I believe that, although there are many commonalities between Social Media Marketing and building online communities, they are very different. First, a few of the commonalities: execution of either is almost bound to fail if there isn’t transparency and employees aren’t empowered to communicate to each other and with other stakeholders, not to mention that if there’s no strategy behind either, they’re destined to fail. The difference can seem subtle at first, but really, it takes a different skillset to manage each and generally, the purpose and goals are different. More on differences in another post.
I read a lot of blogs and a few books on both Social Media Marketing as well as Online Communities. I also follow folks on twitter so that I can learn from others and find out what the latest buzz is about. I’ve found that there are lots and lots of people writing blogs and books and tweeting about Social Media Marketing but not nearly enough on building and managing communities. Simply put, Marketers (Social Media Marketers) have a lot more to gain from blogging about their industry than do community managers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that getting a list of community management resources together was difficult. That is one of the main reasons Dawn started this blog and why I am happy to contribute. Aside from this blog, I recommend the following resources to teach you and keep you updated on Online Communities:
I also read a couple that cover both online community and Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Musings by Tom Humbarger (Talks more about Social Media lately but knows about community)
Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang (Talks a lot about industry trends and posts Case Studies and stats)
Take a look at the folks The Community Roundtable has listed on their Social Media list
The Community Roundtable is a private peer network for community managers and social media practitioners.
Forum One brings great Community Managers together
I am sure I’ve missed a few great reads/follows. If you have recommendations, I’d love to hear them.