Community Manager: To Be Or Not To Be!

Community Managers are the voice of the brand, but their role varies across companies. There are no set list of rules or guidelines which can a make a successful community, but all successful communities have a common ingredient – a good Community Manager. Not only should these people shape the discussions, moderate and respond on behalf of the brand, but also adapt to the personality of the brand.

With a boom in social media presence of brands, the role of a Community Manager is growing. Therefore, a lot of people aspire towards this role. If you want to be a Community Manager or if you are already in this role, here are some tips that might come in handy.

Personally, I think community management is like a perfect harmony of your conversation skills, understanding of your target market and last but not the least your brand. It tests your ability to stay cool in crisis and some times you need to take things with just a pinch of salt (as they say it!). Does this confuse you? If yes, then I hope that my tips will provide a clearer idea of a Community Manager’s role.

  • Be present in the right places

When it comes to social media, it is important to be present where your audience are. It is always advisable to establish and monitor your presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube, and prioritize based on what drives the most ROI. It is just like fishing; if you fish in right waters, there are higher chances that you will have a catch.

  • Engage your community

Every member in your community adds flavour to it with their comments and responses. Therefore, it is great to challenge the community and keep them engaged at the same time as encouraging them to provide their own unique perspective.

  • Say “I’m sorry”

Community Managers are typically the ones running Twitter and Facebook accounts and will also be the ones responding to complaints. That means there would be occasions where your product or service may have caused some inconvenience. Therefore, it is good to learn to accept your fault and try to resolve the complain and do RESPOND! Otherwise, a complain may possibly turn into a full blown crisis.

  • Stay calm and maintain perspective

It’s natural to get frustrated or stressed out on busy days when
responding to complaints online or answering a lot of
questions. Breathe!

Plus, your biggest critics can turn into your biggest fans if you successfully and swiftly resolve their problems. The mantra is that those that take their time to offer negative feedback will also often take the time to be your advocates.

  • But remember the 2% rule

The 2% rule states, ever so scientifically, that there’s always going to be a chunk of naysayers in any group. There are always a handful of people that are irrational and not really looking to contribute to productive discussion. You can do your best to turn these negative people, but don’t beat yourself up over it.

 

  • Anticipate common questions and know your product inside and out

A Community Manager’s job is to talk and respond about the product and service inquiries. It is best to list the expected questions and work with the related department to be ready with FAQs. This would not only help you know the product in depth, but also reduce the run around time while responding. And last but not the least it makes you more confident!

  • Don’t forget about e-mail

E-mail may seem old-school compared to contemporary solutions like social media, but remember that every single social media user has an e-mail address! E-mail is the glue that makes social media stick and if you offer helpful content with an e-mail newsletter or product digest, it can be a great way to keep community members engaged.

  • Identify and delegate to your power users

Another way of keeping your community interested is to identify your most engaged community members and top influencers and leverage their voice by offering them guest blog spots, curating their own content in a news round-up or re-sharing it in some other capacity. This will also make them feel even more powerful and like a part of your brand, which they would like to be identified with.

These were some tips which were on the top of my mind. What do you think? Is there anything that I’ve missed or that you think is especially important? Please let me know 🙂

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!