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6 Horror Movie Clichés Online Community Managers Should Ignore

It’s October and that means television stations and local theaters will be featuring horror movies all month long until Halloween.

If you’re a fan of horror movies, you’ve likely noticed a number of cliché plot devices that pop up again and again. As a viewer, you’ve probably thought that if only the onscreen characters knew and avoided these cliché plot devices they could outrun the killer and live to see another day.

In real life, however, ignoring the very advice that would save a horror film character could actually benefit you and your online community.

  1. Splitting Up Equals Death: In horror flicks, one of the worst things people can do is split up. Inevitably, after splitting up, everyone is killed off one-by-one. However, in online communities, division can actually keep everyone around longer. New member and ambassador programs are common ways to split members up to better serve people where they are in the community life-cycle.
  2. Technology Cannot Be Trusted: For some reason, horror movies worlds exist in a dimension where cars stop and phones lose reception at the exact moment they are needed, leading to someone’s death. In real life, building and managing online communities wouldn’t be possible without technology. Our tech tools allow us to build space for community and connect to members in more ways than ever before.
  3. Authority Figures are Useless: The sheriff and cops in horror movies are somehow always blind to what’s happening and, consequently, do nothing to stop the approaching serial killer/monster. In online communities, community managers are necessary authority figures who serve the important purpose of creating a welcoming and safe space for their members.
  4. Investigating Strange Sounds Will Get You Killed: Another popular horror movie trope, is the character who meets their end after daring to investigate the source of a strange sound. For online community managers, being attentive to and investigating any grumbling from their community members can keep a misunderstanding from turning into a full-blown crisis.
  5. Being Tough Will be the Death of You: The tough guy who decides to search for and confront the killer, always gets killed. For community managers, being tough means staying alive and sane on the job. There will come a time when it seems like your online community members want to kill you. When that time arrives, it will pay to be tough to help you get control of the situation and get the community back on track.
  6. We Are All Natural Weapons Experts: People in horror movies are somehow always adept at handling whatever weapon they come across, be it a rifle, axe, or a combine harvester. Online community management can mean different things to different organizations so it’s almost impossible to be a natural at the job. Good community managers never overestimate how much they know and are always open to learning.

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