Around the Global Community in 24 Hours #CMAD

6 minute read
Lori Alcala avatar

On Monday’s sixth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), people from around the world immersed themselves in 24 hours of pure community management wisdom.

During the live Google Hangout, hosted by My Community Manager, community experts from across a variety of industries and geographies presented 24 sessions on topics such as determining whether your business is ready for a community, how to humanize your community, how to drive community engagement, how to handle a social media crisis, and the importance of employee advocacy.

Here’s a quick wrap up of a few of the day’s sessions, as well as a look at CMAD’s reach across the globe.

A World Audience

Anyone engaging in social media about this year’s community event were encouraged to use the hashtags #CMAD or #CMGR in their posts.

So, was anyone talking about CMAD?

Take a look at this heat map by Sysomos, which shows where the #CMAD hashtag was used around the world.

Aaron Biebert, director and executive producer of social videos and brand films at Attention Era Media, commented on the reach of Community Manager Appreciation Day as represented in the map during the Hangouts wrap-up session.

“It was pretty amazing to see people from all over the world – even places you wouldn’t necessarily think would be big into online communities were represented.”

Insights from CMAD Hangouts

In case you missed it, we’re providing insights from a few of the CMAD sessions here. You can also access full recordings of each of the 24 sessions on the CMAD website.

What's a Community? How Do We Nurture It?

During this session, six panelists from France, the UK and Australia discussed the meaning of a community; the differences between B2B and B2C communities; the role emotion plays in communities; and whether or not communities should be “managed.”

Here are a few snippets from the conversation:

Learning Opportunities

Communities are not just a random gathering. They’re a group of people who come together for a purpose.” — Joanne Jacobs, digital strategist

If users and consumers can find value in coming together in some way, shape or form, going back to that single purpose, then there is real fertile ground for a community to take shape and for it to develop". — Andrew Gerrard, head of social business, Like Minds

It’s not just about showcasing products. It’s about knowledge. What I like to do with my colleagues is to send them on Twitter to have these discussions because they are experts, they are individuals, and in this case I see they’re even more powerful than the brand because they really have the knowledge to share and they have the credibility.” — Stéphane Lapeyrade, social media manager, Alcatel-Lucent

I think what brings people together is an emotional connection … It doesn’t matter what drives you to have that emotional connection … The important thing for community managers is to find that out and use it for the good of the client or the business that we’re working for.” — James Barisic, marketing and business consultant

Watch the full recording of What is a Community and How Do We Nurture It? on the CMAD website.

Communities for B2B Businesses

This session brought together presenters from the US and the UK to discuss some of the key differences between B2B and B2C communities, how to humanize a B2B community, developing brand advocates, measurements for success, and tools currently used for online communities today.

In the B2B space you need to understand, not only what your goals are, but understanding that those quick wins might not be as easy as with the B2C community … It starts with creating value and connecting people to people no matter what business you’re in overall.” — Brian Fanzo, Chief Digital Strategist, Talking Fast and Tweeting Faster

Someone becomes a brand advocate because they’ve had an amazing experience with a product or with a service. Whether that is in a B2B context or in a B2C context, fundamentally it’s the same.” — Amir Bazrafshan, creative director, Apricot Creative Video

People buy people. It’s important to try to get that message. Some businesses are very hard to humanize because they’re all about the brand, and all about the product, or the widget or the service that they do. “ — Tim Elliott, director, strategist and digital development consultant

Watch the full recording of Building a Community for B2B Businesses on the CMAD website.

Community Advocates for Your Brand

Featuring presenters from around the globe representing brands such as Yammer, Yelp, Pearson and Influitive, this session focused on how companies can leverage the enthusiasm of those who love their brands in order to build their communities.

What I do every day is just build people who love what we’re doing and want to spread the word, not because we’re paying them, not because we’re incentivizing them, but because they authentically and organically love us. — Alex Shebar, London community director at Yelp

An advocate is someone who is willing to make a nonfinancial investment in your company … Advocacy goes beyond the positive word of mouth; it’s actually backing you up like a close friend or colleague.” — Truman Tang, senior marketing manager, customer and advocacy, Influitive

We want those advocates to be helping us with our social selling. We want that word of mouth to be engendered and to be prolific, and we think that social media has enabled that, but it’s all about how you engage your community leaders, and how you nurture them as to how successful they’ll be doing that.” — Christie Fidura, senior consultant, The Perfect Circle

One of the things we focused on is building strong brand advocates internally because if our employees are not talking about our brand in a positive way – if they’re not true advocates for what we do – then we’ve really got no hope in getting our customers to actually feel so strongly about what it is that Pearson does.” — Kim England, director, global internal communities, Pearson

Watch the full recording of Building an Advocate Community for Your Brand on the CMAD website.

What Does Community Manager Appreciation Day Mean to You?

Wrapping up our coverage of CMAD, CMSWire had the opportunity to ask one of the day’s presenters about what Community Manager Day means for him.

“The significance of Community Manager Appreciation Day for me is there's a growing recognition that modern day business, or at least good business, is more than just sales,” stated Alex Shebar, community manager for Yelp London.

“It's about the appreciation you show every day for the customer base. If you're doing your job well, your customers are doing promotion for you every day through social media and word of mouth. My job as a community manager is to give them a place to belong, and CMAD tells me that it's working, that I'm on the right track to making them feel appreciated. It shows me that I'm doing a good job.”

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