What I’ve learned after one year as Community Manager of Social Media Club


 

I’ll soon be celebrating my one year anniversary with Social Media Club.  When I first joined on a part-time basis, Yong Lee and I conducted our first community census, which showed the size and growth Social Media Club has sustained since 2006.  


My hope since starting was to join SMC full-time, which I did at the beginning of 2011.  My job functions have increased to handling a lot of the day to day responsibilities of monitoring our social channels, blogging, managing our editorial team, troubleshooting website issues, email marketing, handling membership issues, assisting more than 300 chapters through all levels of maturity from launch stage to brainstorming solutions for established chapter’s challenges, and more. 


I am so fortunate to be working for an organization that values ethics and standards in a sea of noise and questionable behavior. I have grown professionally in the last year and continue to seek new challenges to become a better Community Manager for the Social Media Club community. Here are a few of things I’ve learned over the last year,    

  

Writing comes before breathing 

One only becomes a better writer by writing, so while I can be self-conscious about it, I have learned at the end of the day, its purpose is to start conversations. Your initial post may evolve into a new idea, so don’t be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there.  

Also, always have a small army of proof readers, and use them. Mine is Hillary Till.    

  

On the clock 24/7 

Our community is global, therefore I receive emails at all hours of the night and day, even weekends.  One secret: I try to answer emails on weekends because rarely people respond. It is important to set limits, as I soon realized you cannot serve everyone at all times. Unless it’s a high priority concern, it can wait until 8:00 A.M.  

  

Be selfless 

I love helping others, finding solutions to their issues, being their resource for information and connecting them with leaders and members across the globe.  Being selfless may be considered an important quality for this job, since sharing is in our motto.  Well before I was involved with SMC, I was inspired by Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells, Founders of Social Media Club, who have poured countless hours and much of their own money into developing the infrastructure SMC has today.  They continue to inspire me with their generosity and commitment to sharing SMC missions with others.  

  

Focus on your champions 

It’s easy to get consumed by the one person who doesn’t like me or SMC, but don’t let trolls or those who don’t “get it” distract you from your goals and responsibilities.  As soon as I devote energy to the people that don’t deserve it, that’s less SMC love I can be spreading to those who do.  

  

Keep animals around  

Since I work remotely, my nearly 90lb red Doberman is my new coworking buddy.  I love having my dog around to help calm me when I’m stressed. He always knows when I need to pull away from the computer and comes over to rest his head on my arms so I can’t type anymore.   

  

Avoid carpal tunnel 

Initially, I worked on my laptop and after a few months, I learned comfort 10-12 hours a day is priority #1. I invested in an external monitor, mouse, keyboard and began working on my posture while sitting at the computer. Stretches are now part of my daily routine for blood flow.   

  

Create high expectations and aim higher 

Previous positions I’ve held were very cookie cutter, and I was never encouraged to dream big.  Quite the opposite with SMC; I’ve never been told “No” when I propose ideas and while they may not make sense in the long run, my suggestions are always validated and discussed further.  Feeling empowered to grow Social Media Club makes me want to work harder and succeed.  

  

Be resourceful  

Social Media Club is still a small non-profit so we don’t have expensive resources at our fingertips, so I’ve learned to make do with what we’ve got.  


If there’s an issue or challenge I’m facing, I often turn to our incredibly generous chapter leaders who are more than willing to help SMC when we ask. 


For example, since it’s just Kristie, myself and Hillary devoted to Social Media Club, we don’t have enough time to publish blogs every single day, so we’ve asked a handful of some of our most active community members and chapter leaders to assist us with our Social Media Club editorial team.  Each of these writers uses social media professionally and can speak to issues and ideas that are beyond my expertise, thus helping our community even more by giving access to some great writers. 

 

Get out from behind the computer 

Kristie still gives me a hard time for not getting out of the house enough but in the last few months I’ve made an active effort to not lead such a sedentary life by joining a gym and taking Scooby for walks throughout the day.  These short daily walks help to clear my head and set priorities for the day and week.  It is easy to get overwhelmed behind a computer screen all day, so step away every few hours.

 

By far the most rewarding part of my job is meeting people involved in our community offline.  It’s so exciting when I meet chapter leaders for the first time, after emailing for months, because we have grown together and I see first-hand the time they dedicate to their chapters. 

 

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be with Social Media Club if it weren’t for the support of our members and chapter leaders, who truly believe in Social Media Club missions to promote media literacy, build community and share best practices. So, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you. 


Image Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda