The Accidental Community Manager

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When I was little and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer “Dr. Seuss”, when I got older, it was things like, “an astronaut” or “an architect”, never once did “online community manager” once cross my mind. In my defense, my computer classes at school consisted of Oregon Trail and basic typing, the internet wasn’t even a thing yet. After high school, my wannabe architect self, decided that interior design was my career path because school for that was cheaper and had less math. So of course, after graduation I got a job … in retail.

Over the years, I worked in just about every variety of customer service job (well, except food service). Little did I know, that would be a great learning experience for what I do now. No internet troll can make you feel personally attacked like having cold room service food thrown in your face in a hotel lobby! I discovered social media by accident. When the company I was working for (career zag the 5th, I was now in marketing) had some layoffs, I found myself looking for something to do between my temp jobs and I just started to play around with this thing called Facebook. Pages had just become a thing, and I found myself setting them up for some people I knew locally, just to keep myself busy.

A little while after that, I saw something on the news about this thing called Twitter – I was hooked.

Once I signed up for Twitter is when the internet really opened up for me. From the conversations I started having and the people I was meeting, I found many similar minded people and groups. I went to my first meeting of the New North Social Media Breakfast and it dawned on me, this could be a career!

When I got my first job in community management, neither the company or I knew what was going on. With it being a smaller brand, I was able to learn as I went and form some good basic thoughts and processes and form some good habits. Joining the Social Media Club – Milwaukee helped me to meet others who did what I do and continually improve my skills. The SMCMKE is where my Brew connection comes in as well, that is how I discovered CMGRHangout.

Carrie Keenan

I am now a community manager with the team at Be The Change Revolutions where we take community management to the next level. In my first week, I witnessed marriage proposals (to the brand), a love bomb of fan art wishing a happy birthday to another community manager and what it is like to hit tweet limit three times in one 8 hour shift. Community Management from 0 to 60 was a bit of an adjustment, learning multiple brand voices and the mass of conversations that go on during a day, but now I thrive on the speed of awesome!

Within the conversations I have with the different communities there is a lot of room to put a little fun into the conversations and every so often, I get to throw out some vocabular fun and a little bit of rhyme time, so I guess I kind of did get to be Dr Seuss when I grew up after all.

Carrie Keenan

Social Media Community Manager at BTC Revolutions
Carrie Keenan is a Social Media Community Manager and blogger out of Appleton, WI. She works with both B2B and B2C clients, but she prefer to call them all P2P. She is actively involved in the Wisconsin Irish community as the social media chair for Oshkosh Irish Fest. She’s a proud geek and book nerd, lover of big words, rhyme & alliteration.

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sherrierohde moderator

Awesome, thanks so much for sharing your story @carriejkeenan! Totally love that you brought Dr. Seuss into this! :)

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