Why are personal relationships with community members so important?

Even while consumers need more and more direct connections with businesses in order to trust and want to support them, the sheer volume of consumers and the relatively small size of companies these days makes it difficult to make that connection. That’s why there are people like me, responsible for managing communities and reaching out to consumers.

These are the three main answers that come to my mind when asked why what I do is so important:

1.  The first thing that comes to mind (something not so obvious these days) is that I’m not a bot. Being a human being means I have feeling, and when a community member has a problem due to a language barrier, lack of knowledge in the field, or even just had a bad day, I want to assist and help. My willingness to help comes from a place of empathy, not because I was programmed to do so. Being there for a community member in need helps gain trust and affection, which is beneficial for both sides.

2.  Communities are always made up of a very diverse group of individuals. There are people with different backgrounds, opinions, fields of interest and knowledge. When you get to know them you can learn so many interesting things! Some of them could even help you at work. They could make your life easier by suggesting a time management app, an informative website, a keyboard trick (you know who you are 😉 thanks again for that!) or an article that fits perfectly to a post for the community. You can benefit from it on a professional and personal level.

3.  A community is more than a bunch of people that share an interest. It is a group of people with shared beliefs, values, and purpose, and when someone is passionate about his or her beliefs, they share that passion with their community. As a community manager, I think it is highly important to understand (or at least try to understand) the things that make their eyes sparkle (so I imagine), and the only way to do so is by engaging with the community. You can read about any topic on the internet, read articles or research, even watch some documentaries, but nothing compares to a straightforward communication with the community.

In the end, AI-built responses to community inquiries are still a long way from being good enough to replace the personal nuance that someone like me can offer. And my work is also important to me 🙂 We’re social animals and there’s nothing like getting to enjoy social interaction and human engagement for a living. I love all the people I get to talk to and hope they love me too.