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5 Ways Your Community Manager Moves the Needle Daily - Matt Black Ink
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5 Ways Your Community Manager Moves the Needle Daily

*On Monday January 25th 2016, social media and the world celebrate #CMAD, which is short for Community Manager Appreciation Day. I have so many friends on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Snapchat who work as Community Managers, and I wanted to write something that speaks to their immeasurable value to the brands that they work for. Keep engaging, never stop building relationships and always be social… Happy #CMAD!*

What. A. Day.

Some seemingly mindless banter on Twitter has exploded into a broader conversation across your industry and your customers are busy expressing their happiness with your products and the service you provide. People are literally tweeting your competitors and advocating on your behalf, explaining why you’re the brand to beat. They’re sharing their views in Facebook groups, causing your page views to skyrocket and filling your Inbox with orders. Your mentions on Instagram are blowing up, with many users reposting some of your latest special offers.

How did this happen?!

Simple.

Your Community Manager engaged your followers and connections and BOOM!

They took care of the rest.

ipad-820272_1920While the importance of having a kickass Community Manager is certainly gaining much more traction than in the past, I’m still not sold that the C-Suite understands what they do, and more importantly, just how strong an impact they actually have.

Sure, I’ll concede that RT’s and Likes don’t always equate to dollar signs. But in my opinion, there’s more to business than that in 2016 and beyond. People like to buy from people, and moreover, people they respect and who respect them back. Truth be told, if your brand is mentioned or engaged with on social media, you should be responding back… in every scenario.

Silence, in this context, is never golden.

While the specific example above is hypothetical, the truth is that this sort of thing happens every minute of every day on Twitter, Facebook and across other social platforms. Obviously, I think it helps a Community Manager’s cause when they find ways to create headlines and go viral… but let’s call a spade a spade: nobody can guarantee virality.

However, here’s what an outstanding Community Manager can do to position your brand for success:

Listening

Well, did you think all of the compliments about your social strategy and content were a fluke?

Not a chance.

In order to stay relevant, informed, timely and valuable to each one of your networks, your Community Manager has to listen.

headphones-820341_1920A lot.

And it’s not always about what people are tweeting you, or the comments they’re leaving on your Facebook page. Sometimes, it’s what your community aren’t saying that matters most!

Your Community Manager can actually shape the conversation by listening. Keeping their eyes and ears open equates to hot button issues, future trends, meaningful topics that seem to come up time and time again… listening can provide your brand and Community Manager with all of this data, which you can use to your advantage.

Curating

Being seen in the eyes of your community as a source of value, inspiration and knowledge won’t always stem from your work alone.

Your Community Manager patiently sifts through the seemingly endless amounts of content produced each day and tries to determine who your followers and connections will benefit from most.

It’s on them to stay up-to-the-minute and position you as a reputable source.

No pressure, right?

There’s almost an art to consistently sourcing quality articles, podcasts, e-books, white papers, blogs, other social channels.

But make no mistake: when done right, curating the best content from the web is an effective way to supplement your own thoughts and ideas on relevant industry buzz – and your Community Manager needs to be up to the task!

Engaging

You’ve got to have a voice online – and the more your Community Manager engages, the better!

Whether it’s jumping in on conversations (without being “sales-y” or making it all about your brand), responding to questions/comments, following new users… hell, even spending time spreading some ‘Likes’ love will make it clear you’re there to engage.

After all, it’s social media. And the sole purpose of every platform is to communicate and be social.

workspace-820315_1920While it seems like it should be obvious, there are a ton of brands and people in general who lack awareness that the key to growth and building community is engagement. Now I’m not saying you have to hold thousands of back-and-forth conversations on Twitter each day. But I am saying you’ve got to talk to your community and do what you can to show them you’re interested in what they have to say.

Your Community Manager should be engaging at all times. It’s the one aspect of their role that’s non-negotiable!

