Are you a Community Manager? Check out Training Targeted to Your Role Now!

Companies are now anxious to adopt all things “social” and launch a community to engage with customers and prospects. But as many of us know, you could select the best, industry-leading social business or community tool and your community could still fail.

Why? As my InfoWeek blog “Who’s to Blame for a Failed Community” suggests, social software vendors may provide you with best practice advice or strategy toolkits, but the responsibility for success lies solely at the feet of the customer organization to both invest in and execute upon a well thought out social business strategy.

A key part of that strategy must include investing in both community management and a strong community advocate program.

But to date there was very little training to help someone manage a community well. With the explosion of social business and community management, it became clear to many of us that a new set of skills, competencies and language was required. Many, like myself, had approached Rachel Happe of The Community Roundtable asking for resources and wondering whether it was time to start creating and promoting a standard of excellence of our own for Community Management.

Well now the hard work of Rachel Happe, Jim Storer, and other members of  The CR has finally paid off.

After a year of input from its members and partnership with WOMMA and ComBlu, those aspiring to be Community Managers, or those who want to polish their skills now have a training program to take. To learn more, check out:

Register to Take the First Module in the Community Management Certificate Program

  • Module 1: Community Specialist
  • Begins: January 24, 2012
  • Duration/Days/Dates: 6 one-hour webinars over 3 weeks every Tuesday and Thursday beginning January 24 through February 9
  • Time: 11am-12pm CT.
  • Delivery: Web Meeting/Audio
  • Instructors: Various brands
  • Sponsors:  The Community Roundtable, WOMMA, Comblu
  • Interested?  Register directly at http://commanagement.eventbrite.com/

Do you think you’re a Social Business Guru? Prove it.

Are you leading a social business initiative for your enterprise? Have you been on this journey for a few years and realizing you’re beyond the “how do I measure adoption” phase? Are you looking for more advanced topics, ones that only experienced social business evangelists face a year or two into their social business journey?

If you’ve answered “Yes!” to the questions above AND if you are a Jive Customer then the “Social Business Guru” Track at JiveWorld 2011 is for you in Las Vegas, October 4-6, 2011.

This track is for customers, by customers. “Advanced” customers that is.  This track will feature advanced topics for employee and market facing communities around three key topics:

  1. Advanced Structure
  2. Advanced Engagement
  3. Advanced Measurement

Each session will feature a deep dive  not just on one, but on two customer case studies. But that’s not all, each session will end with a rapid fire breakout/workshop session, giving attendees time to discuss an advanced topic with their peers to exchange new ideas and advanced approaches to key business problems.

Here’s a summary run down of all the topic sessions and speakers:

  1. “Advanced Structure: My Jive Turned Into My Intranet. Now What?”  Krissy Espindola, T-Mobile; Gary Lungarini, CSC
  2. “Advanced Structure: Weaving Community Into The Corporate Website”  Dianne Kibbey, Premier Farnell; Tristan Kime, Sprint
  3. “Advanced Engagement: Getting Beyond Adoption in an Employee Community”  Jem Janik, Alcatel; Tracy Maurer, UBM
  4. “Advanced Engagement:Getting Beyond Registrations in a Customer Community”.  Mark Brundage, Adaptu; John Summers, NetApp
  5. “Advanced Measurement:Measuring and Acting on Employee Community Data”.  Ted Hopton, UBM; Brice Jewell, Cerner
  6. “Advanced Measurement:Proving Return on Engagement with External Communities”. Olivier Blanchard, BrandBuilder Marketing
  7. “Social Datapalooza Panel”  If the mere mention of the word “analytics” makes you swoon—in a good way—then this session is for you. Olivier Blanchard, The BrandBuilder; Brice Jewell, Cerner; Kathryn Everest, Jive Software; David Gutelius, Jive Software; Karl Rumelhart, Jive Software; Deirdre Walsh, Jive Software

I’m excited to help bring this new customer advanced track to JiveWorld this year with my Jive Software partner, Gia Lyons.

So if you’re a Social Business Guru, and you’re wondering ‘WIIFMA” (“What’s in it for me: Advanced”), then PROVE IT. Join this track to learn and share your experience with your peers!

And oh yeah.

If you’re a “newbie” at your social business journey, don’t forget to sign up for JiveWorld’s Boot Camp, a one-day dedicated workshop for Jive prospects beginning your journey.  Come listen to myself and other Jive customers share key strategies you will need for success!

