uk. I am sure that in the future such tools will allow us to shorten the distance between the learner’s own reality and more layers of knowledge, skills and future enhanced performance. Fingers crossed for ASTD ICE 2014 in May…

Either way, my second conclusion is simple? Let’s find better ways to make the learning experience awesome, natural and effective.

 

Experimenting and engaging – that is the message for me from ASTD TK14.

 

See you next time!

D

 

 

Advertisements

Amy Jo Hart on Education to Ensure Value from Social Media

Amy Jo Hart is one of the top five Twitterers in the world, New York Times best selling author and leading expert on the monetisation of social-media. Kicking-off day 2 of the ASTD TechKnowledge 2014 Conference, she is here to tell us that social-media value and “Return on Influence” comes from its humanisation and that if we want it to work, we need to educate our people …

Millions of people are active on social media. Billions even. And the potential for business, marketing and learning is huge. Amy Jo Martin knows it: Activities like her “random acts of Shaqness” have helped sports-people and big-name companies around the world to create social media influence and to humanise their brands. She believes that social-media based communication is relevant to every part of your business and as such, you need to make it work right.

According to Martin, social-media success is not about what you do, but why you do it. People don’t care about your products and services. People connect and stay connected to you (and your brand) because they believe what you believe. Her formula for SoMe influence is a blend of cold metrics (reach, followers, fans etc) x warm metrics (sentiment and engagement).

As Charlene Li has told us before, different people use SoMe in different ways. The aim is therefore to get real engagement from real fans and followers.

If we measure the payback of this engagement, we can start to see real value. Martin measures that ROI payback as revenue per available fan and followers on social media. Count your revenue and divide it by the number of fans or followers. If we can increase our influence and humanise the brand, we can increase our revenue.

So the question is: “What should we be doing around social-media in our companies?

One of the key messages Martin brings is that everyone is involved in our brand success: All the employees and all the customers. Everyone can be a brand-champion. And those same people might equally destroy the years of hard-work that have gone into creating your brand equity. If we want to get things right and create real SoMe ROI we need to educate our own people on how to do it well and give costumes good reason to say and share the right things about our brand.

In our own organisations, education on how to use social-media effectively helps us to decrease the liability of social-media based mistakes. It helps to create brand-ambassadors out of our employees. It can help people to develop within their profession. And of course it can save money for the company.

From teaching employees how to use a hashtag properly 🙂 to community management, crisis communication or social-media for HR and recruitment, education of your people is key to social-media success.

In Belgium, many of the large traditional organisations (banks, governments, insurance companies) are starting to understand the value of this education and are rolling out programmes across the organisation. I have been invited by Kluwer Training to deliver retraining on a variety of SoMe topics, from its use in marketing to its use in learning + developing itself. Hopefully they will see the results that Martin expects.

Looking for ideas for social-media education? Check out www.digitalroyaltyuniversity.com

Thanks for reading!
D

Use Yammer to get personal value from your business network

A training participant asked yesterday: How should I use our new Yammer network and what value can I get from it? Here is my answer..

 

The value of Yammer (or other enterprise social networks) in a knowledge environment

In today’s working environment, there is a massive amount of knowledge out there. For people like my training participant who are working in an IT consultancy environment, on client-site, in a distinct business unit doing project work, the potential to lose all that knowledge is huge. Organising regular meetings across the business, with its travel and billable-time issues is not practical. Tools like Yammer can help. They won’t replace the need for face-to-face interactions within your network, but they can certainly help to spread knowledge and stay up-to-date. Eventually this leads to greater competence, more efficiency, innovation and improved business results.

 

Start using Yammer to share ideas, ask questions and stay up-to-date

If you want to start using your Yammer platform in your own business network (or LinkedIN for example) 5 simple individual actions are interesting, based on the golden triangle of networking:

  • Ask a question to your network. If you are stuck on something or need some expertise, let your network know by asking for help. Who knows what you will get!?
  • Share a resource. If you find something interesting for your network, share it. Be careful to first contextualise that information by noting WHY you find it interesting and consider tagging some specific people in the message so that they definitely see it.
  • Answer a question. Do as thy would be done by, no? If you expect to get answers, be an answerer yourself…
  • Thank people for what they share. This can be as simple as a “like”, or could be a comment or exchange of information.
  • Have a browse around from time-to-time. The value of ” aimless wandering” in the business world is IMO massively underrated. Spend 5 minutes just browsing every now and again.

