Community Managers on Tour: Community BarCamp 2018 in Berlin
Every last weekend in October, everything that thrills in social media or community management meets at Cimdata Academy in Berlin for a conference called: “Community Camp Berlin”. It was the 11th BarCamp made by and for community managers and freaks and social media junkies just like us. This year Roney from gays.de, Nikola and Melissa from Kaufmich.com and Fetisch.de and Bex from the Berlin support team have come together to join this year’s bar camp. But besides the interest in getting to know the other communities and the opportunity for new insights into the community and social media world, they visited the community camp with the intention of holding a session on their own. They shared us their experience and insights:
Once again this year, communication was and still is important at all levels – whether internal or external. That communication can be very difficult, which everyone knows. So my main focus was only on external communications. How to speak to our users? Which tone would be best and which content is important for our audiences?
A good example to share was the Instagram session I joined. It was about analysis, best pics and high volume hashtags. The main differences between Instagram and Twitter were discussed, as well as the top 25 topics of the platform and which hashtags make the most sense in which context. Here are my top takeaways:
- There are mass, niche and community hashtags – think beforehand what’s best for your audience. Niche becomes more and more relevant.
- Choose as many hashtags as you can in your posts. The best ones are your own ones.
- How often you post pictures on Instagram should depend on the number of followers.
- Images are better than videos.
- Insta stories are watched by less than 16% of your audience.
As it was my first time at the community camp, I was surprised by the high amount of sessions being held and impressed by the many different industries’ community managers came from. It was also very interesting to see that the job description and work area of each community manager vary in each industry.
As we are soon about to re-launch Kaufmich.com version two (V2), Nikola and I took this opportunity to get insights and experiences from other community managers on how to prepare a community for a product re-launch. It was more of a discussion than a product presentation. We mainly discussed:
- The best time to start preparing a community to a re-launch and the best communication channels.
- Finding reliable and significant beta testers and criteria to be selected.
- Supporting the community during the period of adjusting themselves to the new version
- Gathering feedback and measuring the success of the re-launch.
Besides holding a session on our own, each of us has visited several other sessions. My favourite was the panel discussion on whether community members are the better community managers. We discussed the pros and cons of having former community members and moderators as well as how to improve this practice to advance the community members’ experience.
CCB18 was my third community barcamp and therefore a good innings for a reunion with some well-known faces. The welcome ceremony (each participant introduces himself with name and personal hashtags) is kind of extended and with this amount of people (~200 ppl) you have no chance to remember names. But it’s the traditional start into the ccb weekend same as the reminder that each participant is responsible for the success and the atmosphere of the ccb: Okay, here we go!
Besides all familiar impressions it has a touch of new for me because we (Melissa & I) decided to pitch our first own session! And although I am used to speak in front of people I was shaking in my boots both while announcing and starting our session… But things are never as bad as they seem. And even though we had the horror in our session title it wasn’t scary at all
In the end, we gathered some very interesting individual experiences and tips that I would like to share!
“Try to avoid huge changes! Better split the changes into little “optimizations”. Your platform should always be recognizable.”
“There will be trouble when it comes to many changes or if features are removed.”
“Always communicate all changes beforehand! I haven’t done this the first time…”
“Integrate Google Analytics ab initio and accurately! After 3 months we still have problems with this issue and can’t see correct results.”
“I made different experiences. But there is always something to nag about.”
The Community Camp graced Berlin grounds for the 11th time this year and I’ve had the pleasure of joining a few times already. And I wasn’t disappointed this time around either. An event filled with an exchange of experiences, community spirit and just plain super informative.
People started gathering Saturday morning and after some first hello’s, hugs and exchanges, it was time for the introduction round. Every year each member introduces him/herself, gives a short rundown of what he/she stands for with 3 hashtags and therefore represents what he/she and the company stands for. Mine were #sexworker #self respect #kaufmich.
Afterwards, the sessions pitches started, where people, who want to give a presentation about a certain area or field of interest, can introduce this and then see how many people want to join this session.
Saturday’s session board looked like this:
Saturday, there was another very interesting topic for me: “Re-activation of existing customers”. The community managers of the site The photo community held this session in a small round and we all had a good exchange with questions and great tips on how to bring existing customers who are not active, back to life. Different newsletters, which respond more specifically to information from these customers, was a suggestion – so just more topic-related. Inspirational emails or special offers that are sent to them was one of the tips.