Estimates show that around half of all companies have a community manager. Businesses who have yet to hire one (or even define the role) have probably found that they are lacking execution across several business domains and social media channels.
To put it simply, a community manager serves as a company’s digital ambassador. They manage multiple online “communities” including blogs, forums and websites. The community manager is essentially the authorised voice of a company or brand, serving as the key pillar for content creation, brand recognition and promoting a positive business environment for your company. Don’t get this position confused with a social media manager… it’s a separate role which requires constant interaction across a number of channels.
If you’re thinking growing your marketing team, continue reading to learn the 5 reasons your company needs a community manager.
Everything is digital
If you don’t have a dedicated community manager, chances are excellent that your company hasn’t fully embraced the digital revolution. And if you haven’t embraced digital, you are missing out big.
To truly enhance your brand, a well-established digital footprint is even more critical than an attractive storefront. That’s because your digital footprint is truly global. When a prospective client wants to learn more about your business, they don’t visit your office or address first. They will google your company, visit its website or look you up on rating sites. Think of the community manager as the glue that holds all these digital domains together.
Managing your reputation
The internet has done a fabulous job giving businesses more opportunity to market their brand. But it has also exposed them to malicious reviews and negative feedback. Let’s face it – the internet has made us all more accountable. Your community manager will help you stay accountable to your customers and ensure that any issues are handled properly and in a time-sensitive manner. Your community manager will also coordinate an appropriate response to any criticism and find innovative ways to generate positive feedback about your company. Potential customers are reading your online reviews right now and it will affect their decision to choose your brand.
Growing your business
Every business seeks growth, and the internet is often the best way to tap into new markets. A dedicated community manager not only improves your brand’s existing image, he or she create active outreach campaigns to get your logo and services in front of more people. In this sense, think of the community manager as your “brand evangelist.” The community manager’s strong communication skills and sense of creativity will help you engage new audiences through creative content and innovative marketing campaigns. Your community manager can get your company news into the relevant forum threads, start conversations with potential clients and spread the news of your latest discounts or summer deals. Maintaining a strong and consistent online presence is also great for your SEO (search engine optimization) and will ensure that you seen more by potential clients.
Learning more about your market
In the digital age, metrics are everything. Today, we have tools to analyze consumers’ interests and buying behaviour, which allows us to sell and upsell to them accordingly. But who will be collecting these metrics and making sense of them? That’s where your community manager comes in.
Community managers work closely with IT to understand consumer trends and make sense of your company’s website traffic, online engagement and responses to specific advertising campaigns. Through this analysis, community managers can give you an idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Think of it as market research on the go. Dynamic businesses are constantly learning about their customers and preferences. That’s where a community manager’s insights come in handy.
A lot of hard work is needed to grow your business
You’ve no doubt noticed that building a successful brand requires a lot of hard work. Managing various online communities, expanding outreach and taking care of customers are time-consuming tasks that require dedicated personnel. The last thing you want to do is overburden your IT or marketing teams with managing all of these tasks.
A community manager links the entire process together, ensuring that IT, marketing, sales and customer service actually speak to one another in a coherent way. That’s why community managers have a lot of parallels with business analysts. By bridging the gap between departments, they can help your company develop consumer-oriented solutions and ensure your business is firing on all cylinders.
Finding Your Community Manager
The digital environment simply cannot be ignored. The community manager is merely an outgrowth of our need to manage our brand’s digital evolution. That being said, it isn’t always easy to land your ideal candidate. That’s because the community manager occupies a niche that intersects business, information technology and marketing. For that reason, your brand manager will probably have a background in one (or more) of those areas. They will also have excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and have an established online marketing profile.
It may not always be easy to find a community manager locally. If you’re struggling to source local talent, consider hiring one as a freelancer first. This will allow you to gauge their skills and showcase what they can do for your business. In this scenario, your community manager may just be a brilliant writer or savvy marketer who gets your business and where it needs to go.
Your very first step should be admitting that you need a community manager. From there, you’ll have a clearer idea whether your community manager should be a native of IT, business or marketing.
Do you have a community manager? What are your tips? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know.