Celebrating #CMAD and setting community goals

Every 4th week of January, we celebrate everything that community managers across the globe do to build a sense of belonging, cultivate lasting relationships with customers, and generally improve customer experiences.

Not to be left out, CMX Boston gathered at Hatch Fenway on January 23 for Community Manager Appreciation Day, breakfast, and an inspiring conversation on goal-setting. Many thanks to Sense for sponsoring this event.

We’ll begin our recap with three great reads to get you amped up for community success in 2017.

#CMAD2017 recommended reading

1. The official CMAD webathon

The CMAD team, CommunityManagerAppreciationDay.com

22 amazing speakers in 12 hours. Even if you missed it, the CMAD webathon lineup is a useful snapshot of influencers to know, as well as what community managers are thinking about this year. Sessions include “The Art and Strategy Behind Online Engagement” and “Community, Technology and the Money Trail.”

2. 17 amazing community teams to thank for Community Manager Appreciation Day

Shannon Sweetser, Community Manager at Mobilize

What kinds of companies build communities? Some of them are exactly what you expect: like Reddit, at Meetup and The Rising Tide Society, the community is the product. There are also companies like Docker, Magento, and Prezi, communities that focus on peer-to-peer support, customer advocacy, and supporting members as they build their reputation as product experts.

3. 6 essential strategies to build a thriving customer community

Suzy Nelson, Community Manager at DigitalMarketer.com

If you’ve just started a Community Manager role at a company without an existing community program, you’re not alone. “There weren’t ANY strategies or processes,” writes Suzy. “My interview went along the lines of, ‘You seem nice. Your new job is to answer people’s questions on Facebook. We’ve come a LONG WAY since my interview and now manage a closed community of 10,227 members (as of this posting).” Try out the strategies that worked for Suzy.

Community manager goals for 2017

We kicked off our roundtable discussion by sharing the goals we’re working on this year. Here’s our bulleted list, as well as cherry-picked resources, examples, and inspiration to get us from here to there.

Recognizing community contributions

One common goal that we all share is recognizing our community’s most active and invested members. Who are your power users? Who volunteers to organize user meetups? Who are your happy customers who constantly recommend your product to people in your network? And how are you acknowledging their contributions? Here’s some strategies from the CMX Boston crew.

While Ben Ewing was Community Product Manager at GrabCAD, the Golden Gear Trophy and Awards recognized the top members of the community: those who write tutorials, make great CAD models, and frequently share tips and insights as comments in the forum. Fun fact: The trophy itself was designed by the community every year.

Inbar Brenner, Community Manager at Ovia Health, reports that building community within the company is a top priority. The employee of the month is awarded with a maneki-neko, or Japanese “lucky cat” figurine, which they display at their desk for a month and pass on to the next star performer.

“Our customers know that we wouldn’t exist without them,” says Veronica Armstrong, Head of Customer Happiness at Lovepop. In the early days, she made sure that every customer who placed an order received a “thank you” phone call from the company. Lovepop also recognizes top performers at their growing company with a 3D-printed unicorn, the Pop Star Award.

Join us at our next event

Next we’ll be tackling the new trend of Slack communities. Follow @CMXBOS on Twitter to grab a seat when it’s announced! See you there.

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