Hey, look – it’s the 4th Monday of January, which means it’s Community Manager Appreciation Day (and my birthday as well!). Today is a special day and, of course, I had to blog about it.
My Community Manager story is already featured on the Community Manager Appreciation Day website (here), which is nice, and if you want to check it out, feel free to do so. However, I’m not going to blog my story again, and the theme I bring here today is a bit different. I’m actually going to share a few thoughts I have on the Community Manager Appreciation Day.
This special day is important to me, not only because today is my birthday, but also because as a community manager it’s nice to have my hard work recognised. As I said, as a community manager I know (some of the) issues community managers face: we work full-time (even if we’re paid part-time, sometimes we’re even working voluntarily), we have to be there when our brand faces a social crisis, and we make it go through it and survive; we know what a troll is, and we know we can’t beat them (at least most of the times).
So yeah, it’s nice to have this day. And this year’s Community Manager Appreciation Day theme is “Evolution of The Community Manager“. Looking into the past (and I don’t have that much experience, when I started working as a CoMa Facebook was already the big thing out there), the online community manager role goes back to the time of IRC (although it probably wasn’t called ‘community management’ back then), and if we think about it offline we’ll notice this role has existed since ever. After IRC, forums came up, then social networks, and people started using several channels to engage with other people (“Humans are social animals.” – Aristotle). Nowadays, we have Twitter for short messages, Facebook, Instagram for pictures, Vine for short videos, Youtube for longer videos, …, there are so many social networks that it’s almost impossible to follow all of them (which is why great tools have come up as well). And Community Managers had to adapt and follow the trends.
On this year’s Community Manager Appreciation Day there are hangouts running for 24 hours. I personally find this great and I’d definitely participate if I felt I could add something valuable. There’s nothing better than discussing community management with other community managers to learn something, to evolve and to adapt to nowadays trends. (I’m actually writing this article and listening to an interesting discussion on Organic Community Growth from Scratch). However, I feel like the general public is still unaware of what a community manager is. I mean, when I tell people I’m a community manager, they instantly ask me ‘What’s that?’ – this question wouldn’t come up if I said I was a doctor or an engineer.
After years of existence (the Community Manager Appreciation Day was first celebrated in 2010, and this job is much prior to this date), it is still a commonly unknown role. In my opinion, we need the Community Manager Appreciation Day to reach more people, to create more awareness around this amazing job, which I wouldn’t trade for any other job in this world.