Community management basics for IC pros

Enterprise social networks are not just another communication channel. They require a new set of communication skills that traditional professional communicators often lack.

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD and here Virpi Oinonen @voinonen writes for my blog to tell us more. I love the way she communicates visually, you’re in for a treat including a free download to help you understand this topic.

She’s the author of Internal Social Networks The Smart Way – the only hands-on guide to introducing an enterprise social network in your organisation.

See for tips and advice for enterprise social champions

Over to you Virpi…

Community Management Basics For IC Pros


If you push corporate news stories to your internal social network I highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with basic community management techniques.

They will help you increase adoption, and most importantly make sure the social network is actually useful in reaching your organisation’s goals.

What is community management?

Online community management has been around for couple of decades now, but the professionalisation of the practice has only started in recent years.

Community manager is a key role when building online communities – they are the people who have their finger on the community pulse.

There are people behind these networks that make sure the community grows and develops and that members get the help and the experiences they were looking for.

The role varies depending at what stage the community is. When kickstarting new communities you often focus on developing relationships and getting people through the door. The tasks then change as the community matures.

Community managers could be described as community architects – they are not just technicians who moderate discussions.

Internal communications + community management = 21st century role?

For internal communicators community management practice can provide a fruitful loop with more traditional communications practices.

Need stories about the implementation of the new sales strategy? Tap into your community to get quotes and stories on how people are getting on in the frontline.

Get a quote from the CEO about the frontline experiences and voila – you might actually have a story that is of interest to people.

Very few internal communications people have worked as community managers or vice versa so it’s not a surprise that innovation and best practice from the community management world hasn’t reached the internal comms shores yet.

There are some differences between internal and external community management, but many of the practices are transferrable.

If you Google Community Manager Appreciation Day (26 January this year) you will find useful resources like webinars, blog posts and people you can learn from (search for #CMAD on Twitter).

I’m working on an online course on internal communication. In preparation for it I’ve developed a short email course on internal community management – you can sign up here.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

You can download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Post author: Virpi Oinonen

Thank you Virpi.

First published on All Things IC blog 26 January 2015.





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