Words Every Community Manager Wants to Hear

Last week, I posted one of the best parts of community management.

That was about my customer-facing Yammer network.

Now here’s one for the internal, corporate side.

Hmm, we're still herding cats. From scottcochrane.com

Yep, we’re still herding cats. From scottcochrane.com

Setting up your company’s internal Yammer network is relatively easy.

After that, you actually have to DO something with it.

And for us, doing something with it involved helping very busy people see for themselves that this “one more thing to check”can not only lighten their daily To Dos, but make things more efficient in the long run.

Here’s what happens when “one more thing to check” becomes a natural part of the day.

Our company has a very hands-on, person-centered, pick up the phone, walk to the cube kind of culture.

That’s fabulous. That’s what helps keep our customers happy, too.

But when not everybody can see or hear or know about everything that’s happening all of the time, and you’ve got something that you want everybody to see, hear, and know, and you’re rather not clog up email or coordinate a conference call, what do you do?

“I’ll post this on Yammer.”

“You should put that on Yammer!”

Those two phrases, I tell you: I love them.

When I think back to how we came from a bare-bones social presence to this thriving Yammer culture–and you can read about THAT journey right here–it’s clear to me that Yammer is nothing without the people in it.

This picture doesn't exactly represent our company, but I love the Goonies.

This picture doesn’t exactly represent our company, but we’re fairly close-knit, and anyway I love the Goonies. From biography.com.

So to add to the point about how just building something isn’t enough, there is a point where you do have to sit back and let people shape their space for what they need.

Some days, I just keep the lights on. And that’s pretty blissful, too.

What are your favorite community manager moments?

One of the Best Parts of Community Management

Anyone who’s run an online community knows how tricky adoption can be.

There isn’t a “Build it and they will come” mentality anymore. It’s more, “What’s in it for us?”


In fact, I hear it’s a lot like herding cats. From verisma.com

And when people do start using that space (ah, that first person who joins, bless them!), you find that all your outlines and plans for the community can default to how your users actually want to use it.

When these two things align, that’s awesome.

Using the Yammer platform, I built what’s called an External Network to act as a professional learning network for our customers to extend their training and skills 24/7.

We have over 29,000 customers who use our training. I’ve made their community strictly opt-in; it’ll be awhile before all of them join! But when they do, they’ll find people who do what they do every day, even if they’re time zones away.

The other day, I came in to a post that stopped me in my tracks.

Here’s what makes all the planning, stressing, and late-nighting worth it.

A customer wrote: “New to Yammer, just saying hello!”

And one of the responses was this:

“Welcome aboard! This is THE place to get and provide help.”

That right there put a smile on my face.

For that was my goal all along: Providing the tools for people to get what they need so they can do what they need to do.


I call this phenomenon the Miracle on 34th Street.

What community management moments have made you smile?