Comms pro vs. community manager

Six commandments of internal community management for communications pros

Virpi Oinonen lays down the law for managing your enterprise social network.

1. Don’t dominate the newsfeed

If most messages in the newsfeed are from you people will think the network is just another channel for comms people to push out their messages. After that they won’t post anything. Make sure most messages are not from comms people.

2. Poke people behind the scenes

Contact people via email, chat or phone and encourage them to post questions and answer each others questions on the network. Find the influencers and get them to post. This is especially important during the early days of an internal social network.

3. Keep the style chatty and informal

What happens if your posts sound like press releases? You scare away non-comms people as they now think that posts in the network have to be polished and formal.

4. Become a curator

Compile roundups of popular conversations, spot trends and build stories around them with quotes from real people. Use the community to create better and more
relevant content!

5. Become an opportunity spotter

Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to use the network. New project starting? Why not use the internal social network for project communication! New initiative from senior management? Host an online Q&A!

6. Become a network weaver and connect people to each other

Introduce people to each other publicly. If someone asks a question @mention the person who might be able to help and add couple of words why you think that person is relevant to the conversation. This type of network weaving is important in the beginning.


Remember: Community management is an internet age comms job. It’s more about helping employees be heard than it is about pushing messages from management.

Download these commandments as a printable PDF [130KB].

Read more about Virpi’s experience with Yammer.

About Virpi

Virpi OinonenVirpi is an enterprise social consultant with a background in online campaigning and mobilisation (Greenpeace and other nonprofits) and communications in general – including journalism, online marketing and, believe it or not, cartooning.

Check our workshop schedule to see if you can attend one of Virpi’s ESN training workshops. We’re hosting the ‘Kick-start your enterprise network’ workshop in Birmingham.

When not thinking about social networks and the changing nature of work, Virpi runs a visual storytelling company called Business illustrator; which is perfectly famous in many circles.

Copyright remains with Virpi of Business Goes Social.

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