Wine and Food Businesses: Community Management Defined

Rooster Hill Wine Club Party - Melissa Dobson

Wine clubs are vibrant communities

This Wednesday, I’ll be involved in a panel discussion at Social Share Summit in Rochester, NY “Community Management from the Front-Lines” along with community managers for brands including radian 6 and Blog World & New Media Expo. What exactly is community management and why are brands dedicating time and resources to this strategy?

Wikipedia defines the role of online community manager as: a growing and developing profession. People in this position are working to build, grow and manage communities around a brand or cause.

Popular industry analyst and web strategist, Jeremiah Owyang states in his post, The Four Tenets of the Community Manager,”…brands who are taking online communities and communication seriously are creating community management positions.”

What does that mean–“taking online communities and communication seriously?” I’d describe it as brands who have integrated their social media strategy and goals with their traditional marketing strategy and goals and plan to nurture their social communities as part of their ongoing strategy. These brands have moved beyond, “okay, let’s get on Facebook and maybe Twitter and post stuff a few times a week” strategy.

Edelman Digital’s David Armano adds this key element, “A good community manager gives a human form to the faceless corporation.” Also, “a community manager must be a good or great communicator. He or she of course needs to be social, and understand the social mores of the communities served, and have a strongly developed sense of ethics. He or she should know, for example, when deleting a member’s comment is wrong or justified and be prepared to explain why. Enthusiasm is also required. Finally, a good community manager will be well connected, forming relationships with the right people in your communities, the individuals and groups you want on your side.”

I’m intrigued by the intersection of community management strategies and the wine and food industry.

Which wine and food brands do you regularly interact with via their online communities? Do you know the face(s) behind that brand’s community?

Additional resources:

Follow me on twitter @MelissaDobson
and as Community Manager for Vin65 @Vin65Team noted as ^MD

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