Substance leverages the tools, creates strategic plans and tactically implements social media programs that are well integrated into a company’s communications, marketing and sales efforts.
For a company’s social media efforts to work well, someone has to lead the charge. The person best suited to do this job is the community manager – someone who has solid experience and multiple skills to handle a variety of tasks – everything from business development, customer service, marketing, public/media relations and sales.
Community managers are also evangelists and active within the community to provide a company with a steady presence. And they’re managers, overseeing other people who tactically implement social media programs.
While more companies are hiring community managers, their value has yet to be fully appreciated. This is likely because social media is still in its nascent stages so many companies are still working on creating management structure that incorporate their social media efforts.
It explains why many companies have launched social media programs without having a community manager in place, or they have someone who is social media-savvy but not terribly experienced.
The reality is community managers are the “blockers and tacklers” within the social media game.
While not glamorous – unless you’re someone such as Comcast’s Frank Eliason – community managers do a lot of heavy lifting behind the scenes. When a company’s social media programs are successful, it’s not often that you see the community manager celebrated as the hero of the day.
At the end of the day, community managers can make or a break a company’s social media efforts – even those that feature an excellent strategic plan. Without someone at the helm who can effectively oversee day-to-day operations, social media can be a losing and frustrating proposition.
For more thoughts on the importance of community managers, check out this blog post on The Intangibles.