Did you know Community Manager Appreciation Day falls on the fourth Monday in January, and that we’re celebrating our third annual day of appreciation? CMAD was founded in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang as a way to say “thanks” to the people who enrich our online experiences by making sure our favorite online communities are positive, productive places of discussion.
I was thinking about Community Management Appreciation Day yesterday and wondering how to best thank my favorite CM’s. Most of us only know community managers as an online presence only, and might think it’s hard to show appreciation for people we’ve never met in person or don’t know very well at all.
I have a few suggestions…
1. Comment on blog posts
If your favorite community manager has a blog, drop by and participate in the discussion. It takes very little time to read and comment on a blog post, but the reward to the blogger is much greater. It touches them to know they wrote something that touched you. If the blog is a brand blog sponsored by the community manager’s place of employment, those comments are uber important. Many businesses use blog comments as one way to measure a community’s success. In other words, the boss is watching. A blog post filled with comments and discussion is indication the community manager is doing something right.
2. Participate on the social networks
I’m going to tell you something very few community management types will admit. This job can be frustrating. When we tweet a discussion topic and no one responds it can be a little embarrassing and might make us feel ineffective. And when we post a question on Facebook to 10,000 community members and only three people respond, we wonder why we aren’t reaching more people. Moreover, when community managers aren’t getting the response they hope for, their managers and bosses take notice.
However, you shouldn’t only take part in discussions because the boss is watching. Without participation a community will die. There’s no need to have a community campaign if no one takes part. When you take the time to comment on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or any other social network, you’re also telling your community manager and fellow community members you care about keeping the community alive.
Finally, it puts a smile on your community manager’s face when you participate which is the most important reason of all.
3. Give a recommendation on LinkedIn
First a disclaimer: I’m not a fan of connecting with or giving recommendations on LinkedIn to people you barely know. However, if you’ve participated in your community for some time and you feel your community manager is doing a terrific job, by all means give a recommendation on LinkedIn. This will help to establish her expertise and even to get a promotion or new job. Recommendations shouldn’t be given or taken lightly, but they’re a way to give your community managers endorsement for a job well done.
4. Invite others in the community
One of the ways a business evaluates a community manager’s job is through growth. When you endorse a community and invite others to participate, you’re not only endorsing the community as a whole, but you’re giving a shout out to the community manager for running such a successful gathering place. Inviting others to participate means you’re recommending the community to your friends, which is one of THE best gifts to give.
5. Give a little Klout
Wait. Hear me out. I know most of us think Klout is a little silly and doesn’t measure influence at all. However, a lot of people DO pay attention to their Klout scores (whether they admit it or not). Plus, when you give a community manager a K in his level of expertise you’re telling him you like what he does enough to publicly out him as an expert. There are plenty of hiring agents who look to Klout as a gauge of one’s expertise and to see a community manager with lots of K’s from community members says the CM is doing something right.
6. Say “thank you”
Such a simple thing, isn’t it? Don’t forget to thank a community manager who has touched your life. Those two words go a long, long way.
How are you going to give your favorite CM’s a shout out on Community Manager Appreciation day? If you’re a community manager and wish to follow today’s festivities, look for the hashtag #CMAD on Twitter.