The community manager’s lifestyle is constantly going, going, going. From meetings to strategy to ROI to engagement to programs and events, it’s hard to step away and unplug.
But this is key: a community can only operate on a 24/7 basis if you put the right tools and resources in place. So how do you step away and disconnect while keeping your community running?
Here are my tips:
- Processes, Processes, Processes. First, make sure you have the right processes in place. Every community should have community guidelines on how members participate and expectations of acceptable behavior. What happens if a member breaks a guideline? What if (*knock on wood*) there’s a community outage? Think of all the things that could go wrong and document a process on how to handle each--the steps to take, stakeholders to involve,, etc. That way, if something unexpected happens, you’ll be prepared.
- Preparation is important. Prepare your team members and anyone else who will be covering for you while you’re gone on vacation. What do you do on a daily basis? What are things they’ll need to do or keep in mind? What tools do you use that they might not be familiar with? Make sure that everyone involved is adequately prepared. I’ve found that sitting down and walking through what I do (step by step) proves helpful.
- (Em)power your Community. Who are your most active users? If you have an advocacy or superuser program in place, this would be a good place to start. Empower your most active community members! This might mean asking them to help moderate the community. Or it may mean having them guest blog. Find what works for your community, show your community members that you value them and let them shine.
- Programmatize. Make sure the community stays vibrant and active while you’re gone. Write up a blog article or two that you can post while you’re gone, and schedule those ahead of time. Many tools allow you to draft and schedule posts ahead of time, so take advantage of that. If your role includes social media management, make sure those posts are set up as well. Otherwise, make sure your social media manager is aware of these posts (and ready to promote them!)
- (Un)Plug: Last but not least, unplug and step away! Self-care is essential to being able to thrive in any job, particularly for the 24/7 community manager lifestyle. If you’ve followed the steps above, you should be all set to step away and enjoy that break you deserve.
Editor's Comment: Here are more tips on how to enjoy your vacation and unwind from your 24/7 CMGR lifestyle.
Jenn Chen is the Community Manager at Procore Technologies. She has held previous roles at Lithium Technologies, Google and Intuit. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, cheering on the Golden State Warriors, and being a youth teacher.