The Characteristics of A Community Manager

Every week, we blog about how to optimize your brand’s social media presence, which tools to use and what the newest updates on the major social networks mean to your brand’s way of engaging with your target group. But what about the people responsible for incorporating EdgeRank’s newest changes on content, tweeting the best answers to your users or creating the sought after engagement within the right target group? The Community Managers (CM). What kind of creatures are they and how can your brand benefit from having a CM on-board? I’ll try to give you an introduction to the benefits of having a CM – and what you should look for in a Community Manager.


The corner stones of community management

Yesterday, we talked about the importance of Local Community Managers, when a global brand wants to establish a social media presence on local country markets. Naturally, this is one of the main qualities of a CM: To both know the brand inside out by “living the brand” but also to know the context of the culture, language and unique quirks of the target market. However, whether you are looking to find a CM for your US, DK or UK market, the main qualities and responsibilities of this person will not divert significantly. Following are 5 of the most important qualities as well as tasks your CM will help your brand solve on social media:

1: Organise and publish

Getting a community involved and engaged needs a lot of planning. Having formulated a social media strategy and defined your target group, a Community Manager will help executing your brand’s social visions: Tone of voice needs to be specified, conversational touch points must be found, engagement keywords are to be defined and a Conversational Calendar should be filled out. The CM will organise, schedule and publish the content created based on these rules of engagement that are often formulated in collaboration between communications and marketing departments.


2: Be one with your brand

Once published, the primary role of your Community Manager is to monitor, respond and structure the interactions on the social network, by providing relevant and trustworthy responses on the behalf of your brand. To do so, an understanding of your business and business area is crucial. A CM needs to know your values, products and your social media strategy intimately. You therefore want a person who can be one with your brand: Someone who is “living the brand”.



However, in order to give your fans and followers great experiences on your social networks, your CM also needs to be able to see things from your consumers’ perspectives. This is where having an external CM connected to your brand proves very beneficial. It gives you a person who is both loyal and committed to your brand, but who is still able to see the potential faults and errors of your company or products. The slightly less emotional brand attachment of an external CM, will help avoid a defensive tone of voice when handling the unavoidable critique on the social networks.



3: Understand your target group

This leads us to the need of a thorough target group understanding. The ideal Community Manager for your brand is someone who can relate to your target group and thereby understand their interests and expectations to your brand’s social presence. Thereby not saying that your CM must be part of the target group, but you need someone who is able to understand the target group – and no matter what, this understanding is easier retrieved if you are in or very close to the target group. The full understanding is reached through investigating, researching and analysing the passion points and interests of your target group by following the conversations and brands they engage in online. Most importantly is the ability to predict the reactions and expectations from your target group – and then give them what they want:



 4: Engage in conversation

Once you’ve found someone who understands your target group, you need to make sure they know how to communicate their understanding. That they know how to interact and create interaction on your social networks. Creating engaging content that makes your fans and followers want to share your message – and knowing how to keep the fans/followers loyal to your brand by always being approachable and trustworthy.



5: Stay positive

The point of online communities is that everyone can join in on the conversation and share their thoughts on a topic, brand, product etc. Naturally, not every contributor will be of the positive kind. Negative comments are unavoidable and simply part of the game. If your community is run correctly, a negative comment can even end up strengthening the loyalty of your positive fans or followers, as they join to defend the brand/product. Get Satisfaction summarises the quality of always staying positive: Like a piñata, you still need to hand out candy after being beaten with a stick.




Your Community Manager has many more tasks and responsibilities concerning running your brand’s social media presence. These are just some of the corner stones in understanding the work that is needed to run a community – and the characteristics you need to look for, when considering who should take care and control of your communities.


Have you any experiences with community management of your brand? Share your tips and ideas on what it takes to be a successful Community Manager!




Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.


Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.


Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.


At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.