As a boy I can remember my Nanna holding court at a friend’s house. We were sitting at a 50s laminex kitchen table (you know the kind with the fake marbling and the shiny metal edging) and there were copious cups of tea, home made cakes, scones and biscuits carefully laid out. But no one was eating. The conversation was coming thick and fast – with this coterie of grandmothers exchanging tips, sharing stories and laughing at each others’ family stories. It was a community gathering firmly held together by the will of these formidable women.
Even as a child I could sense the power of connection that was taking place. I could feel the energy. And I knew, almost instinctively, that there were rules to be followed.
Many years later, when I began to get involved in corporate “communities of practice”, I noticed many of these same rules applied. Well, not necessarily applied – but were vital for the health of a community.
With the massive shift to digital and social media, online communities – and community management – has emerged as a discipline in its own right. And while it is largely viewed by business as a “fluffy” or “touchy feely” role, organisations such as Yammer are connecting communities to hard numbers and strategic outcomes. In many cases, having an active and engaged community manager is becoming a strategic advantage.
But for those organisations who remain skeptical of the business benefit of social media, concepts such as community management can feel as removed from business reality as fairy stories. This is where the Yammer Community Management Playbook comes in handy. It’s a step by step primer on the establishment and maintenance of communities. Take a read. It may just save the future of your business.