The social media landscape is becoming more and more crowded a wide range of categories, such as: Social Networks; Social Bookmarks; Social News sites; Community Forums; Social Wikis; Blogs; Microblogging tools,Sharing sites, …etc.
Businesses are realizing their need for a talented navigator to venture safely into these traitorous waters. This is where the role of a good community manager comes to mind. With social media no longer limited to Facebook and Twitter, but also Google+, LinkedIn and specialty networks such as Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram. Companies need a skillful person able to juggle their accounts on all these mediums and establish their presence in an interesting yet entertaining way.
The ideal Community Managers should be able to act as the brand’s ambassador; representing the corporation and knowing everything there is to know about it, whether: its mission or vision or activities or orientation or strategy. The skillful community manager will be able to achieve balance between upholding a corporate responsibility and advocating for the customer. Being a brand ambassador means that the Community manager will play the role of the corporation’s eyes and ears; therefore actively monitoring Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, review sites, blogs, forums, message boards, etc.., looking for mentions, good and bad, so the brand can respond accordingly will be a must.
These actions all converge to serve the same purpose: build the brand’s reputation and endorse its message; communicating it and marketing it to other people. That’s the Community Manager’s purpose: to strive to get the message out in a way that gets the crowd excited.
It would be naïve to think that anyone can be a Community Manager, a special type of personal fits this job; a good Community Manager should be:
· A Social Person able to attract people to engage with a brand.
· A great communicator: in order to get the brand’s message across to others in fewer than 140 characters.
· A Passionate person: whose core responsibility is to promote the brand and convince others about it.
· A Relatable individual: who inspires people and compel them to interact with him while making them feel comfortable enough to talk.
· An altruist who highlights the brand, not himself.
· A workaholic who will be around whenever needed to deal with a community that never sleeps and a business that never closes.
· A helpful person who enjoys going out of his way for others, whether colleagues/friends/or customers.
· A smart and Resourceful individual who understands how his job plays into lead generation, brand awareness, customer service, operations, etc.
The challenges to be faced by the Community Manager are numerous, however there lies his opportunity to shine, he will be required to:
· Generate proper Content - writing posts, articles, newsletters, communications materials, and material for social media channels.
· Perform Social media marketing - creating, managing and growing the company’s presence through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other strategically relevant online properties
· Deal with the media; creating, executing and measuring media campaigns.
· Manage CSR by replying to online (social media) feedback
· Communicate marketing strategy thus providing direction for the company’s public-facing communications.
· Analyzing social media presence through measurement tools to provide reports on metrics, and continually find ways to improve on those metrics through testing and new initiatives
2012 promises to provide yet more challenges to Community Managers, the question is how many of those will be armed with the right tools and attitude to face it.