Social media is clearly becoming the primary tool for businesses looking to reach out to a wider audience, increase web traffic and boost sales (duh). So, why do so few companies neglect to employ a community manager? In the midst of high industry competition and a busy digital age, it only makes sense that businesses equip themselves with a person trained and qualified in the art of making your brand look good. If that’s not enough for you, according to a recent study from Hubspot, businesses have found that employing a community manager increases approximately 30 percent of traffic to their websites each month.
You wouldn’t have a booming circus without a ringleader or a successful online presence without a community manager. While the role of community manager is to manage a variety of online platforms, we have also found that it includes creating authentic content and speaking on behalf of your organization. By all means it’s not magic, but the name of the game is to move your brand forward into the spotlight with these five community manager best practices.
1. Starts and manages accounts
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, nothing makes your company pop like lively and updated online accounts. Social media is your megaphone in the great World Wide Web and you don’t want to have it on mute. With this in mind, it’s important to consider that everything your company does (or doesn’t do) affects the perception of your brand. By ensuring that your profiles are shown in an intriguing and professional light, you can bet that your brand’s presence on the web will not only bring your crowd to their feet, but keep them coming back for more.
2. Expands your networks
The show isn’t over until the fat lady sings and your community manager hasn’t done their job until they expand your circles. A great community manager grows your networks everyday by engaging online using forums and online communities, as well as offline via meetings, conferences and community related events. As noted before, authentic and quality driven content is king. This includes drafting status updates, blog posts or tweets that only your brand could come up with. In relation to good content, you want your brand to be surrounded by good company. Qualified contacts and leads meant for your products and services are worth more than a thousand Facebook likes or Twitter followers from the wrong industry.
3. Joins the conversation
Word-of-mouth communication has withstood the test of time. It was big in Barnum and Bailey’s day and is still an essential part of the equation to your community management success. As noted before, the community manager should represent your organization’s voice, as well as add a touch of individual personality. This includes immediately replying to web-based questions and conversations in order to create relationships with site visitors and prospective leads. Overall, you should be aware, if you aren’t already, that someone is going to be speaking about your brand whether you know about it or not. While you can’t control what is said, you can have an effect on your reaction and the outcome.
4. Promotes content
As a part of this new adventure, it is important to gauge and embrace the influence and impact community management can have for your brand. This means that you allow them to promote authentic content that can be a part of your organization's or client's story. In addition, you need to have a clear strategy for each social media or community related tactic. While your community manager may be operating multiple accounts, it’s important to build a distinct brand loyalty through the distribution of original content. To make life easier for your community manager, be sure that they know consistency is key to showing that your brand cares.
5. Captures the trends
It’s time to read all about it. Not a good, but a great community manager listens and knows the buzz online. For example, finding what groups your target audience is joining on LinkedIn or knowing what pages they like on Facebook, is a community manager’s best cheat sheet to learning what your buyer personas are interested in or when they’re more likely to tweet or check Google Plus. Keep in mind that your community has their own opinions and ideas. Where your community manager fits in is when it's time to embrace those differnt thoughts, learn from them and affect change. As a part of this equation, it’s not only important to stay updated on consumers’ trends, but your industry’s trends as well. All across the board, our attention spans are fading and it’s a community manager’s duty to hold interest until the grand finale.
While hiring a community manager is certainly an expense, we can promise you that it’s worth every pretty penny. For best results, it is important that you develop a system to ensure that you continually approve your online and offline results each month. With the best tools and support from you, your community manager will be making sparks across your industry that’s worth a round of applause. If you’re ready to put your best foot forward check out our community manager training program.