The emergence of social media marketing has given birth to a new type of role called Community Manager. This role is growing in importance and frequency as customers begin to understand the significance and genuine advantages the role represents to them.
A Community Manager contributes a great deal to the client he or she works with but it can be a bit difficult to exactly define the role because as social media evolves, so do the tasks of a Community Manager. The easiest way to think of this role is if you can imagine yourself on social media 24/7 representing your own company. You constantly post messages and engage in conversations online with the specific aim to engender trust and the highest level of customer service. Community managers come into the game with firmly established objectives set by the client and are typically highly skilled and experienced in the field of social media. They should be incredibly knowledgeable about most aspects of social media including which platforms will provide the greatest opportunity to meet a client’s objectives.
But whether you’re a start-up organisation, a small business or a large corporation, if your business is on social media, you need someone to concentrate on your social media management. Posting content is no longer sufficient for effective social media execution and so Community management has become a vital ingredient for success. Today’s social media consumers quickly recognise robotic sales-laden messaging from brands and can often be one of the key reasons a consumer disengages. It is a Community Manager’s role to help you build relationships with your target audience, increase engagement online and deepen the relationship consumers have with your brand. Community management is also necessary for collaboration and creating innovation by understanding the needs of your online community.
According to Sarah Brewer, Your Social Village’s Lead Community Manager, a Community Manager’s tasks go way beyond planning a client’s social media content.
“Posting on social networking sites is only the beginning,” Brewer said.“The Community Manager works closely with the business and uses his or her expertise to give advice, assistance and recommendations. He or she should also have the ability to enable genuine engagement and provide a reason for people to follow and feel a sense of affinity with a brand.”
Brewer said a good Community Manager needs to fully understand and appreciate the client’s business and educate him or herself about the company and its competitors.
“A Community Manager also needs to be updated about everything related to the digital world, like new tools, new social networking sites, new campaigns, new applications which may have some relevance to your clients, so maintaining a long list of industry touch points and news sources is also quite necessary.”
“Social media is constantly evolving and each day, more and more people use social media to fulfila lot of their needs and you must, as a business, keep up with this trend or risk losing out to your competitors who do,” she added.
Properly engaging with your target audience is also necessary to keep their attention because posting content is not enough anymore. “Just posting content will show that you’re not engaging with your audience and will appear robotic”. This is a significant evolution which says it’s no longer sufficient to simply advertise and ‘sell’ your brand on the different social media platforms; you now need to recognise the need for genuine engagement. The unique value proposition of social media is its ability to generate social referrals or brand endorsement that gets communicated to a follower’s network of friends. Erik Qualman refers to it as “word of mouth on steroids”. The message in the end is clear. If you can’t develop trust and engagement there is little chance the power of social media will be realised. A Community Manager is a key component to realising the power of social media.
Below are some tips, which Brewer shared, on how to be a successful community manager:
1. Work closely with the client and educate yourself about their business. Try and make yourself a part of the team.
2. Listen to what the customers are saying and what they want.
3. Keep updated with social media trends, new technology, etc.
4. Familiarize yourself with the competition.
5. Be prepared to experiment and remain open to the changing environment of social media.
If you want to increase your brand’s visibility on social media, you need to be visible to your present and prospective customers, engage with your followers, answer their comments and queries promptly and share quality content on your site and social media pages.
Being on social media daily can be very overwhelming and will leave you little time to concentrate on your core business so we don’t recommend this approach for business owners. We recommend you consider the advantages of social media marketing and commit to undertaking your engagement correctly to maximise the genuine opportunity it represents. Your Social Village can help! We have consultants who will sit with you from the planning down to the executing and monitoring of your social media campaigns. We know social media marketing and we know what your business needs. Connect with us today!