i am a good idea.

Confessions of a Community Manager

I currently have half a dozen businesses (oh, and myself) for which I act as the community manager – developing content for social media accounts, responding to customers comments, proactively generating new business, etc. I’ve worked with another dozen in the past. These are some confessions.

  • Sometimes I have conversations on Twitter between the different accounts I manage. This makes me feel slightly schizophrenic. But hey, I can’t help it they’re interrelated businesses – the bar serves beer from the brewery that the website covers and sometimes they all want to talk to form a semi-circle and hold hands and I just go with it.
  • I probably Tweet to the wrong account 1/100 Tweets. It’s never been anything remotely as fun as this. It usually takes me about half a second to realize and correct the error.
  • I once had to revoke a client’s access from their own Facebook page because they told a customer to fuck off. They agreed it was for the best to filter future responses through me.
  • I have recurring nightmares that someone has a meltdown about one of my clients on Twitter and I have to go check my phone at 4am to verify everything is OK.
  • I have, to the best of my knowledge, only once posted something to a client’s account that offended one of their customers. It was a stupid “if you do this, God will kill a kitten” joke. It wasn’t inappropriate for the brand and it attracted dozens of reposts and likes… but the person was REALLY offended so it wasn’t really worth it and I lay off the dead cat jokes now.
  • I have sat next to friends who were using their phone to have a conversation with a business I manage on Twitter and didn’t realize that I was the person with whom they were exchanging messages.
  • I recently discovered that an inactive Facebook page I helped set up for a local news station 3+ years ago is configured to forward to their very active Twitter profile with 30k+ followers. I also discovered that I was still an Admin. I committed no evil with this knowledge and revoked my own Admin access.
  • I work with clients in 10 or 20 hour per month retainers. I always put in more work than I’m supposed to (and don’t bill for it) because I have fun doing this stuff and forget it pays my rent.

12 Responses to “Confessions of a Community Manager”

  1. Ahhh, love this! Community management is fun, sometimes tricky, and occasionally challenging, but the recurring nightmare thing? It’s real. And I wish more businesses had these nightmares about their Social communities, because it would mean that they REALLY understood the potential power of their Social networks.

    You do good, Cheryl. For realsies. :)

  2. Cheryl says:

    Haha, thanks, Sarah. FOR SERIOUSLY (ala Applebee’s)

  3. Evan Roberts says:

    I can totally relate to some of these, though I wouldn’t call myself anyone’s Community Manager (yet). Especially the one about admin access. I don’t think people get what a big deal that is. Like literally anything can be posted to the wall and you’ll have no idea who did it!

    But like you, I could never betray that trust. It’s nice to know there are still good people in the world haha

  4. I have never had someone ask me if it’s hard to keep all my personalities separated.

    I have never had to bite my tongue from saying “it’s me! it’s me!” when people gush how much they enjoy ABC Company’s twitter stream.

    I could go on and on… what a great post – thanks for making me laugh. :)

  5. Cheryl says:

    Aw, why thank you! The multiple personality thing can get to you sometimes… :)

  6. I’m also juggling multiple clients so I can definitely relate. I agree, I put in way more hours than I bill for but I don’t mind because it’s the absolute coolest job in the world, even after 16 years :)

    Loved your post!

  7. Cheryl says:

    It truly is! :)

  8. Steve Jones says:

    Unfortunately you might end up like me, one of Cheryl’s “thrown away” personalities from some old client. I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be, and I barely remember where I’m from.

    Just remember that throwing away personalities can have real effects and if I were real, I’d be hurt right now.

  9. Cheryl says:

    haha, uh, sorry mr. jones :(

  10. W says:

    Should I call it a day?

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