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Online Community Management For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Deborah Ng
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Learn to manage, grow, and communicate with your online community

Online community management is a growing profession and companies are investing in online communities in order to gain consumer insights into products and to test new products. An effective and dedicated community manager is essential to engage and manage a successful online consumer community. This straightforward-but-fun guide shows you how to effectively manage, grow, and communicate with your online community. Clear coverage shares tips for dealing with customers and fans through Twitter, Facebook, forums, and blogs.

A practical approach shows you how to ensure that visitors to your site are satisfied, kept happy, and return. You'll explore the various types of online communities and benefit from learning an assortment of tips and tools that will help you stand out above the competition, attract more visitors and gain the attention of potential advertisers and investors.

  • Aims at providing community managers the information they need to get a handle on their online communities and make them successful
  • Addresses the role of the community manager, the core community management tasks, and how to create an online community
  • Highlights ways to build relationships within your community, evaluate return on investment, and handle and respond to criticism
  • Offers advice for establishing policies and transparency and encouraging community interaction

Online Community Management For Dummies is the ideal introductory guide for making sure that visitors to your site have a good experience and return for more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to manage your online community to boost your business and build your brand

Online communities are the neighborhoods of the Internet, where different personalities who share a common interest can learn, discuss, and interact. It's up to you, as the community manager, to guide, monitor, respond to, and assess the activities of your community to benefit your company and build loyalty. It's a big job, and here's how to do it!

  • Compare and choose — decide on the type of social community your business needs

  • Hat dance — learn to be a leader, advocate, editor, brand evangelist, referee, liaison, and problem solver

  • Gotta have rules — establish guidelines that encourage quality participation

  • Meet the group — find innovative ways to learn about members and solicit their input

  • Listen and share — pay attention to comments, participate in discussions, and follow through on solving problems

  • Build traffic — make your site irresistible with valuable content and use quality keywords for high search rankings

  • Study the stats — install the right programs to monitor your community and let the results guide your strategy

  • Go offline — use speaking engagements, conferences, and fun events to draw new members

Open the book and find:

  • What you need to know about online communities

  • Ways to sell your community's value to the boss

  • How to handle difficult members

  • Tips for growing your community

  • Why you should visit other communities

  • How to use what you learn

  • Ten things every community manager should do

  • More resources for community managers

Learn to:

  • Identify core tasks for community managers

  • Build and maintain positive relationships within your online community

  • Establish policies and transparency

  • Manage comments, respond to criticism, and evaluate ROI

About the Author

Deborah Ng is a professional blogger, community manager, and social media enthusiast who grew her little writing blog into the number one online community for freelance writers before selling in 2010. She's the former community manager for several online brands, and when she's not sharing on one of the social networks, she can be found in her current role as Conference Director for BlogWorld and New Media Expo.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3800 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (December 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006O1OUX2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,573 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A helpful conversation November 25, 2011
Reading this book, it feels like a conversation with Deb. That's good, because Deb really knows this subject well. The information about how to manage online communities is solid and useful. The section on dealing with the negative side of online community is particularly good. For those new to the field who think they will be "hanging around online all day," Deb clears up that myth pretty fast. And while the introductory information is core, the advanced information is where this book shines. Deb goes in depth on key topics, including handling what you hear from your online community, sharing that through the company, and responding to personal scandals. I wasn't expecting a chapter on kids' communities, but I'm glad to see it's in there. Taken as a whole, it's a useful tool not only for dummies, but also for professionals called on to manage communities online.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Community Management Success December 5, 2011
Length: 4:03 Mins
Deb Ng's book shares both the tactical steps and the philosophical strategies needed to help successfully manage online communities.

Deb has a lot of experience in this area and it shows in this excellent book.

Her book's guidance can help you attract and retain members, better moderate disputes, and position your forum for growth online.

More details (including a funny cartoon) in my review video.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Way too much repeating - Too vague July 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While I do appreciate the fact the book fairly accurately depicts everything that is expected from a community manager I simply can't shake the feeling that all of that could have been written in 100 pages or less. Certain things get repeated several times, not because they are important but because they are barely related to that chapter. Since I skipped around a third of the book it's possible that those things were mentioned even a couple of more times.

