Measuring the Emotional Intelligence of community management: Part I

Over the past few months we have been investigating the essence of good online community management. We’ve dissected the very definition of an online community and we’ve gleaned insights from experienced community manager, Heather Taylor. Over the next two part-series we will be exploring the role emotion plays within a community; and the need for Emotional Intelligence in a community manager.

There was no end of speculation surrounding this year’s F8 conference. Facebook was making some drastic changes, and, as Mashable et al reported, Facebook was determined to once again re-ignite an “emotional connection” for its users.

This got us thinking. How big a part does emotion play in an online community? And how does this impact community management; if an online community manager has a high Emotional Intelligence (EI), does this automatically translate into a more engaged community?

Putting it to the test

We have decided to take the EI behavioural model as outlined by Daniel Goleman in his work, ‘Emotional Intelligence’, and apply it to the three most engaged branded Facebook pages in the UK, as outlined in SocialBaker’s latest report.

Over the space of a week we will be exploring whether the community managers for these three highly engaged communities do indeed display EI based on three of the key factors outlined in Goleman’s theory, which, for the purposes of this experiment, we have re-interpreted to measure interactions on Facebook:

1. Motivation
We will be measuring the frequency of wall posts and responses.

2. Self-regulation
We will be measuring reactions to negativity and whether the community manager responds in a level-headed manner.

3. Empathy
We will be measuring how much the community manager tailors the tone of their wall posts and responses according to the reactions of the community.

This Slideshare is really helpful for understanding Goleman’s model and how it fits with our working lives:

Stay tuned for Part II, where we find out what happens when you take one chatty beauty brand community, one passionate whisky-swilling community and one sentimental dog-loving community and ask the question: just how high is your community manager’s EI?

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