I took a week off from work last week and went to Tunisia. I stayed at a small village with very limited (and bad) Internet connection. As a community manager you get very use to being 100% connected all the time – that’s why a vacation with extremely limited Internet feels completely impossible and you start to feel kind of bad for even going. What will happen to the community without a community manager for a whole week?
Besides the daily tasks, I still think you can do your job – even if you happen to be in the desert with no Internet. Before I left for vacation I prepared a lot of things. I scheduled a marketing campaign for Uber Stockholm running the whole week, which was pushed by a prepared Email and blog post, and to keep the buzz going on I also locked in a bunch of events we collaborated with while I was gone. By doing so we kept people talking about us and interact without myself being the one creating all the content. We gave the community a lot of happenings for themselves to interact, create and share. For Bonocle I prepared a couple of time scheduled blog posts and my co-founder Jasmin pushed the posts via our social channels every day.
The result? I must say I’m incredibly surprised about how good the past week has been for both Bonocle and Uber Stockholm. It has probably been one of the most successful weeks when it comes to social love, for both communities. This in combination of me having a wonderful vacation more or less completely offline is just insane. One very important thing to keep in mind is the fact of the community manager not being the community itself. A successful community can’t and shouldn’t be owned by a person or a brand, it exist in the relationships between its members. We’re dealing with people, not users. Let the people interact by themselves sometimes.
Some lessons learned: don’t feel bad for going on vacation. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re not the community; you’re just a piece of it. So make sure to finally treat yourself with a real vacation this year!