Saturday, 4 February 2012

Community Managers

This week's topic is community managers, a customer-service/public relations type of role dedicated to supporting the growth of online communities attached to the product or service.

The online communities themselves may spring up independently as fans, or be consciously developed by the company.  Much of the literature supports the idea that the community manager err on the side of the public and create trust, rather than transparently towing the company line. For example, a good community manager may recommend another company’s product, if that ultimately builds the trust of the community.

I found the following article by Terry Rachwalski, a consultant in beautiful Victoria, BC. She offers a simple description of what she considers the attributes of a good community manager. Unlike some of the other writers, Rachwalski doesn't see the role as independent of the company agenda.

Two examples of Canadian companies who have demonstrated effective community management:


This company is all over available social media sites and hosts forums on its own site.

From the website: “What truly makes us fantastic is our community. Our team isn't stacked with corporate suits but PC enthusiasts just like our customers. We have very knowledgeable and helpful customers like you who contribute daily to our forums, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitter. Their enthusiasm and support, and yours, helps set us apart from everyone else.”

NCIX has almost  80,000 Facebook members and aside from communities it is involved in listed above, has its own user forum and distributes weekly e-newsletters.

NCIX uses Facebook to host contests, liking gets you the flyer and there is an option to recommend it to friends.

According to the NCIX Facebook page: ”We strongly believe that our success is determined by the experience our customers and partners receive. We thank everyone who supported us over the years and appreciate the continued support as we continue to grow.”


An online bookstore naturally has a huge online community managed on their site as well as a Facebook page, a Youtube channel and Twitter.

Their onsite community offers members a variety of activities including networking with other members, joining or beginning a book club, building a virtual bookshelf, posting reviews and creating top 10 lists.
The Indigo Facebook has almost 240,000 fans and includes a game you can play, an Indigo  Ideas section for customer feedback.

1 comment:

  1. I love the indigo community - it is vibrant and thriving. I think it does a great job of making their member feel special and appreciated with discounts and book club membership. They are also receptive to customer feedback, which shows they are really listening. Thanks for sharing!