Convincing Executives of Your Community’s Value

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On Air: 13:00 - 14:00 EST (GMT-5)
Monday, January 25th, 2016

Every community manager needs to be prepared for the day when the powers-that-be at your organization ask, “What’s the ROI of our community program?” Can you answer the question in dollars and cents, not with coy social media dogma? Can you show more than cost savings, but rather new money in the bank? Learn how to explain the value of your community initiative to senior executives and boards of directors during this lively panel discussion.


Ben MartinBen Martin
CEO at Online Community Results 

Recognized as one of “Five to Watch” by ASAE’s Associations Now magazine, and a winner of the National Association of Realtors’ Technology Spotlight Award, Ben Martin is an association executive with over 15 years of experience in online communities and membership organizations. He is the Chief Engagement Officer at Online Community Results, providing online community consulting, coaching, outsourced management, and strategy services.

Connect with Ben on Twitter at @bkmcae or on Google+


Jono BaconJono Bacon
Director of Community at GitHub

Jono Bacon is a leading community manager, speaker, author, and podcaster. He works as Director of Community at GitHub, and formerly led community at Canonical and XPRIZE. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Art of Community, is a columnist for Forbes and, founder of the Community Leadership Summit, and co-founder of the Bad Voltage and LugRadio podcasts.

Connect with Jono on Twitter at @jonobacon or on Google+.

Lonya D. FrenchLonya D. French
Digital Internal Communications Manager at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Loni is the community manager of the Guardian Life internal social network of over 6,000 members. In this role, she drives employee and leadership adoption, education, and is responsible for the overall management and success of the network. Loni also enables the distribution of enterprise messages through the company intranet. With 10 years of intranet experience and multiple Yammer certifications; Loni has positioned herself as a professional in channel management and enterprise social networks. She was recently named a 2016 Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) in the Office Servers and Services category for her work and advocacy of Yammer.

Connect with Lonya on Twitter at @lonyadfrench or on LinkedIn.

Jen Sable LopezJennifer Sable Lopez
Director of Community at Moz

Jennifer Sable Lopez is the Director of Community at Moz, an SEO software company with a vibrant community of over 600,000 online marketers. She is a renowned Community and Social Media Strategist who started her marketing career as a technical SEO. Jen’s passionate about the combination of search and community and is a frequent speaker at digital marketing conferences such as New Media Expo, Seattle Interactive, MozCon, SearchLove, Search Marketing Expo, and recently was rated top speaker at the Community SPRINT Conference.

Connect with Jen on Twitter at @jennita or on Google+.

Guy MartinGuy Martin
Director, Open Source Strategy at Autodesk

Guy Martin is Director, Open Source Strategy at Autodesk, where he represents the company to the broader open source community and works with internal teams to help accelerate their use of and collaboration with open source software. He also helps build ‘innersource’ communities to enable better code sharing within the company. In former roles at Samsung and Red Hat, he worked to increase community uptake and collaboration across a wide variety of teams and projects. He speaks on open source and community to audiences of all sizes at conferences such as LinuxCon, OSCON, SCALE and All Things Open.

Connect with Guy on Twitter at @guyma or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. What information do executives generally respond best to when making the case for your community’s value?
  2. Are there certain executives who are more difficult convince of community ROI?
  3. What are the top objections you’ve heard from executives about community initiatives, and how have you overcome them?
  4. Which studies or research papers on the ROI of community initiatives do you recommend that community managers read?
  5. What advice do you have for new community managers who don’t have a lot of tangible results to show yet?
  6. Besides executives, who else needs to be convinced of your community’s value; and do you approach those conversations differently?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

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Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a weekly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. 
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