How To Manage Great Online Communities With Shana Bresnahan!

shana bresnahan Jun 10, 2021

Today’s guest on the Shane Sams Show is Shana Bresnahan - a preeminent strategist for membership owners and she leads some of the biggest membership communities and Facebook Groups online!


When you’re trying to be a business owner, be a community leader, you’re trying to be a thought leader, trying to build an audience, and trying to build a community about the things that you want to do - you are taking on an amazing responsibility. The internet makes it possible to lead hundreds, evens thousands of people online and effective community management is going to make it critical for all of your success (and to keep your stress levels low)!


In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How to lead your communities more effectively
  • How we can mobilize the culture of our communities to help us accomplish our mission
  • How we can have better communication and connection with our memberships
  • Tactical strategies for starting, building, growing, and leading big Facebook Groups
  • Strategies for dealing with important topics that are going to come up in our communities



Show Notes

What do you think makes a great community manager? (9:00)

Shana Bresnahan says the 4 pillars of a thriving community are:

  1. Cause - What is the common mission and vision that we are all moving forward in?
  2. Culture - What is the culture that we want to create?
  3. Communication - Being just as good at collecting information through surveys, support emails, and diving into internal conversations that are happening among members.
  4. Connection - Setting a foundation of safety to get your community more engaged.


What does Shana Bresnahan look for when hiring a community manager? (12:00)

Here’s what Shana Bresnahan looks for (and you should too):

  1. Communication Skills: What are their oral and written communication skills? This person is your go-between for the team, the community, and you. This person really needs to be able to communicate effectively.
  2. Detail-Oriented: Since this person is juggling so many details, task-switching, and many different management roles - they have to be detail-oriented.
  3. They Have To Love People: You have to truly love people to be able to handle the ones that will eventually get mad (because it will happen, it happens to us all). When somebody gets mad at them, they can handle it. The role cannot wreck them for weeks after that one bad incident.


What tasks should we be assigning to a community manager? (22:00)

Shana Bresnahan says one of the biggest things understand about the role of a community manager is that they really start out as an engagement manager. The main role of a community manager is to make sure that there are relationships and conversations inside of the Facebook Group.

The secondary part of their role is how they are organizing the membership deliverables and communicating them in an effective way - so that people are consuming your content and making progress.


What are the red flags that your community manager needs support or that you need to hire another community manager? (28:00)

Here are the red flags Shana Bresnahan identifies as signs you may need to hire help your community manager:

  1. Your community manager is working through the weekend.
  2. Noticing slips or misspellings where you normally wouldn’t have before.


How do you approach managing the Facebook Group? (40:00)

There are a couple of different ways Shana Bresnahan runs her many Facebook Groups but it basically boils down to this: Shana Bresnahan believes in scaling your freedom of interaction based on your their of membership.


How do you navigate tough leadership issues in your online community? (48:00)

For Shana Bresnahan, she sets her boundaries based upon making it clear that for her site everyone is there to talk about business. Body is saying that political issues are not important - that’s just not why they’re there.

If you put it in the terms of the community and make it clear, then the community knows anything outside of that is outside of bounds. So, when you come in and say, “I really appreciate that you’r going through through this and I know that this is a hard time for people. Here’s a resource where you can have these kinds of conversations:____. This community is not the place for it because we’re not experts in this.”


Connect with Shana!

  • Instagram @shanaspeaks





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