Community Managers get social IRL in Melbourne #swarmconf


Yesterday I had the privilege to attend Swarm Conference in Melbourne.My primary challenge was to represent Zendesk - the official drinks sponsor. A good number of companies attending Swarm Conf were Zendesk customers and we all shared a passion for increasing engagement and customer support. We spent the day being challenged and inspired by some of the worlds thought leaders in community management like;

Maria Ogneva; the Global Director of Community at Yammer


Justin Isaf, who currently oversees the community team at Huffington Post Professor Matthew Allen;  the foundation head of department of Internet Studies at Curtin University


Laurel Papworth;  the CEO of The Community Crew, managing massive gaming and online communities across platforms, including Facebook and forums for TV shows such as Junior Masterchef.

Key insights and thoughts of the day for me were:

  • Hearing how Huffington Post moderates 9.5 million comments per month
  • The challenges with building business cases for community management "How do you quantify the ROI of relationships?"
  • Community Managers need to be super connecters, a jack of all trades. They don't need to know all the answers, just who knows the answer.
  • Community Management is all about connecting people via @themaria
  • Research has shown that members of online communities spend on average 19% more with that company
  • Emotional and intellectual content is key to increasing community engagement
  • Communities need to create a "Safe place" for everyone/anyone to participate
  • "The person has become the portal" from @Netcrit
  • You're not sharing content with 1 or 2 social networks but potentially 100's or a 100,000 social networks. Every follower and fan is a social network, each has a different sphere of influence
  • One does not go to Facebook, it comes with you where ever you are via @Netcrit

Being a guy who wears multiply hats this conference, the speakers and attendants made for a hugely interesting day. I learnt a lot and will take away many insights and ideas to add to our projects.