Masters of Community with David Spinks

Building Community at Nike, Reddit, WeWork, and Teal with Erik Martin

Episode Summary

Rarely do we see a community leader make a difference in so many diverse departments and programs, but Erik Martin is one of a kind. He’s currently the Chief Community Officer at Teal, but over the past 20 years he has worked in the film industry, Reddit, DePop, WeWork, Airtime, and Nike! In this episode, we discuss why the community industry is blowing up and how community stands out from traditional marketing. Erik discusses his role as a Chief Community Officer and shares the vision for Community becoming its own department in businesses. We talk about the benchmark metrics needed to truly understand community health and the complexities of community conversions and analytics. Erik shares valuable nuggets of wisdom about adapting to the needs of the community you’re growing and teaches that the community is always smarter than you and will lead you in the right direction. Who is this episode for?: B2C, In person & Online, Revitalizing 3 key takeaways: Community is always smarter than you are and will lead you in the right direction. They are the ones invested in the product or community and will give you a look into what people actually want and need. The Chief Community Officer Role signals that community is a central pillar to the organization and not just an aspect of another department, such as marketing, sales, or operations. Benchmark metrics is the goal for understanding community health. Having a relative baseline to compare the community metrics to will provide a much more comprehensive, holistic view of the impact on community. Notable Quotes: “I've been reminded over and over again, that the community is always smarter than you are. Meaning myself, the individual, but also the company in a sense, and that if you're really building products, not just for users, not just for community, but with the community, they'll really lead you in the right direction, especially in early stage startups or when you're launching something new. Collectively the group of people is going to be smarter than any one individual or even small group of people.” “I'm the chief community officer but we have a relatively small team, but what it means and the reason why I think it's important... is because what it signals is that community is a central element, it's a central pillar, it's a part of our DNA. It reports to the CEO and I think that's important. The titles themselves are more for external usage, but internally it's like, okay, community is not just a part of marketing or just a part of support or just a part of operations or just a part of a product. It's its own thing that has its own scope, its own metrics, its own contribution to the business.” Rapid fire question answers: 1. What’s your favorite book to recommend to others? Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman 2. Who’s an up and coming community builder you think is going to do big things? Jocelyn Hsu at Picsart and Sanmaya Mohanty (creator of the Community Manager Guide) 3. What’s your wildest community story? ACL Subreddit for people with ligament problems. It’s become a place for people to talk about ACL surgery and post-op recovery, etc. Asked the community on Reddit what was going on with his ACL and found out he had a screw loose in his knee. 4. What’s your go-to community engagement tactic? Challenge -30,90,10 day challenges. Very social and gives accountability. Ex: new vocab word of the day challenge, career challenge, 5. What’s a community building technology App people should be using: Spatial communities or asynchronous real life (ex: Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality, Randonautica, AYA) 6. Weirdest community you’ve been a part of? A Virtual Cult of traditional Chinese medicine with the leader Master Sha 7. If you’re on your death bed and you could only leave one piece of life advice behind for all the future generations, what would that advice be? We are the stories we tell ourselves. If we aren’t happy with who we are and what we are, we need to tell better stories. Links: Teal- Community Manager Guide- Twitter: @Hueypriest Reddit: @hueypriest