Everything you need to know to be a good Community Manager
What is community management ? What does it have to do with social media? Why is it still one of the most popular digital professions today? We have decided to deepen this work , which involves rules, risks and requires specific skills.
Because the good Community Manager is able to bring great value to both the company and the brand . In short, Social Media are not a game and still today represent an investment in terms of visibility, presence and awareness for companies.
What is a Community?
To understand Community Management , you must first understand what a community is . With this term we mean a set of people who interact with each other, in different places and according to their own logics … and so far one could also think of any group of friends chatting at the bar.
In reality, what really makes a community such is a common interest or purpose around which every action revolves.
In the case of a digital community , users usually don’t see each other and don’t know each other, but they share a certain passion thanks to which they already know something about each other.
This is the basis of every interaction and this is where the real peculiarity of online communities lies .
Social Media Manager and Community Manager are not the same job
It is easy to confuse the role of the Social Media Manager with that of the Community Manager as they both deal with social media in different ways.
The boundaries of offices tend to vary according to the size of the company and its internal policy.
Basically, the Social Media Manager manages content to increase the channel, while the Community Manager manages relationships to increase engagement .
The first deals strategically with the editorial plan, from its scheduling to the publication of posts, from content research to drafting the copy, up to the supervision of the visuals.
The second has the task of moderating the dialogue with users and generating positive brand reputation , keeping in mind the tone of voice and the brand values , previously studied at a strategic level.
The 10 golden rules of the Community Manager
Through community management, the Community Manager promotes the brand image by creating a link with the digital and non-digital community. How does? With the 10 golden rules:
- Know the company : before starting to interact with users, you need to know what you are talking about. Brand, product, social presence, website and goals must become your Bible. The Community Manager is the “voice of the brand” and each brand has its own. For this reason you need to know which tone of voice to use and where your words should lead.
- Know the target : before starting to interact with users, you must also know who you are talking to. Addressing men or women, young people or adults, Italians or foreigners, is not the same thing.
- Monitoring : You can’t always expect users to come to you, sometimes you have to be the one to find out where the buzz is generated around the company. You can also take advantage of different tools and tools that help you constantly monitor the platform through keywords. Sometimes users talk about you but without mentioning you directly; you must also be where they don’t expect you to be. This will (albeit tacitly) have a positive impact on the brand.
- Listening : The ability to listen is a very powerful tool that is often underestimated. This not only allows you to understand the needs and requirements of the audience , but also the possibility to perceive what is not explicitly said or even to anticipate a need.
- Understanding : Once you are listening, you need to understand what we are being told. Identify yourself in the shoes of your interlocutor, ask yourself how you would like them to be answered and how you would take your hypothetical answer.
- Involve / participate : once in contact with your audience, make them feel part of something. The community does not feed itself, it needs someone to take over the reins and involve it, stimulate it, give it the attention it implicitly asks just by commenting on a post.
- Differentiation : remember that you are the face of the company and as such you must make it “human”. Although there is a protocol to follow, it is good to differentiate the answers given so that the user can perceive that the interaction is taking place with a person and not with a “machine”.
- Multitasking : when dealing with social customer care , keep in mind that about half of users expect a response within a short time and the faster and more satisfying this will be, the stronger and more positive the propensity towards brand and product will be. This does not mean responding quickly, but it does mean always having an eye on the platforms.
- Admit the mistake : Companies are made up of individuals and they can be as wrong as any other person. Recognizing the mistake where it exists is a symptom of humanity and humility, especially if the admission is aimed at improvement.
- Ponder : in the social world everything is amplified, a trifle can turn into a real catastrophe in a few minutes. It’s a snap to run into a shit storm and have to deal with a crisis . If you are faced with a potentially problematic situation, breathe, evaluate it from all perspectives and provide an adequate, explanatory and sufficiently empathic response.
Criticism , if constructive and intelligent, can prove to be an advantage from several points of view.
If a user expresses his dissatisfaction, he automatically also gives you the possibility to remedy, to respond appropriately, to become aware of a problem and therefore improve the service. As Jay Baer says in Hug Your Haters ,
the real problem is not negative messages, but leaving them unanswered.
Silence also communicates something that, especially in tension, can be easily misunderstood.
What skills the Community Manager must have
So what does it take to become a good Community Manager? Experience is certainly fundamental, but alone it is not enough. For community management you need some personal skills such as:
intuition and readiness for action, empathy and sensitivity, propensity for interpersonal relationships and a predisposition to listening.
And again, it certainly takes patience, problem solving skills and a positive comparison, as well as good copywrtiting and communication skills to fully understand the messages we receive.
The basics of Community Management
The universe of the community manager is very vast, it would be ambitious to hope to explain it all in a few paragraphs, but we can conclude by remembering its cornerstones.
Remember that although the community is by definition a set of people, each of these is a single individual with their own personality, their own taste and a different background and that, conversely, when we talk to a single we are also talking to the entire community.
Furthermore, each channel has its own language and rules and to understand their dynamics it is necessary to experiment and live them as simple users rather than as managers.
Finally, always keep in mind that daily interaction allows you to constantly measure yourself with different circumstances and to grasp feedback and teachings on your work.
The work of the Community Manager is also learned along the way , together with the community itself.