CSC’s C3 Employee Social Community Turns Two Today

As some of you might know, my day job at CSC focuses on our social business strategy. Two years ago today, my day job hit a great milestone, the day we launched our C3 employee community in pilot.

May 18, 2009

That was the date we launched our C3: Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. pilot to CSC employees. This pilot was limited in duration (six months) but not in audience (all employees from all business units or geographies could opt in if they wished). We launched the pilot as a strategic move in validating our business case and testing our adoption practices. By pilot launch 100+ global advocates, who had been our strategic planning partners, helped us seed over 200 groups and business use cases in the platform.

That pilot proved to be wildly successful. In just 20 weeks, 25,000 employees opted-in and registered in the pilot and helped us expand the groups to over 2000 groups. We were watching our metrics prove how successful the pilot was, we were hearing stories of how it was providing business value to our global teams and we were hearing stories of how the platform was winning employees hearts and minds.

May 18, 2011

Today we have over 88K+ registered users, a 69% monthly active engagement rate and over 10K+ groups in our environment. We completed a platform consolidation project just this past January and are about to launch new projects to extend our business use.

Our success with the employee community has led to the launch of a formal community program which has been extended to other aspects of our eco-system. Kudos go to so many involved in the project, both business leads, technical architects and the far too many to name list of over 100+ global advocates who helped us fuel the success of our platform.

C3 has truly changed the way we work

C3 meets all kinds of business goals by account teams, global communities, solution developers, project teams, learning professionals as well as executives and business unit for communication, collaboration and strategy alignment. We are amazed every month at the new business use cases our employees envision every day.

I’m sure many of you have similar success stories as well. What are yours?

Looking for a Community for Community Managers?

If you’ve ever been part of an active, healthy community online, you know what a valuable experience it can be. If you’ve ever led or managed an online community, you know what a challenging and rewarding experience that can be.

What if there were an online community where anyone working in or interested in community management and development could find supportive peers, expert advice and a wide array of educational and professional resources?

It seems natural, even obvious, that community management professionals should be able to form an exemplary community of their own.

Well now we have with the recently launched The Community BackChannel.

What is the Community BackChannel?

Announced on May 1, 2011, The Community BackChannel is a community of peers focused on the management and development of online communities. It’s a no-fee, non-profit private group founded by four community management professionals: Claire Flanagan, Ted Hopton, Megan Murray and Jamie Pappas.

The Community Back Channel is a group of online community professionals where ideas are shared openly, help is freely given, and supportive, collegial relationships are forged.

Why A Community for Community Managers and Practitioners?

We believe it’s important to advance the art and practice of community building by gathering active and engaged people together in a vibrant, trusting, no-sales-zone where we can learn from each other and from the experience of participating in a model community of our own.

The Community Back Channel exists to serve practitioners, people who are actively involved in building communities. The exchange of ideas and experiences, the surfacing of issues and problems and questions, the peer-to-peer support, and the development of professional relationships among practitioners creates the greatest value within our community.

We also recognize that advancing the knowledge in this field relies on the delicate balance of conversation, interaction and engagement with thought leaders, experts, consultants and vendors. We hope to foster this healthy and balanced exchange in a “no-sales-zone” which benefits the entire community.

We strive to share our knowledge and understanding outside of our group whenever it’s appropriate to do so without compromising confidentiality. The Community Back Channel is interwoven with other groups involved in community building, and our many of our members are leaders in public conversations about communities.

Sound Interesting? Join Us!

If you’re interested in joining our more than twenty charter members, then check out our full vision and mission, and see whether you qualify for membership.

We’d love to hear from you!

And be sure to follow us on Twitter @cmtybc.

Join me at J. Boye Conference in Philadelphia, May 3- 5, 2011

I will be speaking at J. Boye’s third North American conference in Philadelphia this May 3-5, 2011. J. Boye

Billed as an idea sharing summit for web and intranet professionals, this conference promises to provide a fantastic learning and networking event for online professionals. In considering this event, I was immediately impressed with the simultaneously high focus on case study content and social events to enrich the networking experience.

I’ll be participating in two sessions.

Tuesday Tutorial: “Social Business Collaboration: A Practical Framework for Adoption, Staffing, Governance and Education”

Join my colleague, Megan Murray and me as we provide a practical framework for socializing your intranet.

