Why have a community manager?
What is community management?
Community management is often mistaken for social media management, and while it’s definitely a key part of any social media strategy, managing your community becomes more urgent the bigger your customer base gets.Community management is mostly about relationships and how your brand seizes opportunities interact with your community in public online spaces. If your goal is to build a long-term business with a strong brand, this is something you’ll want to invest in especially if your business requires an online presence.
Your community may be spread out all over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, forums, and even the comment sections of articles. You have to figure out which ones are more relevant to your business.
Your community consists of your current customers, target audiences, and all the people who interact with your brand directly and indirectly online. Community Management brings your brand to life online. Your audience should feel like it’s a real person with a real personality behind these interactions. Brands that don’t have community management miss out on opportunities to:
Manage customer complaints
Turn customers into loyal fans
Win over influencers and prospective customers
Network with other brands and partner with them
Get valuable product feedback
Moderate the tone of a comment section
Community management VS Social media marketing
They each have their own priorities.
Social Media Marketing is focused on the production and distribution of content on social media to reach new customers and communicate with your current ones. Here, you might be focused on things like reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to your site.
Community Management is what happens after your social media publishing, but it’s not limited to that.
It’s part customer service, part listening to the online audiences, and part being active in discussions that relate to your brand.
Where social media marketing broadcasts a message from one-to-many, community management often starts on a smaller, more intimate scale. But it can build your brand’s presence both on and outside your social media pages and even outside the internet.
Why does it matter?
If you think community management doesn’t have a big impact because it’s limited to small-scale interactions, that’s not the case.
Customer complaints on social media have increased by 8 times in the last five years. A single angry customer has a voice that carries to others whether it’s through word-of-mouth, sharing screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave behind online.
The same applies to your happy customers, and community management helps you create more of those.
How to hire a community manager
You can do it yourself, or if you decide to hand this responsibility off, you need to make sure the person you hire has the following traits:
Strong communication and social networking skills.
Empathy, patience, and tact (always important for customer service).
Creativity, a sense of humour, and the ability to adapt to your brand’s voice.
The ability to go through social data to find opportunities and insight.
Familiarity with your social media channels of interest and tools like Hootsuite.
An understanding of your niche or the curiosity to thoroughly learn about it.
Above all, this needs to be someone you can trust as they will be the voice and ambassador of your brand online of sorts.
Build up your community to build up your business
Finding or starting conversations and growing your community is a must for any long lasting business, and it becomes more important as your business grows.
Community management presents your brand to the world as a likable, knowledgeable personality that others can’t help but want to engage with and it surfaces opportunities to fuel positive discussions about and around your products.
Invest in a strong community and you’ll build a loyal fan base that will advocate on behalf of your brand and even come to your rescue when you need it.