Community Managers Know how to Roll the Dice

Susan Silver for Ariel Marketing Group


Today’s guest post is by the inimitable Susan Silver.  If you don’t follow her already, I strongly recommend it.




Yes, I am using the metaphor of Dungeons & Dragons to teach you all about what it takes to helm the leadership of a brand through social media.

As a long time D&D player I can tell you all about dice. Take for example the stability of a d4, its pyramid shape makes it difficult to knock over. Perhaps the glorious achievement of rolling a d20 to hit a foe and succeeding is the more thrilling example. Neither truly fit the community manager role. Nope, we are the DMs crafting a narrative where our followers are free to go on adventures.

3 Traits Community Managers and DMs share

  1. They know when to let things be.  You have to let players talk and speculate during the adventure. Similarly, you cannot control how people talk about your brand. Community managers monitor chatter so they can give encouragement, connect with community, resolve conflicts and respond to customer crises.
  2. They give community motivation  In RPGs motives are everything and there are often conflicts even among party members. Community managers need to give incentives to share, comment, and be involved with the brand. They must also understand the diversity that exists in their community and engage in appropriate ways with members.
  3. They fill many roles You can store the hats community managers wear in a bag of holding. At various times we are called upon perform the following activities: marketing, PR, customer service, event planning, statistics, analysis, writing, editing, and leadership. Do you feel overwhelmed yet?

The main thing to highlight is the importance of crafting a narrative for your brand that will resonate with customers. We are living in an era where emotional and compelling stories are taking center stage. Ultimately when there is little difference between two companies, customers will buy a product based on which they feel is promoting values similar to their own. This makes the community manager’s job essential to sales even if we cannot directly tie the two together statistically.