Launching and maintaining an internal social network at The McGraw-Hill Companies has been an exciting learning experience. In my “The Life of a Community Manager” series, I will highlight key aspects that have been central in my experience as a community manager.
That satisfaction of giving joy to others is available to all community managers almost every day. How? In the form of content. Our team realized that people were producing lots of great business content. Functional tips, market insights, competitive intelligence, lessons learned and the list goes on. They were taking time to write it and I was reading it, but the people that may benefit the most from it weren’t always finding it.
So I took on the (ahem unofficial ahem) role of Chief Content Curator. In doing so, it was my duty to give air to the great content that users were generating and to give credit and exposure to the thought leaders that were producing it. So we reserved a space on our homepage that was for user-generated content. The only rules were that it needed to be original (at least part of it), informative and compelling. I would browse for content 2-3 times a week and would post 5-7 items (blog posts, discussions, documents) that best fit the criteria. This turned out to be a great move.
Content creators loved it! They were trying to boost their readership anyway. By putting their pieces right on the homepage, their readership would double, triple and quadruple. And in many cases, this sparked meaningful conversations about important business issues.
Employees loved it! Those who like to be in the know or are passionate about a given issue or company news were able to stay informed more easily. The intellectual exchange and the ability to find people and content that matters to them.
We loved it! Using employee-generated content and surfacing it prominently on our Intranet homepage made the site even more relevant and functional for employees that were adjusting to social functionality as the core of their intranet.
Each time I update this, I tag the “contributors” in my status to alert them that their content is on the homepage.
I think there are three things that community managers can do to give the gift of content to the members of their community:
My parents kind of know what I do every day at work.
They know that McGraw-Hill has this internal social network and that I’m the community manager. But I’m not sure they quite grasp all that the role of enterprise community manager encompasses.
So when I came across this excellent description on Yammer of what an internal community manager does, I sent it to my parents. I thought it clearly articulated some of the key areas of responsibility for a community manager.
The concept of community management is important for any internal social network. I, and other community managers at all kinds of companies, work to ensure that the community is thriving and enables employees to share freely with their colleagues. That is the core that drives all actions, be that selling the solution to business leaders, moderating discussions or linking employees with similar concepts.
Hopefully, after reading the article, my parents will know what it is I do everyday.