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Exploring Online Community Myths

Amber Naslund writes about the five myths of community management:

Social Networking Is All We Do
It’s Always Online
We’re Just Glorified PR (or Marketing) People
It’s a Job Anyone Can Do
You Can’t Measure the Impact

I had a few short comments on the five myths Amber raises.

Social Networking Is All We Do

Instead Amber suggests that community networking is building relations with a purpose.

It’s Always Online

Nothing beats meeting people face to face.

We’re Just Glorified PR (or Marketing) People

Community management is more than communications, could be customer service, product marketing, or in Amber's article business development.

It’s a Job Anyone Can Do

There are different types of community managers, Amber's point about business perspective could be said to be the brand perspective, focusing on building value for customers through community management.

You Can’t Measure the Impact

I think the whole discussion about not being able to measure the impact, is really a misunderstanding about what needs to be focused upon when it comes to achieving results.

To obtain ranking with organic SEO the best content to gain attention is content that provides value and answers people's questions about solutions, rather than developing content that sells a product. I think the concern commentators have had about measuring ROI is the concern that the sole focus of a company managing their community efforts is to determine if there's a ROI. Yes, you have to do that. But to get that ROI, I think you also have to balance that with some metrics that measure participation levels and enthusiasm for the brand. Both sets of metrics will ensure you are being effective in your online community efforts.

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