 

There is real value in narrating your work regularly

One of the big problems in the consultancy world is that people in the same company often don’t know what other people are doing. Sometimes they don’t even realise that the guy next to them on client-site is actually a fellow colleague! A good way to deal with this issue on platforms like Yammer is to get in the habit of narrating your work. This is easy and can being real business value. A simple way to do this is to regularly update your status or add a message to let the network know what you are working on. Examples:

  • “I’m creating a training course on creating influence with a network”
  • “Currently looking for ways to improve intra-participant interactivity on social media platforms between training days”
  • “Interviewing the director of the EPHEC on her experience with flipping the classroom”
  • “Developing my conference speech for ASTD TechKnowledge in Las Vegas in January”
  • “I will welcome my 4000th human being (since going freelance) to training some time in December”

..these kind of status updates take literally less than 30 seconds, but they keep people informed on who is doing what and may even get you some spontaneous input from other to improve your work. Of course you can go further and start doing educational narration (“how-to” guides etc) or even implement a formal knowledge-sharing initiative like BT Dare2Share.

 

…but don’t expect to see massive results from day 1

I have seen some Yammer fails in some of the companies I work for. These are mostly due to poor vision about the tool, lack of communication or education and bad “change management”. If Yammer has just arrived in your company, you cannot expect everyone to see the value over night. This is for 2 main reasons, which seen interchangeably can lead to failure:

  • Some people will simply not like it and not want to use it
  • There will not be much content in the early days

 

If you are someone who doesn’t really “dig” social media platforms, then you will need to be convinced to get on the tool and start doing stuff. The trouble is that conceptual information about how the tool is great is not very inspiring. What you need is results. So, you go to the tool and ….  … …find nothing.

Those who are active on the tool in the beginning are active because they do believe. But in a classical organisation of 500 people, you might only have 50 believers. Those 50 believers might not yet even be competent in getting the most out of the tool. So it takes time to see the value. And when the other 450 non-believers get pushed on the tool too early, they STILL don’t see the point. So they were right, right?

My ideas for passing this adoption-gap include:

  • Try to encourage the right people to get started – not everyone, just the early-adopter types
  • Know that even if there are no “likes” or comments, people may still be reading what you put on the tool – don’t be disheartened
  • Educate people on the golden triangle. Its really key!
  • Make sure key influencers in the organisation put an effort into using the tool. They need to walk-the-talk. If people see management and the “cool folk” on the train, it will be more appealing.

 

 

For more ideas on getting success from the tool, read:

 

Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter

 

Job hunting strategy and 16 tips

If you are looking for a job, this post will explain the single most important thing you need to know about your job-seeking strategy. It also delivers 16 tips to get you on your way to employment…

 

First of all, a few assumptions

  • Assumption number 1: There are enough jobs for everyone
  • Assumption number 2: Most available jobs are not advertised
  • Assumption number 3: Most job seekers only reply to advertised jobs, in the normal way

 

 

Let’s use the following example to see what this means for you. I have applied the Pareto Principle and am convinced that even if the numbers are not exact, the point is true:

  • If there are 100 available jobs and 100 job seekers, there is enough work for everyone.
  • Of those 100 available jobs, up to 80 of them may not be advertised at all. And certainly not everywhere.
  • Of the 100 job seekers, 80 of them will only be looking in the usual channels for advertised jobs and will respond in the usual way by sending a CV and motivation letter and then waiting.
  • The other 20 job seekers will expand their searching horizons and use different methods to make their applications.
  • This means that 80 people are looking at 20 jobs (with a 1 in 4 chance of success) while the other 20 people can choose between 4 available jobs.

 

So: You need to be in the 20 group!

And you need to apply these 16 tips to look for a job:

  • Recognise that everyone you know is a potential lead. And considering “The Obama Effect”, the potential leads are far more numerous.
  • Email all your friends and family to tell them what kind of work you are looking for and ask them to send you any leads.
  • Think about your added-value and created a polished tweetable message about yourself.
  • Ensure any presence on social networks or the www reinforces your personal brand.
  • If possible, announce your intentions via social media platforms and request input and feedback from peers. Update your LinkedIn profile and get some relevant recommendations.
  • Research people with similar jobs in their targeted company and talk to them to get contact details, job leads and other relevant information.
  • If you see any news about your targeted company winning new contracts or creating a new product, service or office strike while the iron is hot.
  • Go to conferences in your field of interest and talk to people.
  • Email the person you actually want to work with. Tell them you want support and ask for a phone conversation. If you don’t get a reply, try cold-calling them anyway.
  • Adapt each CV and its content to the company you want to work with.
  • Be FAB and answer the 3 most important questions.
  • Use creative techniques to make sure your CV stands out.
  • If you make a formal application, make sure it gets in the hands of the right people, bypassing reception and generalist recruiters at all costs.
  • Follow up on your applications quickly.
  • Spy on your prospective company building at arrival and leaving times to see how people are dressed. Now you know how to dress for the interview.
  • Practice interview skills with a friend or coach.

