How To Be A Rockstar Community Manager, Build An Online Tribe, And Keep them!
- February 14, 2017
- Posted by: Dawn
- Category: Guest Blog
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon but nevertheless rapidly turning into a vital part of the modern marketing mix. Rather than purely being a space for companies to deliver outbound marketing messages #SocialMedia facilitates inbound customer queries that allow for meaningful points of engagement and the building of brand advocacy. Needless to say, a community manager’s role becomes equally quintessential. A community manager is the eyes, ears and voice of the brand online and he can spell the difference between success or failure for a brand.
Being an awesome community manager goes beyond having the knowledge and background to use social media networks. Below I have enlisted some key qualities to be a great community manager based on my experience managing my own community for 3 years and working as Community manager for some of the leading brands including Toshiba, Isuzu, Mobogenie, Weetabix, Masafi, Fitness First, Homes R Us. etc.
Its all about passion. To be an awesome community manager you need to be passionate about the brand and as an online advocate of a brand. you have to eat, sleep and breathe the brand. For without passion, you might not be adding the fullest value to the brand or its community. Your passion shouldn’t just be limited to the brand but towards the brand’s community and building meaningful relationships with them. Passion to learn something new every day and be on top of the game is also vital.
Storyteller /conversationalist & Natural Networker
Social Media communication is really about storytelling. To be more precise, telling the pieces of the story that people want to hear. To be an awesome community manager you need to be a great storyteller and conversationalist. You must be the person that knows the importance of creating healthy conversations within the brands digital landscape and taking it outside to another level to create an impact. Importantly you need to be a great communicator who knows what to talk, when to talk, how to talk, where to talk and whom to talk to within the brands social media space. A great community manager will not only talk ‘to’ the fans, he will also create an environment where the fans talk ‘to each other’. You need to be a natural networker and be comfortable interacting with people, both online and offline.
Creative, Fun & Calm Under pressure
To be a great community manager you need to have a dash of creativity, a good sense of humor, a fun-loving personality and the ability to stay calm under pressure. It’s the Internet and things can get messy sometimes. As a community manager you have to be prepared to face situations on a daily basis, when a member of the community attacks the brand. As the community manager, it is vital that your response alleviates the situation; not intensifies it. Acknowledgement is really very important even if you may not have an immediate solution to the fans problem, always let them know that they have been heard.
Good listener / Problem solver
A good community manager is a good listener who is able to build rapport quickly with the fans of a community and elicit conversations. A great community manager understands that social media is not a tool to churn out the brands messages from the content calendar, but a forum to listen to a brand’s community, empower the audience and give them a voice. To be a great community manager you must listen to the community, hear their grievances, solve their problems and build strong relationships in the process. You must be able to handle annoyed customers with great tact and turn every negative situation into an opportunity to prove that your brand values its clients/customers.
The most important aspect of #SocialCare is promptness and making every single
fan/customer feel that he has been heard and that his concerns/queries will be swiftly addressed. Brands that understand this are light years ahead of their competition and it is the job of a community manager to ensure this happens.
Know the brand
To be a great community manager you should know your brand well, understand its core philosophy and objectives. The idea is not just to be a social mouth piece of the brand and broadcast its updates. The idea is to speak about the brand in relevant, engaging, fun manner at the same time maintaining the voice that reflects the brand persona and meeting the brand’s marketing objectives.
Know the audience
To engage a community in a discussion about a brand, a community manager must know the type of people who make up the audience. And how do you know this? By experience. Experience testing different types of content, gauging the vibe and understanding what works and what doesn’t. Understanding the pulse of the audience and the sentiments are very important. Social media is about people, with feelings and emotions and when you are dealing with a bunch of different personalities you need empathy to be able to relate to them.
Know the rules
Social media networks have certain rules by which they operate. These rules differ from network to network. A great community manager is expected to know the ins and outs of these rules. A page can be shut down for violating the rules and when we talk about a brands page with thousands or millions of followers, this can be a serious problem. Make sure to know the rules thoroughly. You must also fully understand the brands rules of online engagement and operating the community and also make sure the members of the community follow these rules.
Know the tools
To be a great community manager you need to be a fast learner and have a decent level of tech savviness. You should be quick at mastering tricks and tools of the trade and see what works best for the brand. There are a gazillion tools that can make life easy for a community manager and also optimize a brands social presence, help in quicker customer service and improve fan experience. You need to have the know-how of all the tools that aid it.
Know the trends
The social media space is dynamic and trends keep changing on the drop of a hat. A great community manager must be on top of the game and up to speed with the latest trends. You have to be someone who can think on your feet and use any viral trend to the advantage of the brand.
Value your audience
People connect with people. Not companies. To be an awesome community manager, you have to value your community and keep them happy. Whether it is by providing content they love, or by little acts of kindness and recognition. People love recognition, people like to be noticed. Acknowledge their comments, reply to them in a timely manner, answer their queries build a rapport. If you are doing it already, then you are on the road to being an awesome community manager.
Value traditions, culture & occasions
Value traditions, culture and special occasions of your community. When you show people that they are important, you will have a loyal fan for life. Recognize important days and dates in the year, keep a track of festivals and occasions and wish your fans on those special occasions. Your fans will realize that your brand isn’t just pushing its own marketing messages all the time, but also values the members of the community.
Value opinions & suggestions
Social media is an open forum and people like to express themselves. Encourage people to share their views. Value people’s opinion even if it is different from yours as it is always good to have diverse opinion and a healthy debate. If you are a great community manager you know how to steer this debate in a way that is not hurtful to the brand and at the same time making everyone feel that their opinion is valued. You have to be someone who can speak in a tone that is fair, unbiased and appealing to all. In short be the kind of person who has the ability to keep the fans always engaged and looking out for your pages posts.
A happy and engaged community is the greatest reward for a community manager.
John Thomas is a UAE based social media consultant who currently works hand in hand with some of the leading brands in the MENA region, helping them improve their digital footprint, increase brand awareness and accentuate their social media presence.