The role of Community Manager has become a key position for brands. Community management leaders work to open, stimulate, provoke, enhance, and analyse discussions with members and users, and often times take the heat out of some who are just looking to vent. Constantly in dialogue with people using the service every day, collecting feedback from them (online and off), they create opportunities for their product or service to be constantly improved.
Community Managers therefore perform several jobs all at once. More precisely, they create an entirely new one from the start: a role that’s simultaneously part detective (solving problems for clients), part communicator, translator, psychologist, lawyer, analyst, diplomat, editor, and more. The list goes on and on. Let’s be honest: Community Managers wear a lot of hats. But above all, they are at the heart of their company’s dynamic culture.
Quite obviously, Community Managers do the heavy lifting for their company’s social messaging (that’s the nature of the job). But they can’t read everything, know everything, and be up to date with everything throughout the business, day and night. Unlike the networks that they work on, they are not machines. It sounds ridiculous to put it so simply, but first and foremost, they are human beings. In an industry where speed and accuracy make all the difference, this realization can sometimes fall by the wayside.
A productive Community Manager actually views this as a strength, harmonizing the various departments in the business and getting them involved in social support. There is strength in numbers, and a great Community Manager also realizes that their company, itself, is a community full of amazing people who can help.
In a startup such as mention, for instance, Community Managers often need the CTO’s assistance to respond as best as possible to requests that can be very technical, such as questions about APIs and integrations. There should be a way of conveniently bringing the CTO in to this aspect of customer support.
Furthermore, in order to prepare a blog post or to work on the brand’s Facebook or Twitter identity, Community Managers will often draw up the text first and then have the Artistic Director or Graphic Designer, add his or her art to illustrate the article or content.
Everyone has their own field of expertise, individual opinions, and a particular way of communicating and interacting on the web. This diversity is a fantastic strength when it comes to creating brand identity — creating a voice for your company.
Each team member adds another dimension. Real value is added when each person makes his or her voice heard. Whether it’s about new content, new contacts, or new ideas to debate. The curiosity of one member of the team drives the imagination of all, and this is what generates innovation.
Community Managers don’t work in isolation — at least they don’t have to. Choosing to work as a team, a true team, can let Community and Social Media Managers escape what can often become a bubble and stand back from the repetitive problems that they encounter on a daily basis. Thus, everything depends on a team’s collaborative spirit and on the ability to communicate and manage time with effective tools.
mention is a hefty ally when it comes to facilitating collaborative work (see “Individuals and their interactions before processes and tools” for more on this interesting subject). Being able to share information with your team, segment it, and direct it towards the best colleague (e.g. responding to a journalist => CEO; replying to a technical question => CTO; forwarding a great feature request => CPO) is a nimble — and much more sane — way to handle support. Add the ability to assign tasks and ensure that there’s a quick follow up by tracking each action, and you have one powerful tool to make sure that task duplication, or missing a users question, never happens.
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