What is community management on social media?
Five years ago, it wasn't uncommon for one person to manage a brand's entire social media presence, or for it to be secondary responsibility of a generalised marketer. Today more businesses are aware of how broad - and yet specialised - the social media landscape is. It would be rare to expect one person to manage both your paid and organic social media strategy, but there are plenty more responsibilities within that.
In this series of articles, we're going to dive into the different functions of a social media team to help business owners and senior marketers understand their purpose and choose what avenues are right for them.
Today we'll start with community management.
What is a Community Manager?
At their core, all social media networks are communities of people. Followers are essentially people with something in common e.g. fans of Royal Blood, people who love modern interiors or animal lovers. People follow pages of brands because they offer them value, but also to connect with, and read the opinions of people similar to them.
Community Managers are responsible for the building, growing and maintaining valuable and positive communities. They can also be responsible for customer service questions and general engagement with followers and fans.
Is this a strategic role?
The person responsible for community management is usually also responsible for curating, creating and scheduling posts and content, therefore they're likely taking direction from the over-arching social media strategy. That being said, this function requires planning and vision to build a valuable community effectively and efficiently.
It's a good idea to have processes and workflows in place for things like customer service which can be defined in the over-arching strategy. For example, when working with a global cybersecurity company, customer service questions on social media were routed to a large team outside of the marketing department. Although the Community Manager doesn't handle customer service, they are responsible for overseeing rules such as response times, tone of voice and complaints process. They will also respond to anything that isn't a direct customer service question.
Another responsibility here is pro-active engagement. This means identifying influencers, partners and friends of the brand to regularly communicate with in order to build rapport. Social media is not a broadcast-only environment, engaging with other accounts not only gives you greater exposure in the algorithm, it also encourages those accounts to engage with you. This sort of behaviour gives you social proof and encourages more people to comment and like your content.
Is the goal always to grow a large community?
Defining which platforms are right for your business is a key place to start. This comes back to your overarching business goals. If you want to increase brand awareness and sales globally, then growing a large community is likely a KPI of this. In this instance you may consider having separate pages for different territories so that you can tailor messaging to different time zones and languages. This will also enable you to track which communities are the most engaged and what content resonates with them.
Each platform offers a totally different experience for the communities, e.g. Twitter is very fast-paced, anonymous, public and topical, where as a private Facebook group for customers or investors of your product can move slowly and be a space where confidential information is shared.
How to determine your goals
A key consideration is the communities’ mission e.g. educating more people about the importance of basic cybersecurity practices. This is intrinsic to your social media and overall business goals. Having a clear purpose is essential in order to thrive on social media. Goals could be:
Educate your audience about your technology
Establish yourself as leaders in this space
Improve brand sentiment
We hope this overview gives you a better understanding of the Community Manager.
Are you ready to harness social media and content for your brand? We offer a variety of services from training and full management, to overarching strategy and content creation. To arrange an intro call email email@example.com.