Kristen Meren

Community Lead

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My Story

Community Lead

Experience: 6 years

Colour: Pink!

Book: Anything Shel Silverstein

Pets: Yes – I have two dogs – both pug mixes from the local Humane Society.

Find some community friends! Whether in an online community or in-person, within or outside of your org. The best way to get ahead in this industry is to connect with folks like you.

How did you start into community management? What was your career path across the years?

I had a marketing background and realized I would be the perfect fit for a Community Manager role with Higher Logic.

I interviewed for three months and countless rounds to prove my customer marketing skills were transferable to the role. When I landed the job I got to work with one of the biggest and oldest global tech companies, helping me to learn a lot about developers, B2B SaaS, and how community platforms work.

Higher Logic had a huge team of community managers who were amazing to learn from and work with. I realized I loved the fast-paced nature of SaaS user communities, and continued my path in community at Tealium, and now I’ve landed at Talkbase! I am having so much fun working for a platform for community managers again. I love it!

What have been the main challenges of your career?

For me the main challenge has always been some variation of doing a lot with a little team and/or budget. It seems only in the past couple years more and more executives are embracing community. In years past there was still so much time spent on educating teams on the power of community. That was just one of a ton of tasks a community manager would be in charge of. Internal education & promotion, engagement intitiatives, gamification & badging, Q&A sessions or forums, and more have all been in the scope of one person. I am so excited to watch this shift happen where some community people focus on operations, some on engagement. Increasingly community teams are at least 2+ people.

What has helped you develop yourself as a community professional?

Joining communities for community managers helped a lot, especially as a small team. I’ve kept in touch with some of my favorite community people from Higher Logic and know they are always there to collaborate. I’ve continued to ask a lot of questions to my peers and try a lot of engagement and content tactics to help me learn what works. If something works, I use it and iterate as needed. If something doesn’t work, I assess why and pivot to focus on programs and processes that do work.

What's your favourite community platform?

I’m a total Khoros snob whose main love is now Talkbase. Talkbase has captured so many helpful tools for community managers when it comes to CRM, events, and project planning. That’s why I joined the team!

What is “community” for you?

Community is this organic way for folks who have something in common to connect. Communities often include knowledge sharing, events, content, and a special human element that makes the members feel they belong.

What's one single strategy that you may suggest to increase member engagement?

Answer product ideas, always. It doesn’t matter where you collect ideas or who manages that process, just make sure members know how and where to share, and internal product people and customer success people know how to access this data.

People love to be heard, and even if you don’t add their idea to your roadmap, customers resonate more with companies who listen.

What would you recommend to those just starting into community management?

Find some community friends! Whether in an online community or in-person, within or outside of your org. The best way to get ahead in this industry is to connect with folks like you.

Community is niche, but evolving into an industry that will hit all parts of the business. Be ready to make friends across your org and throughout the community field!

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