Kristin Paulick and her staff did a great job with Community 2.0! I had heard wonderful things about last year’s conference & I was excited to join the second annual gathering of people who live & breathe community.

When Kristin & I first talked, she was exploring topics/speakers for this event & asked what challenges community managers have. This presentation evolved from that brainstorming session. It’s an overview of the role from the employee and employer’s perspectives.

After I finished my slide deck I asked my friend Bill Miller, CMO at Digium to review it. He reminded me what other CxO friends have told me, “You need to show ROI and how it affects the bottom line”. For a long time I tended towards the purist side of community, but I do understand that business conversion goals are needed. Having a community manager is dedicating precious resources and it needs to be justified.

Here is my slide deck along with a quick overview of my presentation.

I was a librarian for 10 years and I was a disruption there too. :) I’m a connector by nature so providing resources and information comes naturally to me. I mentor community managers from around the world despite the fact that I’m geographically challenged. (Starbucks is 60 miles away!).

Community is a new channel for business. It offers new strategies for customer acquisition, customer satisfaction, retention, product development & the list goes on… but it takes a human touch! The Community Manager is a MetaCustomer who connects with customers, potential customers and identifies new markets which translates to increased revenues.

The community manager position will increase your brand value in 3 months. What is your brand worth? Consider the converse question – What is your brand worth if it has no visibility?

Slides nine & ten outline the traits of a community manager. If you quit listening to them they will go away. If you have an excellent one cherish them. It’s a challenging job and we love what we do. But we want to make a difference!

I was the first to broach the topic of salary & some may consider it tacky. I strongly believe that this role provides so much value that it shouldn’t be compensated as an entry level position. Having a community manager is like giving them an open checkbook for your brand. There needs to be trust, respect and they need to be compensated for that level of responsibility.

There are many advantages to having a community manager that works remotely. They see beyond the four walls of the company. And they’re project oriented so they have ‘deliverables’ rather than do ‘seat time’. Many of us know that we get so much more done by working off site.

Slide thirteen is for organizations considering adding a community manager. If you’re not interested in listening to your customer’s ideas, acting on them and open to change then don’t bother with the position. It’s a waste of everyone’s time (and will result in a frustrated community manager).

On slide fourteen the circles will expand when a skilled community manager is engaged. Our role is to provide resources and information. This will increase conversionfor your business goals. We compliment the efforts of the other teams & work cross functionally to increase communication & break down barriers.  People WANT to support brands that interact with them in a positive way.

Here’s a short video of my presentation with an overview at Community 2.0 blog.