There are many analogies about community building. Some say it’s like gardening. Planting seeds in fertile ground, then providing the seedlings with the things they need to flourish. As the garden grows it continually needs maintenance and ongoing support (water & fertilizer). Another is that a community is like a party where the community manager is the host.

I think that the community manager role is like parenting. Parenting has it’s challenges and there are no specific instructions. Each family has it’s own culture, routines, traditions and expectations. As a parent you wonder about things. My daughter is 20 and I’ve went thru many phases.

Here are the parallels that I see.

  • a continual worry – are you doing the right thing by everyone?
  • are you treating everyone fairly & not showing favoritism?
  • are you encouraging everyone to spend time together & participate?
  • are you giving the community space to grow independently?
  • are you empowering them to be individuals? yet encouraging them to learn together?
  • are you ensuring a happy, safe environment for everyone to participate in?
  • are you introducing new ideas and encouraging the community to grow, thrive and contribute to it’s own success?

And I view my colleagues as my work family. And that’s just as important as the community/customers.

  • are you encouraging your team to learn new things about social media?
  • do you encourage them to work cross functionally and build on each other’s knowledge, share new ideas & grow the company together?
  • are you sensitive to to other’s needs and support your colleagues when they need it?
  • do you work to identify & break down barriers in a constructive way?
  • are you introducing innovative ideas that better your workplace?

I’m sure that you can think of more! And if it sounds like the position is part social worker, psychologist and parent there’s probably a reason for that! Those of us that thrive on this type of work enjoy the challenges of working with people, leading, teaching and empowering others.

Do you agree with my analogy?