Five New Year's resolutions for community managers

Posted on December 30th 2009

Want to make a few changes in your online community in 2010? Consider adopting these resolutions. If you like them, don't wait two days. Start today.

  1. Stop taking things personally.The members don't know you. They know your work. If a few dislike you, it's probably because you are doing your job. You cannot please everyone. Accept that this is impossible and focus on what really matters: Growing the community and bringing people together.
  2. Greet at least three newcomers daily. Do this with a personal greeting beyond “Welcome to ____.” Find something about them that you can comment on. Perhaps they have a cool avatar or mentioned that they like horseback riding in their profile.  Find a way to relate  from the very beginning.Your personal touch will go a long way.
  3. Reinvent your newsletter.Whether it's weekly or monthly it's time to fine-tune your newsletter and include content that people actually care about.If you have news to share about the organization, put it toward the end. Make members feel special by highlighting their work. Look for the most interesting, not necessarily the content with the most page views or comments. And whenever possible…make it short! (Here is a copy of one of mine.)
  4. Focus on the members, not the organization. You know you have goals and you also know that the company and it's initiatives are important. You should be the only one who knows that. Your members need to believe that the community is about them and their needs. Find a way to do do this.  Interviewing members is a good start. Here is my archive of member interviews.
  5. Share great stories up the chain. Start tooting your community's horn with your superiors. How will they ever know what's going on and how effective the community has become if you don't tell them? You know the stories but you have to share them. Send an email all the way up the chain when your community comes together for a great cause. Let the powers that be know that they've created something that hundreds or even thousands of people find valuable. Forward those emails from users that may seem a bit personal but provide insight into houw much the community means to them or how it has made a difference in their lives.

Remember, this job is what you make it. I've learned that and I'm sure you know it by now as well.  And in the event that this turns out to be my last post of 2009, let me thank you for being here and sharing my posts across your social networks.  I have quite a few things planned for 2010, including the release of my first Community Manager Survey and informational products on increasing user participation, crafting community guidelines and much much more. Stay tuned…



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Angela Connor

Angela Connor is author of the book, "18 Rules of Community Management: A guide to building relationships and connecting with customers online." She is the Managing Editor of User-Generated Content at where she played a major role in the successful July 2007 launch of the online community, GOLO. Angela is responsible for driving user-engagement and managing the day-to-day content direction and long term planning strategies for the popular community of more than 12,000 members. A multimedia journalist, Angela has worked in broadcast, print and online media for 15 years at television stations and newspapers in Cleveland, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. Angela lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina with her husband of 14 years and their two young daughters.
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Posted on December 31st 2009 at 12:31PM
Excellent Heather!Good luck. And if you feel so inclined, please share it with me. I'm @communitygirl on twitter. Or you can email me at Angela-at-AngelaConnor-dot com. I'd love to see the reinvention.


Posted on January 4th 2010 at 4:51PM
Thanks for the kind words,David Lanning and Laurie B

When we forget that it's about them, not becomes a one-way ticket to failure!