Don’t Panic, Fellow Community Manager!

by Ken Mueller on September 28, 2012 · 14 comments

English: A 'panic button' placed in the middle...

Today’s guest post is from my friend Ifdy Perez.

I’ve been there. That place where your body temperature rises, your palm’s a little sweaty, and you’re re-reading that Tweet for the 11th time before hitting the “submit” button.

Oh yeah, that panic. It’s a horrible feeling. You’re thinking about what would happen if things go wrong. If the Tweet has a dead link, or worse—heaven forbid!—a typo with a sexual innuendo. Ah! And what if I am doing this wrong, or will make us look stupid, or . . .

Calm down, my dear friend, it’s alright. I’ve been there. And in retrospect, the panic wasn’t worth it. Here are the things I’d tell myself about freaking out, having doubts, and being insecure in how the online world worked.

Slap! Stop Freaking Out!

Freaking out won’t help. In fact, it could hurt, because if you’re freaking out, you’re concentrating on the fact that you’re freaking out, which means your judgment is clouded and you have a higher risk of making a mistake. It’s good to double-check your spelling and links, but don’t take it too far.

Have confidence in the fact that you are the subject matter expert, and your followers need the information or resources you’re holding. You’re doing them good by sharing it; once you refocus on what they need (and not you), you’ll feel better.

If You Have Doubts, Don’t Do It

Now, not everything is appropriate (duh) so the rule I follow is: when in doubt, don’t do it. If you’re thinking way too much about something, or if you’re uncomfortable about how something may be perceived, erase it and start over.

Follow your gut on these things, and trust it. You could even ask someone in your organization, or a peer, for his/her thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with that.

This Is a Learning Experience . . . for Everyone

Social media is always evolving. It wasn’t that long ago when posting links to your Facebook page was ok, and now it’s dead weight. We’re all working to keep up with the times, so don’t worry about looking stupid if you’re doing something “wrong.”

You could always read a couple blog posts on social best practices, but my recommendation is to observe how others do it. Watch other brands/orgs to see how they interact with their audience. Also observe how your friends communicate with each other. By doing this, you’ll build up your confidence in how to interact online.

What other insecurities do you or did you have about community management? What would you tell yourself in retrospect?


Ifdy Perez


Ifdy Perez is the community manager at Razoo, an online fundraising platform that empowers individuals and nonprofits to meet their fundraising goals through online giving campaigns. She’s also editor of Inspiring Generosity, a blog that gives nonprofits helpful resources on online community management and social media tools.


Wait? Posting links to Facebook is dead weight? 

Ifdy, I wish you could be there when I sweat over my WordPress "publish" button. I need a support group at that moment. 


@shonali @kmueller62 Aww, thanks Shonali!


@NealSchaffer @kmueller62 Exactly. If there's a moment of hesitation, I don't post.


@joyadele keep calm and carry on :-)

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