Community Management is a marketing & support role that until a few years ago, was pretty much non-existent. Just as when Social Media grew in such a way that “managing” it became impossible to ignore for firms, so too can we apply this concept of managing your community today. But what exactly does a Community Manager do? How does it differ from social media management? True, in many cases, your Community Manager may also manage your Social Media accounts, but it’s important to define the role of Community Manager as a unique role. Let’s take a look:
- Community Manager’s spend a lot of time identifying who is talking about your brand, what they’re saying, where they’re saying it, and why they’re saying it.
While the first place your community of customers or prospective customers gather that comes to mind is probably Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc, this merely scratches the surface of where your community is engaging with other members, and sharing their experiences with your brand. As the next generation of tech savvy millennials grow up, they’re spending less time on Facebook & Twitter, and more time on specific chats, forums, blogs, discussion boards, comments sections and other outlets where you probably never thought to look. My tip is to set-up a Google Alerts for your brand name, and have your community manager wake up every morning to an email of Alerts showing everywhere, in the vastness that is the internet, that your brand was newly discussed. From here, we can engage the community, and turn them into a little army of brand ambassadors.
- Community Managers engage the community in Social Media and beyond.
While your Social Media Manager may have their plate full with posting content on a schedule, likes, retweets, ad campaigns, etc, Community Management calls for more a more in depth engagement with the customers in these forums, and beyond. Does every customer question get an answer? Does every reply get a timely response until the customer is satisfied? The Community wants to know that someone from the company is listening and cares, and you can see how posting content, without following up with community engagement can make your business appear like a robot to your community members. A well crafted, detailed response to a single customer was once deemed unrealistic, or too costly, but today is now recognized as vital versus the damage a single customer can do to your brand trolling other community members.
- Community Managers are the right hand to your customer support department.
Many community members have found a workaround to the traditional avenues of customer support, which is prone to backlogs, and other issues that make us all hate tech support. The moment a customer has a bad support experience, one of two things happen, both of whose responsibility fall on the Community Manager. A) They complain about the experience to other community members, and become that anti-Christ to your holy brand, or B) they seek the support in a reasonable fashion elsewhere (a Reddit forum, for example). It’s the responsibility of the Community Manager to A) diffuse the situation, apologize, and turn them back into a believer in your brand, and B) answer their original support question. Your Community Manager requires technical knowledge beyond what should be expected of your Social Media Coordinator.
Before running out to hire your first Community Manager, it is important to note, that depending on your industry or size of company, effective community management can range from vital, to of little importance. Our advice? Contact us at New Wave Web and we can provide a consultation. In many cases, a full-time Community Manager isn’t necessary, rather, setting up your Community Management infrastructure, and then monitoring your community for a few hours per week will suffice.