Sunday, August 22, 2010

Established Brands and StartUps need Community Managers.

With more people using Social Media and more chatter on brands, being on social media is very important as you can listen to what people have to say, and customers' experiences can often be enhanced or damaged through social media.

Engaging with customers on social media becomes evermore important, and dealing with negative feedbacks and engaging with bloggers with good reviews are just as important as traditional marketing.

Engaging users online is now key to many businesses as it provides word of mouth marketing and at the same time reduces the risk of a social media crisis and customer service nightmare.

In an article by Jeremiah Owyang :"The Four Tenets of the Community Manager", He lists a few good roles the Community Manager should have.

The Four Tenets of the Community Manager
In the following, I’m not going to list out all my findings, but it was clear there were 4 number of Tenets, or beliefs that each role holds. In nearly all the job descriptions, the following beliefs were spelled out as requirements for the role.

1) A Community Advocate
As a community advocate, the community managers’ primary role is to represent the customer. This includes listening, which results in monitoring, and being active in understanding what customers are saying in both the corporate community as well as external websites. Secondly, they engage customers by responding to their requests and needs or just conversations, both in private and in public.

2) Brand Evangelist
In this evangelistic role (it goes both ways) the community manager will promote events, products and upgrades to customers by using traditional marketing tactics and conversational discussions. As proven as a trusted member of the community (tenet 1) the individual has a higher degree of trust and will offer good products.

3) Savvy Communication Skills, Shapes Editorial
This tenet, which is both editorial planning and mediation serves the individual well. The community manager should first be very familiar with the tools of communication, from forums, to blogs, to podcasts, to twitter, and then understand the language and jargon that is used in the community. This individual is also responsible for mediating disputes within the community, and will lean on advocates, and embrace detractors –and sometimes removing them completely. Importantly, the role is responsible for the editorial strategy and planning within the community, and will work with many internal stakeholders to identify content, plan, publish, and follow up.

4) Gathers Community Input for Future Product and Services Perhaps the most strategic of all tenets, community managers are responsible for gathering the requirements of the community in a responsible way and presenting it to product teams. This may involve formal product requirements methods from surveys to focus groups, to facilitating the relationships between product teams and customers. The opportunity to build better products and services through this real-time live focus group are ripe, in many cases, customer communities have been waiting for a chance to give feedback.

In my previous blog on Community Managers, in my opinion, Community Managers should be like Anime Characters, Big eyes and small mouth -- being able to watch the trends, while saying enough to facilitate information and not broadcast.

The Internet should not be used as a broadcast medium, and Social platforms (like online networks) are now "listening stations" for organizations.

"Every network has an underlying purpose" and motivations for such network creation. The role of the community manager is to hold the collective vision, create and manage relationships and manage collaborative processes.

Here are 10 tips from Mashable for Aspiring Community Managers:

1. Be an Expert and Evangelist of Your Product or Company
2. Love The Product and Company, But Be the Users’ Advocate
3. Work on Your Communication Skills
4. Blog and Have a Social Presence
5. Be Authentic
6. Be Multi-Skilled and Prioritize Your Platforms Strategically
7. Listen, Add Value and Build Relationships
8. Engage Online and Off
9. Think Like an Entrepreneur and Be Quick to Adapt
10. Empower Your Colleagues to Be Community Builders

-- Robin Low

No comments:

Post a Comment