How to: Be passionate about your community when you’re allergic to it

I read articles and blog posts almost daily telling me community managers who are passionate about their brand run the most successful pages in social media.

But what happens when you’re 24 and finally landed a great job in social media, only to discover you’re allergic to brand you’ll be managing?

Ok, not the brand. But the key “consumer” of your brand. In this case – cats. One of the communities I am in charge of targets cat lovers and markets a product for those standoffish, rude, scratch-distributing mongrels (Can you tell I’m a dog person?).

Many community managers my age run into the same problem. We aren’t lucky enough to promote the newest hot car or most popular energy drink. And it’s hard to be passionate about kitty litter (Or some consumer product equivalent to kitty litter). So what to do?

Well, as it turns out, my kitty community is my favorite community. Because even though I’m not passionate about those devil animals…er, cats, I am incredibly passionate about my community. And here is why:

– The users have passion. Sure, I don’t get why a photo of a cat inside a box makes people go nuts. But I absolutely love to listen and respond to their comments. Their love for the brand makes me love them. And I respect them for that.

– Every consumer is a consumer. They may not be here about the latest Harry Potter movie, but they still appreciate the same attention that Potter lovers do. Prompt customer service, great content and attention (All easy to achieve, right?).

– They appreciate me. So why wouldn’t I give them the same appreciation back? Whenever I help someone on my wall they are incredibly thankful. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “A company never responds to me! Thank you so much!”

I don’t think that a community manager has to panic if they aren’t as passionate as the Zappos guy. Because dang that guy is good. All in all, you get what you put in. Whether it’s for kitty litter or Alexander Skarsgard (a personal passion of mine) – be passionate about your community and they will love you right back.

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4 thoughts on “How to: Be passionate about your community when you’re allergic to it

  1. Well made points. I like that you are showing how to help build the community while not being phony or pandering. In essence: listen and learn and it will take on a life of its own. I look forward to your future entries.

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