 

To conclude, it is only fair to note whilst assumptions 2 and 3 are based on my experience with job seekers and recruiting companies, the first assumption could just be a wildly optimistic statement. All the more reason to apply the strategies noted above…

 

Good luck!

 

Follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment

Share with a job-seeker!

 

 

Cefora HRM Day, 26th March: My session on New Ways of Learning

Today I am speaking at the Cefora HRM Day on the New World of Work and New Ways of Learning. This blog page delivers all references cited in that session. I hope you enjoyed the session!

 

 

…and if that wasn’t enough, have a look at this page, which outlines other posts I have written on social media, authentic training, ASTD2012 …

 

ps – follow me on Twitter and sign up to follow my blog (top-right this page)

 

Thanks for atttending today,

See you soon?!

D

 

 

 

A few of my favourite posts for today’s new visitors

If you’ve just read Juana Lloren’s “Inside L+D” emailing to the ASTD Learning and Development Community, thank you for clicking on my name.

Wondering why she says I’m a “just a really good writer” (me too!)? Or interested to see a little more about from that wide variety of L+D posts? Have a look around or subscribe via the menu on the right.

In this short post, I’ve collected some of the more popular resources I think might be interesting to new visitors… Some of my favourites too.

 

L+D general resources

 

Social Media for Learning

 

Gamification

 

Prezi, presentation and communication skills

 

(Self) Leadership Resources

 

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to share…

Subscribe via the right-hand menu bar

Follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment below…

 

 

9 must-remember guidelines to succeed with social media marketing

In training on professional usage of social media with Kluwer Formations today, I’ve been helping 9 people from different organisations get started with social media. Despite their different levels of experience, different skills and different needs, they all have one thing in common: They want to use social media to market a business, organisation or product – they want to find their clients, communicate with them and reinforce brand loyalty.

In a series of several blogs over the coming weeks, I will be giving tips for anyone getting started with social media for marketing: Lots of references based on different type tools, functionalities and issues. Enjoy!

 

MY FIRST POST = 9 BASICS TO KEEP IN MIND WHATEVER YOU DO TO MARKET VIA SOCIAL NETWORKS

 

1 – Know what you are trying to achieve before you get started

Despite all the hype around social media platforms, they are still only tools. Don’t get on the train unless you’ve got a good reason. And define your reason clearly you get started. Your goals will affect the choices you make in terms of tool and activity. Defining your goal is the first step to creating strategic action.

 

2 – Know where your customers are and meet them there

As I said in my article for the December issue of T+D Magazine for ASTD, if you set up shop in the middle of nowhere and expect your customers will accept a long painful walk into the middle of nowhere, you will soon learn it doesn’t work. Don’t choose your platform for what YOU like to use. Choose what THEY like to use:

  • Which tools are your customers already using?
  • Where are most people most active?
  • What seems to suit your activity best?

 

3 – Know that not everyone uses social media platforms in the same way, to the same extent

The engagement pyramid, as explained by @charleneli in “Open Leadership” shows the 5 different types of social media user. The % of people acting in these ways diminishes as the list advances (watchers are the highest percentage, curators the lowest):

  • Watchers – the majority of people active on social networks are not SO active. They just look at stuff, soaking it all in without saying or “doing” much. You won’t know what they are thinking or how they react. But they are still there and they ARE part of your customer base.
  • Sharers – these people actually put stuff out there themselves. When they see something interesting, they share it. From what they share, you can tell what they like, what they are interested in and what they want more of (or not). Very good intel. And of course, wouldn’t it be great if they shared YOUR stuff?
  • Commenters – the next group will comment on or “like” (rate) what they find on any given platform. They actually given an opinion on what other people share. You can see their reactions and use this information to improve your offer and find out who is interested.
  • Producers – these are people that actually create something themselves. In my opinion, this should be one of YOUR main activities if you are using social media to market. You should write blogs, make videos, take pictures etc… What these people produce is what the others share, comment on and watch. No producers, nothing to look at.
  • Curators – like the curators in a museum, the role of this person is to collect, organise and share different things and put them together in one place for the others to come and find. They make sense of what has been produced, in order to make it easily accessible for the others. A key role in community management and other online activities.

