What exactly is an online community manager?
Before reading Deb Ng’s new book, Online Community Management for Dummies I really didn’t know. In fact, my original notions about the job (someone who plays a marketing role and may help with social media or online forums) fell far short of the truth.
Before I go any further, let me get the disclosures out of the way.
I did receive a review copy of this book. The link is not an affiliate link–even though I do heartily recommend this book.
I have also known (and admired) Deb for about five years and at one point, wrote regularly for her Freelance Writing Jobs blog. (Deb has since sold that blog.)
However, if Deb were a complete stranger and I had never heard of her before reading this book, I would still recommend it. In fact, I’d put it on the short list of must-read books for anyone who is serious about using the internet for marketing.
Who Should Read This Book
As I mentioned earlier, my original impression of what community management fell far short of the mark. Community management is much, much bigger than I realized. What’s more, if you’re a blogger or sell a product or service online, then you can’t afford ignore your online reputation. For that reason, I recommend Deb’s book for the following people:
- Marketing specialists
- Brand managers
- Owners of e-commerce sites
- Forum owners or moderators
What’s In It for You
This is a huge book–nearly 300 pages, and it’s packed with information. Like most of the books in the “For Dummies” franchise, it’s very reader friendly. You can easily scan it in several hours. Plus, it’s fun to read. But, don’t let that fool you. This book deserves a more careful read.
As a blogger as well as a provider of freelance writing services, I found that I was already doing some of the tasks described in Deb’s book. But, there were a lot of things that I missed doing as well. This book filled in the gaps for me, and I expect it will do the same for you.
Some things you’ll learn include:
- How to establish and grow an online community (including a special section on building kid’s communities)
- How to evaluate the growth of your community using various tools
- Moving your community offline (includes how to set up conferences and classes as well as meetups)
- Several top ten lists for community managers
Of course, that’s just a very high-level look at the book. Throughout, Deb covers how to use a wide variety of tools and explains how to use each tool to better understand or benefit your community.
The Bottom Line
I know that I’ll be referring to this book over and over again. If you seriously want to know about online community management, this is the book for you.
Have you read the Online Community Management for Dummies book yet? If so, what did you think?