It’s no secret that community management is one of the most challenging roles for a knowledge worker. Success relies on minute-by-minute mini decisions, driven by an overall strategy. Great community managers must be equal parts therapist, improv comedian, shepherd, and Navy SEAL. Yet, being great at something often depends more on the things we don’t do, than the things we do. This is how we achieve rock-star status. And this is especially true of community management.
A look at the one thing any social media managers can replicate from Nike, Starbucks, Gatorade and other admired brands in the social space, regardless of budget. It's a simple philosophy that will help all brands build authentic relationships and likable brands consumers recommend.
After five years of learning together with our members, and documenting practices in hundreds of reports, we know what the core practices of successful communities are. Of those communities that have the best management practices, 85% of them can measure their value.
"Dear Socially Stephanie: Up until now, I've been managing our social media. My company is growing and I just don't have the bandwidth to handle it all. I think it's time for me to hire someone to handle our social media. Should I hire a community manager or a social media manager, and what are the qualities I should be looking for?"
Take the time to identify potential members that already exhibit a passion for the topic around which your community is built. Reach out to them and tell them what you’d like to accomplish with your community efforts. They may be able to help with their own personal networks, and later help to organize the community.
Superior online communities, those that achieve breakthrough results for their organizations, all share a common trait. Namely, they are treated as strategic initiatives and not campaigns, marketing programs, or skunk works efforts. Great communities are holistic, integrated initiatives that support an important business need.
Having great online customer service is crucial in this day and age. Having great offline customer service is simply not enough to effectively own your customer relationship management. How do you bring this excellent customer service you may have offline on to your online presence?
Some marketers believe that the number of followers they have is an indication of their success on social media. Rather than getting caught up in the numbers game, they should refine their social media strategy to focus on customer engagement to build brand loyalty.