Moreover, the whole book is just too vague, even the (rare) examples end up being lossely related and not very helpful. Yes, I know the topic is a general one but the book lacks any specific information. Imagine asking someone the time and he/she replies "Check your watch" - that's how I felt reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource or refresher for community managers! December 7, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Now let me be clear, I have never been a huge fan of the `For Dummies' books. Don't get me wrong, I have cracked a couple of those books in the days when I was attempting to learn how to code. I have, however, read the recent, Online Community Management for Dummies book by the wicked smart Deb Ng and have to say it is the best I've read in this series.

If you are new to the community management role, this book is for you. Deb outlines the many hats you must juggle as a community manager both on and offline. The book is comprised of seven parts ranging from community governance to hosting meetups and is full of tips and tricks from someone who has the battle scars of fostering a community. The underlying theme of each chapter is the focus on the health of the community...not the numbers or superficial and false indicators of success.

The role of community manager is anything but new, but it is the "it" job at present. If you are making the case for a community manager, the final section is comprised of three top ten lists that may help you with your cause. The lists outline the tasks, skills and best practices of a community manager. A community manager is an integral part of the organization because he/she is the bridge between the organization and the communities it serves. This is no position for a dummy, but everyone needs a good roadmap or refresher course, so pass on this book on to your community team. Start a discussion about how you can begin fostering a healthier dialog online and offline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jovial Style yet Packed with Good Tips December 29, 2011
By Andrew
This review is biased, because Deb was one of my first online friends and I've known her now for several years. But I really enjoyed reading Deb's book, firstly because it's written in a casual-yet-professional style. I know Deb knows how to explain complex topics effectively, and the dummies style suits her well. But style only goes so far - the guide also has some great tips that cover no only the basics of building a community, but also some difficult topic areas, such as dealing with troublesome members and how to measure success. The book also has some great sections on building online communities for children and how to maintain a community over the long haul (not easy).

If you're at the beginning or intermediate level of community management, I'd highly recommend this book. It's comparmentalized, so you can jump right in to the chapters most relevant, and come back later for more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great information for newcomers January 26, 2012
I have attended numerous conferences and heard Deborah speak at few. She has a lot of experience when it comes to Online Community Management and this book reflects her pool of knowledge entirely. Online Community Management for Dummies is a crowned jewel for anyone who is starting their own community. I could personally relate to a lot of the chapters in this book because I have ran into those problems before with our community. Hearing an expert opinion on how to deal with those problems helps me develop my skills.

I wish that the book focused a little bit more on Monetization aspect of community management as well, but I know you can't have everything. Hopefully version 2 would :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a wonderful resource for learning how to manage a board. It's full of useful and real-world current information.
Published 9 months ago by will mckay
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good bits of info
I definitely picked up a few facts so if you learn one thing it is worth it right?

However, a lot of the info was very basic and repetitive.
Published 12 months ago by Deborah Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for those considering a career in Community Management...
"There’s more to being a community manager than a little social networking. You need a thick skin, a pleasant personality, and the ability to organize and prioritize. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sherrie Rohde
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Deb!
This book is the definitive guide to all things dealing with online community management. Whether your community revolves around a favorite hobby or you're using it to grow your... Read more
Published on August 12, 2012 by D. Dorchak
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Beginner Community Managers
Like others have said, I am also not always a fan of the Dummies series of books, simply because the rigid structure is less interesting to me than personal stories. Read more
Published on May 9, 2012 by Allison Boyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to understand community building online
If you want to know what makes an online community really work and serve its members, Deb's book is a perfect place to start. She's done it and she writes about it clearly. Read more
Published on April 25, 2012 by Katherine Anne Wayman
5.0 out of 5 stars Written well
Normally I don't buy books like this but I'm quite impressed with this one. It is nicely written and has a lot of information.
Published on April 9, 2012 by Kathleen A. Farber
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More About the Author

Deborah Ng is a professional blogger, freelance writer, and social media consultant specializing in online community development. Deb's current labor of love is a Wiki for freelance writers at


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