#ExcelInCommunities – Interview with Chrissy Hughes, Resorted Hearing
In our Journey to document the best practices behind a successful community, we have here an interview with Chrissy Hughes, the Online Community Manager for Restored Hearing.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Chrissy, I’m 26 and I live in the cold but beautiful city Dublin in Ireland. I have two cats and I can’t say no to a bar of chocolate or a glass of gin! I got involved in Community Management straight out of school instead of going straight into college. I started off working for myself and working with small local businesses to build communities. From a young age, I was always quite interested in how brands attracted people to them and I wanted to get involved to try it out for myself. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve worked with large film brands, large food blogs and my personal favorite – small startups. I currently work for a health startup, Restored Hearing, and I do some freelance work in my spare time for a cycling apparel brand, As Bold As. I’ve also completed certificates in Digital Marketing and Social Media with Online Reputation Management and I was a finalist in the Community Manager Appreciation Day awards, 2016.
How did your community come to be?
When I joined Restored Hearing we had virtually no community. I had no previous experience in building a health community previously and it’s been a constant learning experience but thoroughly enjoyable. In the health industry, people can be quite skeptical about you so there is extra work in building reputability and trust with your community. I did this by creating a lot of useful content (blogs, images, videos), building brand awareness, providing exceptional customer service, asking our community questions about themselves and keeping them involved in every decision the company made.
What is the secret sauce behind your community to make it a success?
The secret sauce is definitely the passion and the drive to do the best you can for your community. You have to be interested in what the brand you are working for does because you are essentially their biggest brand ambassador! How are you going to attract a community of passionate people who love your brand if you don’t?
In my case, the extra work in building the reputability and letting people know that we are trustworthy was the secret sauce in making it successful. Consistency, tone and the message you are trying to portray is also important in becoming successful.
What is the strongest experience or achievement your community has reached?
In 2015 I decided to take our community offline and I created the inaugural World Tinnitus Day to promote how tinnitus affects our community. We had a small budget and a team of 4 people but with a lot of hard work, the day was a complete success. We held an event in Dublin city and had specialists speak about hearing problems, free hearing tests, food and an acoustic music session to end the day. It was amazing for us to meet our community in person and for them to meet us too!
This year, we wanted to spread the message even further so we held World Tinnitus Day online. We were approached by other companies and organisations who wanted to get involved by spreading the word or by writing a blog post. We created an online schedule of topics that were to be discussed and pushed it out on social media so that people would remember to join in. We put no budget into our online posts and had a huge reach which we were delighted with!
What’s your tip to a newbie community manager?
1. Realise that any new community you manage is different to any other one you’ve managed before so spend time listening and getting to know them before deciding what tactics to take when growing it. You will come up against new challenges but you will learn quickly and adapt.
2. Burnout is a huge problem. Constantly checking in on everyone else and keeping an eye on your phone is draining. Check in on yourself every now and then and find ways that suit you to relax and switch off. Have a few hours away from technology from time to time and spend time with your loved ones!