Janet Aronica is the community manager at oneforty, an online community that rates and shares social media monitoring software. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us about what life if like as a community manager, and and what she does behind the scenes at oneforty. To learn more about Janet you can read her personal blog and follow her on Twitter, @JanetAronica.
RaceTalk: What sparked your interest in becoming a community manager?
Janet Aronica: Around March of last year I was doing agency PR and I knew I had always wanted to get a more strategic, digital media kind of gig. I had been blogging and into Twitter for about a year and a half or something at that point, so it was a very strong interest of mine. It was a matter of finding something that was a fit with my experience level and looked like something I would enjoy.
I didn’t want just any gig. I had heard that Laura had founded oneforty and that they had gotten funding so I kept an eye out for when they were going to make a marketing hire and applied for this. I liked that it seemed so open ended and that I was really going to have a chance to own my direction of what I contributed to oneforty. I had a ton of ideas of what I wanted to do with the role and was intrigued by having an opportunity where I could just jump in day one and be challenged to act on them. I was also considering doing social media/SEO/community stuff for a law firm in town but this opportunity ended up working out. I think everything always works out the way it’s supposed to.
RT: What are your primary responsibilities as the community manager for oneforty?
JA: I’m more of a marketing manager that does a lot of community stuff because this is a startup. I get involved in almost anything that doesn’t involve code, so PR, email marketing, copywriting, some customer development – I get involved in a lot. But my primary, most important thing that I’m currently focused on is content marketing through our blog, which we are expanding out into ebooks and now webinars. I come up with the content ideas for our blog, assign them to our fantastic freelancer and just make sure we have content up there every day. I make sure that content is promoted on our social channels. Other than that, there’s the daily stuff like running the Twitter account and Facebook page, which is basically just talking to people. It’s a lot of fun.
RT: What platform(s) have you found most useful for connecting and interacting with the oneforty community?
JA: Twitter is kind of a no-brainer because we started out as the “Twitter app store” and my CEO/Founder Laura is the co-author of Twitter for Dummies. We’ve now expanded to all of digital media tools in our directory and are really catering to surfacing the best enterprise-level solutions for social business. It’s not just a pure Twitter play anymore. But we have great conversations with our community on Twitter and we get a lot of traffic to the blog from there. I’m enjoying the conversations in our LinkedIn group as well. I feel like I’m just starting to see more engagement and traffic from Facebook in the past month, that was a slower community to develop. I’m trying to learn how to better engage those folks. I consider Facebook knowledge to be a weakness of mine so I’m literally reading a book on Facebook marketing.
RT: What’s the most difficult part of being a community manager, that most people wouldn’t think of?
JA: For me it is a very very distracting role to run a personal Twitter account and a company Twitter account. I’m constantly getting pinged with questions on Twitter or I’ll see a brand mention I think I need to do something about. I’ve had to train myself to “time box” my day and if I want to get a blog post written, I need to close out of Tweetdeck and email for an hour and get it done. I love talking to people so I could “mingle” on Twitter all day. I have a lot of search terms set up for question phrases about social media monitoring tools and I’d love to just answer people’s questions all day. But what I try to do is see the most common questions out there and turn it into content instead. I’m only one person.
RT: What do you find yourself doing more often, talking or listening?
JA: It’s 50/50. I talk a lot on Twitter but I do read Twitter a lot. On Quora I’m such a lurker. I just read questions and discussions and only jump in if I’m very confident about my answer. I would say when we are broadcasting out on the @oneforty account we are doing so with a purpose – we are driving traffic to the blog posts, highlighting community members’ blog posts or just answering incoming questions.
RT: Are you able to keep up with all the Twitter tools on oneforty? (If so, what’s your trick?)
JA: There’s so much Koolaid to drink! I’m just one chick and I can’t possibly do a trial version of every single tool that is out there – there are literally hundreds. But something I do like to do is set up Skype dates with the community managers or sales people who work at the software companies and have them tell me about their product or give me a demo. That way I have a great sense of what it is that they offer and I ask them how it is different from their competitors, but I don’t have to give my whole day to the on-boarding process of yet another social media monitoring tool. It’s working out pretty well so far and I know that if I did have further questions about the product they are just a phone call away. People are usually pretty happy to help explain their product to me if they know it’s because they are going to be featured in a blog post. 😉