 

4 – (Given point 3…) Be ready for disappointment in the beginning

The vast majority of people on a social network platform do not produce, share or comment/rate. This means that much of the time, what you put out there will not create an obvious reaction. Keep in mind 2 things:

  • It takes time to get reactions. If you have 500 followers on Twitter, you might hear from 50 of them, from time to time, if you’re lucky. If you get 5000 hits on your blog a month, you may only get 5 or 10 comments or likes. The same is true for YouTube videos.
  • ..but that doesn’t mean you are not being read. Believe in the numbers. If you have followers and friends, what you are putting out there is getting seen. If you are confident that your 500 friends and followers are well targeted potential customers, keep sharing and keep producing.

 

5 – Tools differ, but the golden networking triangle remains the same

Whatever you do on social networking tools for marketing purposes, you will need to consider 3 main types of activity, otherwise known as “the golden triangle”. Suggested by Jan Vermeiren in his currently free to download and highly practical book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn”, these 3 activity types will create a kind of snowball effect where the number of people you reach gets bigger, the number of reactions grows and the community continues to flourish over time:

  • Give things away. Share references. Not always your own content, but also other “on-brand” things you find on the web that might be interesting for your customers.
  • Ask for things. This can be a simple answer (a large piece of market research done via a poll), a request for expertise on a given topic or a fully crowd-sourced project development. Ask people to get involved and some of them will.
  • Thank people. From literally saying “thank you” is a start. Liking, commenting or sharing what you have seen is ever better. So is mentioning people. We are all in this together, so be nice to each other.

 

6 – Stay on brand. Always.

Your brand is the image you want to present of yourself, your product or service. Whatever you do on social media platforms, you have to reinforce that image. Think about it beforehand. What kind of style do you want to have? What do you want people to say about you? What do you represent? What are you the expert of? What are you offering? What can people expect from you?

 

7 – Consider a blended approach to what you put out there: 70/20/10

I know a man who tries to sell his products via Twitter. Every tweet says “Buy this or that product of mine”. It drives me crazy. My preferred approach comes from “The Twitter Book” by Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein and I think it’s much better way to position yourself and your products and services without being too pushy:

  • 70% of your posting should be sharing other people’s stuff. If you are a hypnotist trying to sell MP3s to help people quit smoking, 70% of your tweets will be sharing resources you have found about smoking, health, fitness, cancer (whatever…), but not actually pushing your product. Your customers will understand you have an opinion on these things and you stay up-to-date and interested in what they are interested in.
  • 20% of your posting can be your own products and services. You have the right to let people know about what you have to offer and they will be interested and believe you, because of the other 70% of your activity.
  • 10% can be a little light playful personal stuff that shows the world you are not just a marketing machine out to get their money. People buy from people and your followers, friends and potential customers want to know about you too. Let them know from time-to-time what you are up to at the weekend, or how that traffic jam drove you crazy. The human touch is nice… And this 10% doesn’t kill what I just said about branding.

 

8 – Cross pollinate your posting and sharing

This doesn’t go against what was said in point 2. But most of the time your customers will be spread across different platforms, so your activity must be as well. If you have posted a blog-post (like this one) on WordPress, tweet it. If you think it’s OK to post on LinkedIn as well (more on in another post) update your status there as well, or put the link in a group you have created. If you find a relevant blog from someone else and your new post could add some value, add it as a comment. If you just added a video to YouTube and your post could be a nice follow up reference, mention it in the comments.

 

9 – If what you have to say is worth saying, saying it twice, three times, four times, five times…

Take a look at your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter homepage. What do you see? Depending on how many people you follow/friend/connect to and how often they update things, the answer will differ. But over time, the same thing happens: Stuff disappears!

On most social network platforms, there is a “half-life” phenomenon which means that what you post disappears from your audience’s timeline exponentially at a certain rate, depending how many people they follow and how often those people are posting things. Concretely, this means that what you post now will be gone from view later. So what must you do?

  • Firstly, think about what time of day you are most likely to be read. Just after lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a good time. People aren’t desperately steaming ahead at the start of the week and they aren’t doing highly productive work while their lunch goes down. A good time to be read.
  • Secondly, re-post new things several times over a given period. But don’t forget point 7.