Planning

When a brand receives accolades for being effective on social media, you can guarantee that their Community Manager has a rock-solid plan in place. There has to be a method to the madness and a strategy that aligns with the rest of your organization’s objectives.

Every once in a while, you’ll see a brand employ a hashtag that simply doesn’t jive with their other marketing campaigns or their general look and feel. Your Community Manager can skillfully avoid this confusion by mapping out what they’re going to post, where they’re going to post it, when they’re going to post it and everything they’re going to do after they post it.

whiteboard-849803_1920An effective Community Manager remains on top of all upcoming launches, deadlines, projects being completed, industry events, future opportunities for your brand to make a dent on social. He or she has to be sure that they are keeping your brand top-of-mind across all platforms.

To accomplish this on a consistent basis, it all boils down to the planning process.

Sharing

People feel great when their content is shared on social media.

It’s validation of a whole other kind, a feeling of satisfaction that lets the author/creator know that they’re on to something and that their work matters.

That’s an incredibly valuable emotion that your Community Manager can leverage across your social platforms.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to have their Tweet or Facebook post shared with hundreds, thousands, millions of other people?

Sharing is a Community Manager’s secret weapon, as it provides them the ability to strengthen relationships within the community and also improves the chances of building brand advocacy down the road. By showing your biggest fans that they bring value to your brand by association, your Community Manager can empower anybody they choose to.

It’s your turn to mention a Community Manager you admire! I’d love to learn some more about who you think is doing a great job in a role like this. In your mind, what are some other must-have qualities to be an effective Community Manager? Please use the Comment section below to share your thoughts!

-MB- 

 

1Comment
  • Lynn Abate-Johnson
    Posted at 11:14h, 21 January Reply

    Great post, Matt.
    Each one of these areas is truly critical in the repertoire of the most amazing Cmgrs, and I love seeing more and more in our industry embrace these because, really, in my mind, you either have it, or you don’t.
    Building community = generating trusted and loyal relationships over time. This is what keeps our world and our economies moving forward. While the classes and courses on the subject of Community building and especially Social Media Management are a dime-a-dozen, being taught everywhere you look (and I am one of those teachers), I know from experience that the LEARNING and internalizing of the nuances of true Community building are a different story.
    I love it when brands and business owners realize their “place”….to produce amazing products/services.
    And they bring in qualified pros to help run other aspects of the business. Community building is no different. A business owner cannot do it all and be effective. It’s one reason that in my agency practice, I recommend the book The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, as required reading, so that my clients understand it’s ok to hire talent to take care of the important aspects of business they don’t understand and/or don’t have the bandwidth to do. It’s really a case of highest and best use of THEIR time — and purpose.
    So, I don’t think it’s completely necessary for the “C-suite understands”. I DO think that a wise leadership team or business owner has a strong identity, knows where they shine, and leaves other professionals to shore up their holistic business model. Those are the people I LOVE working with, advising, and taking on their voices…because they value humans/people/community — whatever you want to call it.
    I love this from your post “There’s almost an art to consistently sourcing quality articles, podcasts, e-books, white papers, blogs, other social channels.” Indeed, it IS an art, and a science, to be able to build strong communities.
    One of the “nuances” I mentioned, comes into play when a world crisis or tragedy develops and we all need to “pump the brakes” on our outreach, becoming instantly sensitive to the pulse of audience emotions. This is (again) something than cannot be “taught”.
    Little did I know that at University (back in Michigan), when I majored in Psychology, English, and Computer Science, I’d have a Social Business Agency today. We had NO clue what that meant, and today, here I am, putting to use all three of my interests….however, if I hadn’t been raised in a customer-facing, entrepreneurial family, working since I was 9 years old, waiting on customers, and later running entire businesses at 15, and through college, I’m not sure I would have been equipped with the instincts I employ today.
    I’ll be sharing your post and I am SO looking forward to #CMAD2016!! Thanks!

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