Join my online community workshop! (In person.)

Soon to be on SlideShare, I predict–

On December 13, I have the honor to give a workshop for BMA Milwaukee participants:

What An Online Community Can Do For Your Business (and Your Customers)

Many B2B companies build reputations on in-person connections, whether that’s part of what they actually sell, or the customer service they provide. So in a world where direct mail and maybe even faxes are still used, does an online community make sense?

Spoiler: It does!

But now you have to find out how to go from “Let’s try it!” to “This is actually working,”
including why you should NOT panic at this concept:9091.jpg

Sign up here. We’re bringing breakfast.



Go Ahead: Let (Some) Users Leave Your Online Community

In an earlier post, I talked about adoption techniques for your online community.

Now I’m here to tell you that sometimes, adoption is just not going to work with every potential user—and that it’s okay.


Take Yammer, which is the perfect use-case platform and very conveniently holds my anecdotal experience.

Need something from it? It’s there! Don’t need it for the time being? It’s still there.

You can walk away from it until you need it again.

You can even run away from it.

Now, making your way quietly to the exit may be difficult if your boss wants you to use this platform, but that’s beyond the scope of this particular post.

Why It’s Okay If Some Users Won’t Adopt

Fast tip: Go for the low-hanging fruit (i.e. eager adopters).

Why? When you’re building an online community, you want people to be in there because they want to be in there. They’re ready to set up their profiles and start engaging.

At the very least, they have some level of curiosity and eagerness about this mysterious thing.


This snowy owl is actually VERY curious about Yammer.


Where It Really Gets Tough

We’ve all known those someones who have already made up their mind not to like something before they give it a fair chance.

We probably also all have stories about how even the most stalwart naysayer came around in the end.

But you can waste a lot of your time giving stalwart naysayers reason after reason why this new-fangled contraption is a benefit and enhancement, not just “one more thing to check.”

And that’s the point right there: Sometimes giving reasons has to stop, and leaving someone be to find their own reasons for themselves has to begin.

The more difficult part comes in letting yourself let them go.


R.I.P. *sniff*

Really: Give Yourself a Break

As a community manager, you want everyone to see all the cool sparklies. Can you really let someone walk (or run) away from what you’re sure would be an awesome experience, if they just gave it a chance?

Yes, you can. Because sometimes, you just have to, for your own peace of mind as much as for their own comfort.

Concentrate on building your space and nurturing the users you have already and the ones yet to come.

And remember: It’s okay!

Agree, disagree? Let me know!

Community Management: More Words Of Awesome

The online world has more lurkers than conversationalists.

I don’t have any data to back this statement up, but I’m going with it based on my anecdotal experience.

I do know we don’t always get to hear just how helpful something we helped create can be.

Complaints, yes! People come out of the woodwork for those. Which is ultimately good, because we can’t fix what we don’t know needs fixing.

But kudos? Not so much.


Could be complaining…could be bellowing appreciation! From

That’s why a moment like this is priceless to a Community Manager’s heart.

From a customer on our external Yammer network:

“I just wanted to thank everyone for their posts – I learn something new every week just by reading.”