The Internal Problems You Don’t See

January 20, 2012Comments Off on The Internal Problems You Don’t See

Last week a number of community managers claimed their biggest problem was internal. 

They didn't have the right support of the organization. 

This had many manifestations including:

  • Using the wrong platform.
  • Lacking resources.
  • Juggling multiple projects.
  • No budget for training.
  • Couldn't allow community members to contribute content.
  • Forced the community manager to use formal language.
  • Restricted off-topic conversations.
  • Demanding results too early. 
  • Removed criticisms. 

Do these sound familiar?

There are three problems here.

First, when asked, many had no plan for getting that internal support.

Second, despite the job description, your role is internal as much as external. You build that internal support for the community before you build the community (or take the job). We created a simple checklist to help organizations understand what they need here. 

Third, these miss a bigger problem. Branded communities are competing against amateurs. Amateurs have many advantages. They are far more successful at building communities that brands.

Your brand needs to offer an unfair advantage to compete. You need to use your big brand advantages to offer an environment which amateurs can't match. HarperCollins does this with Inkspot.

Getting the permissions and resources above are just the baseline requirements that let you get into the game. The bigger internal issue is this. How do you configure your resources to create this amazing community environment? 

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