Enterprises are increasingly evolving their intranets into state of the art social business collaboration platforms using Enterprise 2.0 technologies where employees can locate expertise and assets, engage and interact, and co-create and collaborate along work topics. Wikipedia defines Enterprise 2.0 as “the use of “Web 2.0″ technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration – connecting people through the use of social-media tools.” This workshop will arm the practitioner with a working definition of social business collaboration while providing practical advice for making the business case for change, planning for deployment and adoption, deciding on community models and governance, planning for education and measuring success.

Thursday Intranet Track Case Study Presentation: “Getting Beyond The Field of Dreams: Building a Successful Social Business Strategy, Inside and Out”

Join me on Thursday as I shared CSC’s Case Study in deploying social business tools for our 93,000+ employee community.

When it comes to deploying social collaboration tools for the enterprise, you hear you can’t plan to go viral. But you can’t go viral if you don’t plan well.

How do you ensure that when you build the environment, your users will come? Come learn how CSC got beyond the “Field of Dreams” and went viral with their industry award-winning adoption practices for its employee community titled “C3: Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.” Finally, this session will conclude with a glimpse on how CSC has begun extending social business capabilities to its eco-system.

For more information about the session context above, check out “A Successful Social Business Strategy: It Can be Done“.

Be sure to sign up, if you haven’t already.

Community Managers. Why Do You Need Them? And What Do They Do?

That is the topic of a paper I submitted for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference commencing next week in Santa Clara.

Why did I pick this topic?

Well as many of you know, CSC started our journey in social collaboration for an internal facing, or employee community. But what many of you may not know as much about is the equivalent progress we’ve made with external facing communities that fall under an umbrella of a wider Social CRM strategy. Our community program is one tactic in a series of strategies aimed at connecting various points of our eco-system together in a well-crafted way to fuel innovation for our enterprise and our customers.

I’ve been fortunate to get involved with this effort and really understand what it takes to stand up, plan for and launch communities for both employees and customers. And to me, it became immediately clear that while both types of communities require good community leadership – the tactics and specifics can vary ever so slightly or in some cases, maybe more dramatically.

This conference will be my fifth Enterprise 2.0 Conference, and I had a strong desire to help the conference evolve with topics I know practitioners need and want. For at least the last few conferences the topic of “community management” was often alluded to in other tracks, but never covered as a full, dedicated session. And yet there are so many aspects of good community management that should be talked about, shared and compared.

Research suggests the strong correlation between successful communities and the quality of community management found in those communities. Community Managers are the coaches, so to speak, of their communities. Their passion, vision and enthusiasm can inspire members and set the tone for the level of engagement within your community. But what does that mean exactly? How can you make the case for a community manager? What do they do? Why are they critical to a community?

These were all good questions I thought new practitioners would need answers to in order to make a solid business case for this role. It was with that in mind that I submitted my paper, but I didn’t just want to share the CSC Case Study even though we’ve had experience now with both employee and customer communities. Instead,  I thought it would be more informative to put together a session with smart community managers from other companies – a true mini-case study session.

Here’s the abstract for our session:

You hear you need a Community Manager. But why do you need one? And what should a Community Manager do?

Whether you’re launching an employee or market-facing community, you’ll want to join this session to learn why this role is so critical to the success of your community. Speakers from three organizations will share community governance models, community manager job descriptions, and provide a glimpse into the day-in-the-life of a community manager.

Fortunately, I found two other great practitioners to round out this session. Speakers will include:

External, Customer Community Management

Erica Kuhl
Community Manager
Salesforce.com | Social Media & Community
Blog: blogs.salesforce.com
Twitter: @erica_kuhl

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Internal, Employee Community Management

Megan Murray
Community Manager, Project Manager
Booz Allen Hamilton
Blog: http://meganmurray.net
Twitter: @MeganMurray
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External (Customer), Internal (Employee) Perspective Compared

Claire Flanagan
Director, KM and Social Business Collaboration Strategy
CSC
Blog: http://cflanagan.wordpress.com
Twitter: @cflanagan
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Attending Enterprise 2.0 in Santa Clara?

Be sure to check out our session on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. And note, this time, we are only one session of an inaugural community management track at the conference. Check it out! http://www.e2conf.com/santaclara/conference/community-development-and-management.php

“When Advocates Talk Brands Grow”

Or otherwise known as “I heart Blank”. I just love this video – it speaks volumes about why advocates are an important part to a brand campaign. Lessons can be learned for the Enterprise 2.0 evangelists here as well.

The video speaks for itself.

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