Community Managers: Advice From the Trenches

By: Guest | February 13, 2013 | 

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio.

It’s a mystery to many people what a community manager does.

Thank goodness for Jeremiah Owyanng, who created a holiday for us…Community Manager Appreciation Day.

It’s the fourth Monday, every January, and it was created to, “Recognize and celebrate the efforts community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.

It can be an exhausting job – yet it’s among the most in-demand social media position.

So what exactly is a community manager?

Every organization will need or want something different for the role they are trying to fill.

To me a community manager is a mix of support and marketing. They let people know what is going on and they listen to understand what the community wants. Some community managers may be mostly support, some may do some messaging to promote their brand message or an upcoming event, while others arrange meet-ups and write blog posts that spotlight interesting community generated content.

We just celebrated Community Manager Appreciation Day a few weeks ago and to commemorate our very special day, Marketwire and released a collection of community management advice from more than 600 community managers. As a community manager myself, I was interested to see what some of the answers were. Some of my faves are below.

Advice From the Trenches

“The real power of community management is that it connects directly with the customers, bypassing standard marketing channels that are seldom more than a one-way, outbound form of messaging.” (on what role community management plays in marketing)~ Cade Peterson, Sony Computer Entertainment America.

“These departments are inextricably linked. They’re like cheeseburgers and French fries. Sure, you can have one without the other, but why would you want to?” (on the relationship between customer service and the community) ~ Jenne Pedde, 2U, Inc., and

“You’re going to fail a lot. That’s ok. Don’t be afraid. Embrace it… ” (on advice for new community managers) ~David SpinksFeast

“You’re only one person and there are going to be pits and peaks. If a campaign doesn’t work, learn from it and move on….” (on the biggest leson learned in community building) ~ Alexa Plew, Eventbrite

“I believe the community manager will enter the c-suite, or a similar role. Because community managers touch everything from product to customer service to marketing, there are few people (better) suited to lead the customer experience from the top down moving forward.” (on the future of community management) ~ Nick Cicero, Livefyre.

For those in the community management space – or if you want to BE in that space – give this eBook a read. You might find opinions you agree or disagree with, but there is no doubt you’ll learn something. And it just might help you feel less alone.

Also a HUGE thanks to Jason Konopinski for sending me some chocolates for #CMAD. All the rest of you better step up your game next year!

Does your company have a community manager? Have you had a great experience from a brand thanks to a community manager?

Yvette Pistorio is an account executive and community manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online. You can find her on Twitter (Spin Sucks and personal), FacebookLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

  • I have to one-up your boss SOMEHOW. 😀

    • @jasonkonopinski You know happens when you make comments like this? WordPress eats your blog posts. Serves you right.

      • @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski WordPress must be hungry…

        • @yvettepistorio  @jasonkonopinski It’s because he was mean.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio  @jasonkonopinski Jason didn’t send me anything. 🙁

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio I tried, but Facebook gifts weren’t available in Canadia!

        • @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Le sigh.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Riiiiiight.

  • JoshfromMaine

    “@eveypistorio: Community Managers: Advice From the Trenches by me via @spinsucks”

  • MollyBorchers

    @ginidietrich Thanks, Gini!

    • ginidietrich

      @MollyBorchers Thanks for letting me know!

  • Thanks for including me @yvettepistorio

  • 40deuce

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this here!
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos and Marketwire
    PS- my colleagues decorated my desk and got me a few presents too for CMAD. It was awesome.

    • @40deuce A little late, but this was the earliest we could fit this in! I loved all the different viewpoints and always like hearing about others experiences.
      And nice!! I’m sure my colleagues would’ve decorated my desk if we were in an office together. Right @ginidietrich @belllindsay  @allenmireles @pattiknight ?!?

      • belllindsay

        @yvettepistorio  @40deuce  @ginidietrich  @allenmireles HAHAHA!! Way to stir it up Sheldon. 😉

  • Killer post!  Love the “from-the-horses-mouth advice!  We’ll have to remember this day net year.  It’s a perfect excuse to let our team play hooky and celebrate.

    • @HeatherTweedy Thank you Heather! It’s January 27 next year…not that I checked or anything 😉

      • belllindsay

        @yvettepistorio  @HeatherTweedy Don’t listen to her Heather. She already put it in all of our calendars. :

  • Gini Dietrich

    I just had an amazing experience with Cabot Cheese on Twitter. I AM IN LOVE!

  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    Pop Chips was the best for me…they sent me not one but TWO cases of chips b/c I wanted some. I’ll never forget it ^yp

  • PattiRoseKnight

    I love your title – haven’t read yet but had to say that 🙂

  • Thanks for the shout out Yvette!

    • @DavidSpinks I wish someone had given me that advice when I first started as a community manager!! I was absolutely terrified to make any comments or posts!

  • Gini Dietrich

    I got a case, too. And they were DELICIOUS!

  • PattiRoseKnight

    We are lucky to have such a great Community Manager and they sure do deserve a day.  When Yvette was on vacation I filled in and couldn’t wait for her to come back.  I can now totally appreciate all that is involved in her job.  I didn’t lose any “likes” during her days off thank goodness!  Happy belated Community Manager’s Day!!!!

    • @PattiRoseKnight Hahahaha!!! You did great when I was out 🙂

      • PattiRoseKnight

        @yvettepistorio I didn’t not but thanks for saying that.  I’m just glad our community didn’t decrease.  You do a MUCH better job!!!

  • CaronSue

    An In-Depth Look at the Role of Community Managers by @eveypistorio | Spin Sucks via @spinsucks @ginidietrich

  • 12mass

    @ginidietrich Nice post! See our tips for community managers here:

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  • aakela

    RT @jfouts : Community Managers: Advice From the Trenches via @ginidietrich

  • I have been working as a community manager for three months now. It is the most delightful experience I have ever had. I appreciate the advice on failures, just ran into my first few. Though they are recoverable if you have a community that supports you. So far the community has come out in spades and I see my job as honoring that every day in every way that I can.

  • eveypistorio

    @PaulRakov Thank you Paul!!

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