Social media has proven to be a very useful tool to effectively engage your target audience, boost engagement, brand awareness, drive website traffic and to ultimately boost sales. Many companies in the midst of a global financial crisis wisely choose to hire a trained community manager to oversee their social media presence to holistically integrate with all other departments. Managing social media communities is a highly skilled and challenging role. It should encompass social media strategy, marketing, public relations, product management, customer service, business development, human resources and external agencies. This person should work collaboratively with cross-functional teams from these departments to promote the company vision, build up a vibrant community and position them as a thought leader.
A good community manager will create and manage company and employee social media profiles, fan pages, groups, etc. This involves ensuring profiles are standardized and present the company in a professional light and setting up and scheduling the content. My favorite social content management platform is Thismoment if your company has a big budget and Hootsuite if you have a small budget, but there are many more great ones out there. Social media benchmarks and metrics need to be evaluated on a timely basis also, in order to analyze and report on effectiveness of campaigns. A community manager should listen to the buzz already online, in order to determine where your target audience is spending most of their time, what they are saying about you and your competitors, when they are most likely to engage with your posts, what content is most sharable and determine who the key influencers within your industry are and develop long lasting relationship with them. Community managers should also stay on top of the various social media tools, applications and social networking sites available, while keeping up with technology and industry news.
A good community manager should engage every day online (via blogs, forums and communities) and offline (via events, conferences, and meet ups) in order to increase your quality followers, fans, members and other contacts. They should help your company nurture fun and meaningful discussions around your business and industry. This should include blogger outreach also. A community manager should be constantly networking for guest blogging opportunities as well and joining the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. They should be replying to online questions and comments immediately, giving your brand a face, and creating long lasting relationships. The most important thing to understand is that the community manager sets the tone of the companies voice online and that needs to come naturally to them, to make it easy to converse and engage!!
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