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SXSW Interactive 2013

Are Community Managers the New Influencers?

In a world where engagement is king and acquisitions are being founded on user base over product features, who do you trust with your messaging? This panel will discuss why community managers are a brand’s most powerful allies, through their ability to cultivate authentic relationships with a “one to many” approach that fosters “many to many” interactions.
Each panelist will describe their own community – how it got started and reached critical mass, how they manage it at scale, and the secrets to measuring engagement. From there we will address more specific issues about the power that a community manager can have within an organization, how promiscuous they should be with partnerships, and how to strike the balance between developing their personal brands vs. the brand message.

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  1. Has the Community Manager role become a position that internal stakeholders listen to more, or are the problems of justification still just as strong as they used to be. Has that changed for the better or worse since the rise of Twitter and Facebook?
  2. How much ownership does/should a Community Manager have over the community they interact with, for instance, would they remain influential if they were to change the company they work for? And within that line of thinking, is it better to have the Community Manager as an individual identity affiliated with the brand or the brand itself as the community manager?
  3. Individuals can measure their overall influencing power through sites such as Klout, but what metrics can we use to establish a similar rating for how engaged a community is.
  4. If Community Managers are treated as influencers, is it possible that they too can over share or over partner and lose their audience the same way that celebrities get chastised for promoting too many messages and diluting their personal influence. What is the right balance?
  5. Does our current description of what a Community Manager is need to be redefined?



Christina Hug, Director of Community, YouNoodle

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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