Determining the Business Value of Community Managers at Startups

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On Air: 20:00 - 21:00 EST (GMT-5)
Monday, January 26th, 2015

The ROI of community is a hot topic among community professionals. Is ROI even important? Is it measurable? How do you know if you’re building the right community if you can’t measure success clearly?

We’ll talk about how startups (for ease of context, we’ll define this as companies with less than 20 employees) can begin to measure the value of community in CONCRETE ways and why we firmly believe that community should be a core business value rather than a tactic used by other departments.


Carrie JonesCarrie Jones
Editorial Director at CMX Media

Carrie Jones is the editorial director of CMX Media and organizes SF Community Managers meetups. She has built community both full-time and as a consultant for companies such as Chegg, Scribd, Socratic, and Coursera.

Connect with Carrie on Twitter at @caremjo or on Google+.

David SpinksDavid Spinks
CEO at CMX Media

David Spinks is the CEO of CMX Media, fueling the community industry through events, education, community, training, services, and products.

Connect with David on Twitter at @DavidSpinks or on Google+.


Rebecca BraglioRebecca Braglio
Community Engagement Manager at Pet360

Rebecca is a former criminal defense attorney turned online community manager for Pet360. She is recognized by Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark, as one of “7 Brilliant Women in Tech.” As Pet360 Community Engagement Manager, she has increased community engagement activity by over 35% in just one year. She is addicted to community, collaboration and conversations.

Connect with Rebecca on Twitter at @RebeccaBraglio or on Google+.

Andrew J CoateAndrew J. Coate
Sr. Community & Content Manager at Kapost

Andrew J. Coate has a passion for conversation. It is this trait that has led him to serve as the digital voice of many organizations over the past decade, ranging from indie bands to corporate brands. Currently, he’s the Sr. Community & Content Manager for Kapost, a Boulder, Colorado-based marketing software company. There, he enjoys writing about creating content more effectively, interacting with a broad community of marketers, and of course, sharing hilarious GIFs. Outside of work, his likes include craft beer, hockey, running, and photoshopping coworkers’ faces onto things. His dislikes include hangnails, the phrase “YOLO”, really large malls, and Billy Corgan.

Connect with Andrew on Twitter at @andrewjcoate or on Google+.

Siobhan HitchmoughSiobhan Hitchmough
Community & Support Manager at Archon System Inc. (inFlow Inventory)

Siobhan Hitchmough is the Community and Support Manager for Archon Systems Inc., which specializes in building software that helps small business.  Their flagship product, inFlow Inventory, is used by a diverse community of over 700,000 businesses in 122 countries worldwide.  Siobhan firmly believes in making real connections between businesses and their customers. When she’s not championing her community, she wrangles tutorials and tweets about community, customer service and occasionally pop culture.

Connect with Siobhan on Twitter at @SioTweets or on Google+.

Thomas KnollThomas Knoll
Founder and Trust Builder at Primeloop

Thomas Knoll is the founder & trust builder at and a proud member of the #VegasTech community.
He has been a community architect, community cultivator, product designer, social marketer, customer developer, and startup advisor for companies including 500Startups, LaunchRock, Zappos, UserVoice, and Seesmic.

Connect with Thomas on Twitter at @thomasknoll or on Google+.

Maria OgnevaMaria Ogneva
Head of Community at Sidecar

Maria works with communities because she believes in their power to start and sustain entire movements — beyond the obvious customer service and engagement uses.  She helps companies harness the power of communities of users, customers, employees and partners to fully transform their themselves and their industries. Currently Maria works as Head of Community at Sidecar, a community marketplace for people to give and get rides from their mobile phone. Her job is to help create the conditions where our drivers and riders benefit from working together and with them as a company. Before Sidecar, Maria built the Yammer global online community from the ground up, and worked at Salesforce as “Adoption Czar” helping companies ignite their own communities.

Connect with Maria on Twitter at @themaria, her blog, AboutMe or on Google+.

Sahana UllagadiSahana Ullagadi
Marketing Manager at Klout

Sahana leads the content marketing and social marketing efforts for Klout. She’s working on marketing programs that support user acquisition through their social, content, and email strategy.
In a nutshell, Sahana is excited by digital marketing, creativity, and bringing people together through technology.

Connect with Sahana on Twitter at @itsmesahana or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you do as a community manager at a startup (or, if you’re a founder or other professional, what does your community manager do)?
  2. What kinds of activities should a CM focus on in the first 3 months of their job at a startup?
  3. Do you think every startup needs a community manager? If so, why? If not, why not?
  4. How can you tell if a community manager is successful at a startup? What does success look like in this role at such an early stage?
  5. What are some concrete metrics for success for community at the startup stage? Walk us through how you calculate this.
  6. Does community need to drive revenue to be considered valuable?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

Want to RSVP for the Hangout? Visit #CMAD presents: Determining the Business Value of Community Managers at Startups and let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend!

The video will play on the event page when the broadcast starts.

Not sure what time this is for you? Use to find out.

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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