Community managers are funny people. Full of passion, energy and a desire to help, they’re out there every day making peoples lives better and it’s an emotional roller coaster. They’re a bit of a mad bunch, but they’re my favourite people in the world.
Managing communities isn’t easy. They’ve got a lot of pressures – feedback coming in from every side, new initiatives that have to go right, networks to keep track of and unruly members to moderate and keep on track.
With all these pressures it’s not easy to keep it all together and they’ve got to balance those emotional states to be as effective as possible. So what are the emotions that community managers go through?
Great community managers are excited a lot of the time. They’re passionate about what they preach and look for every opportunity to share it, often times annoyingly so. They use a ton of emoticons and multiple exclamation marks wherever possible. They’re wearing out the @ key on their keyboard from sharing too much. And – at times – are very annoying to sit next to! ;)
It’s hard being excited all the time and it’s a very high and low emotional environment. Despite constant likes, not being able to affect the change they want or receiving negative feedback can cut deeper that it looks and can bug community managers for a long time.
Dwelling on those can leave them feeling isolated, even though they’re continuing to talk to people at the same time. The problem is most of those conversations are online and remote working’s pretty common for community managers. They’ve got to be proactive and connect and share in the real world to feel better.
That’s where networks come in; great community managers support each other and affect change together.
We love our communities and we wouldn’t replace them for the world. But sometimes, just sometimes, they can push you to the limit.
Teaching people to collaborate isn’t easy and your going against heavily embedded behaviours.
You’ve got to keep repeating yourself day in day out to get people to understand and that can be exasperating!
There are times when you just feel like why don’t these people get it? Can’t they see the value in working together? Why are they not working together in first place? How did that even happen? Isn’t working together something everyone wants to do?!
Then you get on social and say hey guys, why don’t people get it? They say:
“I know right, they should just do this, it’s obvious!”
And you’re going “Exactly! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them!
It’s at that point when stepping away from the keyboard is the best thing to do. Grab a snack. Have a drink. Vent to the nearest colleague. And come back feeling happy and ready to educate again.
Helping someone share their first blog post and it blowing up with comments. Seeing someone share what they’re doing and the community saying how awesome it is. Being there for the great “Oh, I get it now, it makes so much sense!” moments are make for the best emotional state – pride.
They’re made even better because they’re earned through consistency, empathy and a desire to share and help people. And the best thing about pride is it’s infectious.
Your pride drives you to share peoples work so others can comment and share and tell them how much they love it. That makes them even prouder, more likely to share again and create more proud moments.
Seeing your guidance change people go from quiet insular people to collaboration advocates, demonstrating collaborative behaviours, educating others, creating valuable connections, getting new jobs and sharing their passions – now that makes community managers feel EPIC.
They’re those moments where you read a comment and punch the air with both hands. You go ‘yes!’ in your head (or even out loud!) or you race to show people how awesome something is. Epic. Moments. You can’t replace that.
Is it worth it?
Of course, no community manager would tell you otherwise! Share your epic stories below!