The roll of Community Manager albeit relatively new to the corporate realm, is amongst the most valuable in a company’s social media program. They are the front line of engagement for the brands they represent. However, all too often companies assign an intern or entry-level employee the position and this is a mistake.
Underestimating the influential and public nature of social media inevitably yields grievous errors, often in 140 characters or less. A prime example is Kenneth Cole’s recent Twitter Gaffe:
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC.
KC’s tweets are now run through a filter before hitting the social web. Some lessons only need to be learned once!
A great community manager is worth their weight in gold and possess a specific set of characteristics:
- They truly love people.
- They are genuinely empathic with those with whom they engage.
- They can establish a natural rapport with just about anyone.
- They are emotionally intelligent.
Not to be sexist, but women tend to have a higher level of efficacy in this role over their male counter parts. And with good reason; the softer female communication style is often more effective on social networks as they have a tendency to engage rather than instruct which is a major asset. Plus, they can talk about just about anything and love to do so.
Competent community managers, engage consumers with a voice that is indicative of the brands they represent while simultaneously aligning their communication style with the culture of the social network they are using at any given time. They simultaneously keep track of myriad conversations on multiple networks and are personable, consistent and helpful.
They do not engage trolls or fall into conversational traps and know when to “join in” or “bud out”. Not every discussion requires their presence and like every relationship, sometimes people just need some time with other friends.
Successful community managers can repair damaged relations with consumers caused by poor service or dissatisfaction with a product often times earning loyal customers in the process. They can build a fan base of targeted followers and inject a brand’s marketing message into their conversations in a transparent and meaningful way that resonates with their audience.
As social media continues to evolve and its perceived value to companies along with it community manager version 3.0 will be recognized as a linchpin in the marketing machine and beyond. Nu Sex here but it does make for a catchy title.