Does Your Business Need a Community Manager in 2011?

By Sam at January 10, 2011 | 10:10 am | Print

Does Your Business Need a Community Manager in 2011?

Does Your Business Need a Community Manager in 2011?

The marketing discussion among most business executives in the past few years has been whether or not to invest in social media marketing. Is it a fad or the evolution of communications? Are we opening up Pandora’s Box by inviting negative commentary from consumers?

What’s the ROI on social media marketing?

While not all businesses have embraced social media marketing as part of their core advertising or customer service strategies, most have succumbed to staff or consumer pressure and created a blog, Facebook or LinkedIn presence. Some have gone further by adding Wikis and Twitter accounts for better customer service management.

Some are using social media monitoring tools for customer research or brand reputation management. A select few have created full social media plans that integrate all of these tactics.

And so the C-Suite and marketing team’s conversations are starting to shift from “should we engage in social media?” to “how are we going to manage all this communication?” Successful businesses have a presence in multiple online locations from social networks to photo and video sharing sites, to corporate blogs to discussion boards. And most are ignored.

Why? It’s not because marketers don’t care about what their audience is saying. Most simply don’t know what to do with the networks they’ve created or have realized they cannot handle the extra work.
The result is that most corporate blogs and social networks exist unattended. Those that are not ignored, rarely create actionable campaigns that drive sales from the online exchange.

If your business was concerned about a return on investment when deciding to embark upon a social media campaign, the best decision to make now is to hire a community manager. It will protect that investment and leverage the medium to drive sales and improve customer service.

So what exactly is a Community Manager?

Think them as a corporate cheerleader. Someone who will be your company’s representative in the online community and will positivity engage the audience, minute by minute, in a way that enlists greater loyalty to the brand, drives more site visits and sales, and humanizes your company in online

In most organizations the Community Manager acts as a ring leader and becomes the liaison between your internal teams and your consumers. Below is an amalgamation of job responsibilities pulled from various Community Manager job listings for your consideration:

• Interact with customers across all social media platforms.
• Be the eyes and ears of the brand; protect the brand.
• Build, acquire and maintain content.
• Syndicate content across networks through social media channels.

• Search for and participate in conversations that surround company content and brand, answer comments, and where required, mediate discussions.
• Identify threats and opportunities in user generated content surrounding the brand, report to
appropriate parties.
• Schedule and organize internal teams which generate content or responses on a daily basis.
• Search, benchmark and trend online engagement from the community across all brand products.
• Create and update daily, weekly and monthly activity reports.
• Analyze campaigns and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations and plans for revising the social media campaigns.

This is not an exhaustive list but certainly illustrates what the job duties are. Now consider who in your organization can do all of this today?

The growth of social media, whether you like it or not, has created the need for a new job function within your organization: the Community Manager.

Ignore it and the chances of earning any return from this medium are very slim. Assigning the task to another member of your current team will ensure you have two jobs not being performed well, thus increasing the likelihood of losing money and missing new
revenue opportunities.

By Sam Fiorella.

Sam Fiorella is well known web strategist and Speaker. He’s currently guiding 30 select marketing agencies & their clients design and execute social media & digital marketing campaigns around the world. You can engage Sam at one of the many unGeeked e’lite Marketing, Branding and Social Media retreats scheduled in 2011 across North America.

Twitter: @samfiorella

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