Social Media Marketing May 8th, 2013
Online communities play an important role in boosting brand awareness and helping companies properly leverage their online PR campaigns. Community management provide companies a channel to directly access to their target audience. Communication channels must be open, honest, transparent, engaging and innovative. Community management overlaps with online PR and social media management in several ways, but it is distinct enough that it’s one of the fastest growing jobs in the digital marketing mix.
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PR professionals have a lot on their plate. They have to manage clients’ presence on all manners of media. They have to ensure clients have their best foot forward at all times, or at least that they appear to. And most importantly they have to be prepared for any crisis that may arise.
Social media managers create and monitor clients’ presence on social media platforms; they have to respond to comments and queries, and they have to implement and oversee various strategies, like competitions and events.
Community managers nurture relationships with brand loyalists and try to grow online communities. Their primary task is communication, through which they give brands a human face.
Community managers spend a lot of time looking for ways to grow online communities, this means finding and following relevant people on social media and engaging them in conversation. They also need to find and participate in relevant online forums, discussions and events.
To be effective, community managers must be aware of what people are saying about brands all the time. This means they need to set up various online key term alerts, not only for brand mentions but also for industry relevant mentions. For example, a community manager for an online gadget store will need alerts for terms like “Apple iPhone”, “Seagate hard drive”, “external hard drive”, “wireless mouse”, and “cheap 19 inch monitor.”
The main role of a community managers surrounds the growth of a brand. This means that they have to share interesting (relevant) articles and images. People like memes, so community managers need to tweak viral phenomena to suit their brand’s persona. They ensure that all content that goes out to the public has some value; it should add something to people’s day, whether it’s a smile, a knowing nod or a gee-whiz, I didn’t know that.
Given the overlap between PR and community management, many PR agencies are expanding their services by hiring specialist community managers.
The position might not have been a common job five years ago, but these days many companies (especially the larger kind) find that a community manager’s skills are indispensable.