Moderators and community managers are in the trenches responding to members every day.
But beyond that, there’s an inverse relationship between career progression and the amount of time you spend engaging directly with members.
I’ve come across one or two senior community folks who don’t engage with members at all anymore (one even thought that was ‘beneath him’ at his level).
Sure, as you rise you need to spend more time dealing with internal challenges, working with vendors and managing a team etc…But if you haven’t engaged directly in the community this week, today would be a good time to make some time and get involved.
The closer you are to members, the closer you can build the kind of community they want. The more you engage directly, the more you can learn about the issues they care about, how they’re likely to respond to ideas, and the right language/tone of voice to use.
Better yet, you don’t want your only insight into the community filtered through the biases of your colleagues. You want that direct insight. You want to be able to ask members for their thoughts and ideas, respond to questions, stay on top of how the community works.
Make time at the start of every day to engage directly in your community. It’s worth it.