Posts Tagged ‘community managers’

Do You Need More Than One Community Manager?

A community manager may be the unsung hero of most companies and organization. In fact, you might even consider hiring more than one.

While we’ve discussed this topic before, the role and value of a community manager should not be under-estimated.

As social media becomes a bigger part of the marketing and sales mix, the responsibilities of a community manager seem to be growing.

In many ways, a community manager is the digital voice and face of your organization.

They manage and update all social networks, while making sure you are constantly connecting with digital audiences.

Shouldn’t the individual evolve into a team as your audience grows?

A community manager should also be responsible for providing measurement and identifying key issues that emerge. This is by no means an easy task.

Just as important and often overlooked is the community manager is responsible for being the pipeline to the complaints, ideas and suggestions of existing and potential customers.

As an organization, your responsibility lies in giving your community manager all the required resources and content to do their job as well and as successfully as possible.

Don’t dismiss the idea of adding a second community manager to ensure all the social bases are covered. No one person can be in every place at once.

 

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day! We Come Bearing Gifts

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day!

What’s this, you ask? Well, Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD) was created back in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang to celebrate the tireless efforts of community managers around the world. Community managers spend their day acting as a bridge between their company or brand and the world at large. At any given time you can find a community manager acting as the PR, marketing, sales, customer service and voice of a brand all at the same time. Today is the day we give them thanks.

Does your company have a community manager? Have you had a great experience from a brand thanks to their community manager? Today’s their day, so thank them for the wonderful job that they’re doing. Presents aren’t required (although I’m sure they also wouldn’t be turned away), but your thanks and appreciation is welcome.

Now, when I said that presents aren’t required, I meant it, but we have two for all the community managers out there anyways.

First, we have the ebook “A Collection Of Community Management Advice.” We teamed up with TheCommunityManager.com and issued an open survey of seven questions to community managers around the world. We got some great responses and put them together for anyone that’s interested in learning what it takes to be a successful community manager. Inside, you can find advice from community managers from EventBrite, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Syracuse University, Edelman, The Community Roundtable, The U.S. Department of State and more.

You can click here to download and keep A Collection Of Community Management Advice.

Our second present is also packed with useful advice for community managers, but comes in the form of a video. We had a few friends at New Media Expo a few weeks ago answer a couple of community management questions. We asked some social media professionals “What makes a great community manager?” and who some of their favourite community managers were. Check out their answers:

So to all those community managers out there making their companies better 24/7, we say thank you!

Hats Off to Community Managers

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, although I suspect few community managers will be given a holiday.

Truth be told, they should get a holiday given community managers are the workhorses of social media. While Facebook Pages, Twitter and Old Spice ads get all the attention, community managers are toiling away behind the scenes to make sure that tactical execution happens on a day in, day out basis.

It’s a job that isn’t that glamorous because it involves a lot of work, energy and focus. At the same time, social media is a 7/24 activity, which means community managers – or their teams – are on the clock all the time.

In many respects, community managers are like centers in a football game. While the quarterback, running backs and wide receivers get all the attention, the center controls the game. It’s the center that has to recognize different defensive strategies and then make sure his teammates are prepared. If an offense does well, center doesn’t receive any accolades, even though their efforts are crucial in the scheme of things.

Despite the hard work and not enough glory, being a community manager can be a fascinating gig. The most attractive part is community managers have multiple roles that involve content creation, customer service, business development, marketing and sales.

For many companies, community managers stand on the front lines, and can often become a face of the company. They’re the ones people start to associate with a brand. Maybe the best example is Frank Eliason, who provided Comcast with a public identity (no small task for a cable company) when he headed up social media engagement.

The biggest risk facing community manager is how engrossing the job can be. Social media never stops so the demands can be significant. As a result, burn-out is a real danger, particularly for people who are one-person operations or part of a small team.

It means companies need to be realistic about their social media activities and goals to be sure they are aligned with the resources put against them. Community managers are important but they’re not Superman or Wonder Woman.

So here’s to community managers (including Sysomos’ Sheldon Levine), and the important role they play within the social media ecosystem.

Community Managers: Social Media’s Blockers and Tacklers

The sizzle within social media is the tools – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, WordPress, Ning, etc. But sizzle only gets you so far without substance.

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.

2010: The Year of the Community Manager

Within the social media ecosystem, the unheralded stars are the community managers who toil away behind the scenes.

These are the people who spend countless hours on the Web (seemingly 24/7), engaging with customers, writing blog posts and leaving comments, tweeting, updating Facebook, uploading videos, and answering questions from the media/bloggers, customers, partners and investors.

While the “A-List” social media bloggers capture the spotlight, community managers are walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk. They’re the ones in the trenches doing the blocking and tackling while others are getting the glory for scoring touchdowns.

That said, I think 2010 is going to be the year of the community manager.

As more companies start to embrace social media as a key part of their communications, marketing and sales strategies, they are going to realize that community managers play a crucial role. It’s a job that combines Web expertise with the ability to filter and generate lots of content, customer service, marketing, business development and media/public relations.

It’s a job that will require people with enthusiasm, expertise and experience. As a result, community managers are going to migrate from being  junior employee who are knowledgeable about social media to someone who has a broad set of skills and experience. For companies, this means it will be more of a challenge to find good people, and the need to pay them accordingly.

Within the corporate hierarchy, community managers will start to occupy more seats at the strategic table because they’ll have as good a handle on what’s happening within the business landscape as anyone within the organization.

This will give them a combination of strategic insight and a tactical role, highlighting their growing importance.