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Discussion on: What do you wish you knew about Developer Relations?

mary_grace profile image
Mary Thengvall Author

That's a great question! When I was working as a Community Manager, there was often an assumption that I was "just" a social media marketer (emphasis mine... not to diminish the job, which is actually not easy to do well, but to point out the implication from others that I wasn't qualified to answer technical questions). While I did indeed help with the social media platforms, my main focus was to create a healthy, encouraging, and informative space for our community to gather, both on- and offline.

Some Developer Relations teams run developer-facing social media accounts, but in many cases, they simply work closely with the social media marketer or team to make sure that the content is relevant to developers. In my book I advise larger teams & companies to include a tech-savvy social media marketer on their team who is responsible not only for the social media accounts but also for syndication of content and communication with the community.

TL;DR: Social media is an important way that we connect with our community members, both from personal accounts as well as corporate accounts. If there is a dev-facing social media account, it should be used to promote and amplify the work that the community is doing as well as engage with the community around relevant content. The emphasis should always be on having a conversation with people rather than talking at them.

kayis profile image

I see, thanks for the info!

Do you have any tips for a one man "team"? How to get started with building that whole devrel stuff up and integrate it with social media if nothing of that exists at the company?

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mary_grace profile image
Mary Thengvall Author

That's a big question 😂 I cover a good amount of how to get started in my book, but I give some basic suggestions in a recent blogpost as well:

Always start with listening: to your internal stakeholders (people who care about the developer community & the program you're building); to your community members (what are their true needs? what are they interested in? where do they go for relevant information?); and to your customers (what are their pain points? what issues do they have with your product? how can you best help them?).

Regarding how to integrate it with social media, start by finding the influencers in your field. Who's making waves? Who's engaging with folks on the relevant topics? Follow them and start engaging with the conversations: asking questions, retweeting their questions, complimenting them on their accomplishments, etc. Focus on getting to know them first and talking about yourself second. Once people know that you care and that you're there for their benefit, they'll start to care about what you have to say. Jeremy Meiss says it well in this tweet: