Coming from a background of working with tech startups and a few entertainment brands, I knew that doing community management (CM) work would be different at GDS.
Social communities in the private sector
In a traditional company, a CM will always have their community Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in mind. Community managers need to translate their community growth into things like more sales, users, or email sign-ups.
Aggressive marketing tactics are often used to grow an audience. Once they're reaching a larger audience, the CM will work at listening, engaging and getting to know the followers or users of the company.
Throughout the entire process, a monetary goal is the primary factor.
Social communities in government
Our strategies at GDS and GOV.UK are never about chasing likes, but we do have a unique strategy based on user needs.
As soon as I joined GDS, I was able to let go of the "marketing" element of community management (although we are still interested in creating content that has the widest reach possible), and focus on the best part - helping people.
Making social work
Wrapping my head around who our “community” are was the first step. When I was in a startup, I’d focus my community growth efforts on a section of the population based on their interests, age, location or needs. At GDS it's different; our potential audience is every citizen of the UK.
Instead of focusing on audience analysis in relation to ROI , we try to ensure we’re informing as many of the population about digital services, in the clearest way possible, as we can.
We also continue to look at the best ways to engage with the people who care about the day-to-day stories from GDS. We use this analysis to help guide our content strategies.
Compared to the startups I'd worked with before, I pay much more attention to a professional and consistent tone of voice, alongside remaining personable.
On the front line, my daily efforts are all about being helpful, informative and ensuring people are being heard. We point them in the right direction, report service bugs and answer any queries as quickly as possible.
“Simpler, clearer, faster” is a mantra at GDS, and I'm happy to be a part of that mission.