 

That’s it for this post. I will be back with specific tips for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to put these ideas into practice… Sign up to follow my blog and you won’t miss a thing ! (Look in the right-hand menu bar)

 

 

Follow me on Twitter

Share, like or leave a comment. You know it’s worth it… J

 

Everyday Corporate Email Nightmare

Next week, I will be talking to about 80 engineers about why they should start using Social Media in their work and how it can add value. I’ve got a lot of great examples, from BT’s Dare-to-Share to simple RSS feeds or using Pearltree to curate web-bookmarks on specific themes…

 

But to get their attention, I will share an everyday corporate email example of inefficiency, inbox-spamming and my general hate for the tool (or its users). I saw this in a video via Twitter some time ago, but after 2 hours trying to find it back today, I gave up and just re-worked it myself. It goes something like this:

  • A sends an email to B, C, D and E asking for input on a question
  • C forwards it to F, thinking he could help, copying in A, B, D and E
  • F replies to all, as do D and E
  • Meanwhile, A asks the same question to G, who replies to A only
  • B replies to A only and A replies to thank him for his input
  • In the end, A summarises the input from everyone

Total emails sent = 33

 

Does this sound familiar? Is it unrealistic?

I had fun this morning drawing it. It looks like this…

 

I’m hoping the engineers will see what’s wrong with this picture:

  • It’s inefficient and frustrating
  • It costs a lot of unnecessary email reading (or at least, filtering) time for everyone
  • It costs in server space
  • It is poorly restricted to a certain number of people who can supposedly provide input
  • … although ironically not restriced enough

Solutions?

Send me an email and I’ll tell you 🙂

 

Follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment

Thanks for reading!

 

Epsilon2012 – Practical Use of Social Media for Formal Learning

This page delivers all references from my Epsilon2012 Forum+ session on practical examples of how to use social media for formal learning. Have a look at the Prezi, or scroll down for more references. Thanks for reading! D

Follow me on Twitter

 

References noted within the Prezi

Emma Williamson talks “Online Community Management”

Many companies are getting on the social media train, thinking about how different online platforms can help to create better internal and external collaboration, branding, knowledge sharing etc… In the social hype, mistakes are made and lessons learnt. Sometimes it helps to have a little help…

 

For this post, I interviewed Social Media Strategist and Community Manager Emma Williamson for her thoughts on how to manage an online community. Emma has spent the last few years helping to build one of the UKs most successful online “parenting-community” platforms. She is now working with the one of the UK’s fastest growing IT companies to help create a meaningful social-media presence. You can find Emma’s full bio at the end of the post…

 

What got you SO interested in social media, Emma?
I became interested in social media when on maternity leave with my first child. I joined a well known UK baby forum and got involved with moderating comments on the site. As a result of my experience in this area I was approached by iMama.tv to join the team and be responsible for managing the online community. As luck would have it, they also wanted some help with their social media so I threw myself in to learning on the job and built a successful brand across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (achieving YouTube partner status).

 

When you talk about online communities, what do you mean by “community”?
A community in the online sense is any group of people brought together on a social platform by a common interest or goal, be it related to parenting, politics, music, sports or so on. A community will usually have it’s own set of rules and a hierarchy of membership. Whereas neighbours or friends may converse on the school run or in coffee shops, members of an online community interact through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

What would you say are the keys to successful community management, online or not?
A successful online community is one that is inclusive and evolving. It is welcoming to new members, and supportive of old and new alike. It has a set of guidelines or rules which are adhered to by the community. It’s a place where people come together for something they can’t or don’t get in ‘real life’.

 

What advice would you give to new community managers to first get the ball rolling and then create real engagement of members?
New and old community managers alike shouldn’t be afraid to get stuck in and engage with their community members. Whilst of course it is important for managers to make sure the community is running smoothly, it is also important that they are seen as a PART of a community and not just the enforcers.

Most communities have a number of hot topics – new community managers should familiarise themselves with the popular and controversial topics of a forum or platform as internet law has it these topics will come up time and time again.

But most importantly, community managers should develop their own voice and personality. Yes they have to toe the party line, but members will respect that they have ideas and opinions of their own.

 

Last question: What problems have you encountered in your work as a community manager and how did you overcome them?

As a Community Manager I’ve been lucky to oversee largely harmonious online communities however from time to time I’ve had to quell the odd uprising or deal with a particularly nasty troll or faker. I’m always taken aback when something or someone seriously disrupts an online community but as time passes people forget the upset and normal service resumes. My advice in these situations is support your community members, deal with trouble makers discreetly and move on.

20120926-232815.jpg

Emma Williamson is a Social Media Strategist and Community Manager.

Her social media experience includes three years and counting as the Community and Social Media Director for iMama.tv, the world’s first video based parenting website. She is also working with IT Supplier Kelway UK Ltd to develop and deliver a fully integrated social media strategy across five major platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Emma is currently building a website to support her social media consultancy, SoMeForYou.

Married with two kids (three if you count the husband) and based in Hove, Emma is a BA Hons English Literature graduate with a passion for cheese, sci-fi and Mulberry handbags – not necessarily in that order…