Imgur.com is a photo hosting site made up of internet memes, funny photos, gifs, karma points and full on wit. Needless to say, it’s a huge time suck.
After only spending a few minutes in the gallery, you can easily recognize what their members hold dear; sentimental moments and pure entertainment.
Here are the top 10 major themes I’ve observed from my journey of lurker to Imgurian.
- Members love anything cat and boob related. In fact, both in the same image is the magic sauce.
- It’s hard to determine if an object is large or small from an image. They need a “banana for scale.”
- Cancer survivors are their heroes.
- They respect those that serve in the U.S military.
- There can never be too many Emma Watson and Emma Stone posts.
- Images are good, GIFs are better.
- Knock, knock. Who’s there? Doctor. Doctor Who? Correct.
- Comments are up-voted if they’re punny and down-voted to hell if otherwise.
- You will ruin a post by putting the punch-line in the title.
- The geekier the post, the more accepted it will be.
You may also be wondering why a giraffe was used for this post. It’s the official mascot, the Imguraffe. Here he is in all his glory, majestic as f###.
Are you a member of imgur.com? What common themes do you see?
One way I keep up on which companies are developing community strategies and/or building larger community teams is by monitoring community manager job postings. It’s also very interesting to read the descriptions to see the different interpretations of the role and what success metrics the candidate will be measured on.
I’ve been disappointed and shocked recently, however, to learn that some enterprises have been listing experience as “Entry Level.” [Take this keyword search on LinkedIn for an example.] Ww-ww-ww-what??!
I’m sorry, but if you’re listing this position as entry-level, my immediate reaction is that you’re not taking your online community initiative seriously. I mean, are you just checking of a box here?
☑ Hire [any] in-experienced person as Community Manager
❑ Launch online community
❑ Be successful
Like a sales job, you’ll want the candidate to have a proven track record as well as relevant work experience. Do you honestly think the person applying for this entry-level position will have conflict resolution, customer service, and project management under their belt? Not to mention experience leading cross-functional teams, member behavior, public relations, marketing and an analytics background? Most likely not.
My advice? Go after a community manager that’s already running a successful online community. Or, if you’re lucky enough to come across an unemployed community manager, scoop them up immediately! Believe me, you’ll get what you pay for. And if that’s an entry-level candidate, then expect entry-level results.
Your online community has launched and registrations are growing at a very satisfactory pace. It’s extremely active with several 100 posts a day and everything is peachy. Time to sit back and relax right? Heck no! One thing you should know, there’s no relaxing as a community manager. Don’t rest on your laurels and never let your guard down. There is a cost with being a large successful community. You become a target.
Spammers, hackers and solicitors alike are becoming savvier each and every day. You have to take pro-active/pre-cautionary measures to protect the integrity of your online community and its members. The community guidelines you crafted at launch may no longer be relevant today. It’s time to revisit them.
Think of your community guidelines as a living, breathing document that requires attention at the very least, annually. It needs to adapt as members’ behaviors change and as your community becomes a target for linking trolls, email extractors, spammers, hackers and solicitors. These fun and courteous visitors (I’m laying the sarcasm on pretty thick) find loopholes in your guidelines and expose vulnerabilities in your community platform. They wreak havoc by exploiting both. Start plugging those [loop] holes.
A couple months ago, I blogged about Community Management of an Online Gym and provided some community guidelines for members to follow. It’s time for me to revisit them now that member behavior has changed.
Locker Room Etiquette
Avoid invading another member’s personal space; observe a two foot buffer
Keep your eyes on your own goods. Other members are not on display for your viewing pleasure
Your gym bag does not need its own seat on the bench. Place your bag on the floor and make room for others
When was the last time you revised your community guidelines? Are they still applicable? How often do you think they should be updated?
I follow quite a few community managers and social media strategists from Europe, most notably in the U.K. In fact, Europeans account for over 30% of the traffic to this blog.
Over the last couple months, I’ve noticed that my Twitter feed has been slowly [yet steadily] taken over by job postings for community manager roles in Europe. I don’t have the growth rates for community management roles in Europe compared to that of the United States, but it seems the demand for community managers in European countries is high, very high. It’s great to see actually. It means the community manager role is growing on a global scale and will be here for the long-term. Aaaahhh job security!
I have no plans to uproot, but it got me thinking; can you manage an online community from another country, or continent for that matter, and be successful? We work in a telecommuting world these days. Working remotely and not sitting in corporate headquarters or in a satellite office is not unheard of. But separated by a body of water like the Atlantic Ocean, several time zones, a stranger to local customs, and very little [if at all] face time with customers and internal stakeholders seems like a near impossible feat.
So, my question to you is, do you think a community manager can live in another country and still deliver a successful experience to members? Who is doing this well today? Would you do it yourself?
As your online community matures, trying to find new an inventive ways to keep members engaged with fresh content is an ongoing challenge for community managers. Here are 5 content strategies to keep things fresh and active:
- Choose Your Own Adventure – You may remember this concept from your childhood. It was very popular during the 80’s and into the ‘90’s. It also goes by “Pick Your Own Ending.” It’s quick to consume and has a high visual impact. In essence, you take your members on a comic book -style journey starring a hero who shares the same characteristics as your community members. At the end of each segment, your members determine the path the hero should take by a voting mechanism. In some instances, the hero may need some sort of ingenious device to escape a tight spot. The community could propose designs and the winning proposal could be featured in the next installment.
- Seasonal content asks – Seed discussions based on the time of year. Ask for pictures of the local foliage or winter activities. Every calendar month is littered with holidays. Find out how they spend St. Patrick’s Day or what their favorite Super Bowl dish may be. As a community manager, you can warm up to your members in a casual and personal way.
- “On the street” reporting – Grab your camera and turn yourself into a content generating machine. Pop in to a product manager’s office for an impromptu interview. Capture some shots of your customer conference or industry events. Get some of your members on camera to give a little testimonial or endorsement. Some words of advice; keep each video segment between 1-2 minutes. It’s not long where you lose your audience, and it’s not too short where you would lose value.
- Scavenger Hunt – This is essentially a game where the organizer (the community manager) prepares a list of items for participants to seek out and gather. The first participant to return with all items on the list wins. Read my full write up, How to Run a Successful Online Community Scavenger Hunt for complete details.
- eNewsletters and Corporate blogs – Ok, this could’ve been two separate strategies, but decided to lump them together since they’re both corporate communications. But hey, if someone in your organization is already cranking out his content, why not use community as their home? It’s fresh. It’s relevant.
What content strategies are you employing? Leave a note; I’d like to hear from you.