What is a community manager?
A community manager is the professional in charge of creating, maintaining, and growing the attention and community around a specific brand. In this day and age, the community manager does most of his or her job online.
Whether a company is starting to promote a new brand or look for new markets and audiences, a community manager is a valuable person for any team concerned with products or services. The community manager can analyze the current situation, consider growth strategies, and keep up a good brand image and prestige through different actions that help to increase customer loyalty.
Basic community manager abilities
When people think of a community manager, they typically think of charismatic and multifaceted people with fresh, modern points of view.
And, to a large extent, these are characteristics of a good community manager. This professional must be very up to date with current affairs and trends in terms of the brand itself and in terms of tools and platforms for interaction with the digital community. This person must also always be ready to try and use innovations.
While many companies confuse the role of a community manager with that of a social network manager, in reality they are two heterogenous tasks that require skills from many areas:
This seems like it would be only a personal characteristic, but a good community manager must get involved with the brand he or she is representing and know how to transmit positive messages to the audience. Amongst his or her strong points, he or she must know how to explain and describe the product or service, tie it to emotional experiences, understand and respect customers, and continuously seek ways to encourage participation.
A community manager organizes the tasks of other professionals and must keep order and control on many fronts. The schedule of a community manager can become a true chaos that he or she must understand and master so that all the departments and professionals are coordinated.
Creativity and curiosity
To keep a brand up to date at all times, the community manager must be current on the latest technology and innovations, and try new tools, platforms, networks, and opportunities often.
Speaking, writing, persuading, emphasizing: these are the four tasks that any community manager must master for all forms of media so that brand communication goes off without a hitch.
In addition, a community manager must know how to adapt to the language and tone of the brand. These are also skills that have repercussions for the good of the marketing and customer service team, as a community manager is the person who resolves internal and external conflicts in a positive way.
Is the community manager a magical figure? It may seem that way, but we mustn’t confuse tasks and knowledge that normally is not necessary for a community manager to have, like web programming, resource design and editing, and management of paid ad campaigns.
Goals of a community manager
- Increase brand visibility
- Maintain the company’s good reputation
- Encourage customer loyalty
- Increase online traffic and figures in terms of followers and subscribers
- Improve participation and online conversions
- Open and try new channels
Tasks of a community manager for a brand
First and foremost, the community manager of a company is the brain that analyzes what has been done up until now, where the company wants to go, and what paths there are to get there.
Normally, a community manager works alongside other professionals that directly create and manage the social network materials and actions, SEO, SEM, and content advertising and marketing. In a smaller company, the community manager may undertake all of those tasks, but at a more modest scale.
In short, a community manager is a manager of the marketing and conversion funnels and undertakes monitoring from the very start to the very finish.
Thinking and rethinking the strategy is the main task of the community manager, while others execute that strategy. Amongst his or her normal analysis targets are:
- The current level of brand knowledge that the target audience has
- The current brand prestige
- The activity figures on social networks and over digital channels
- Conversions and reactions to each action and material
- Drawing relationships between target audiences and the actions undertaken
- The actions undertaken by direct competition
The tasks of a community manager and of a social media manager can be independent. As we have mentioned before, sometimes in smaller companies the work is grouped and given to one single person, but it is more effective to properly divide the work when faced with a bigger strategy.
A social media manager undertakes actions on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram to make the brand audience increase. Likewise, the community manager does not schedule and create contents for social media; instead, he or she is concerned about the tone and objectives of the general strategy, and about representing the brand through its persona.
Just like on social networks, the community manager does not generate the marketing contents but instead he or she generates and produces the text, video, and graphic resources of other people on the team. He or she should also know how to use A/B testing to analyze the reactions of the public to different alternatives.
While he or she odes not generate the content, he or she must know about interesting external content to compete and represent the brand, like news, trends, memes, etc.
The community manager is the brand’s voice in the community and also for everyone else. This especially involves the media, as this professional must seek opportunities to include the brand on websites, in articles, publications, programs, events, and any other media platform that the target audience is interested in.
In the ideal work environment, the community manager does not create the contents themselves. He or she gets support from a creative team with specialists who are able to focus on the task of writing posts, copy for campaigns, product catalogs, and webpages. In this way, the community manager can focus on monitoring the schedule’s fulfilment and analyzing the results of the strategy.
This task is only the community manager’s responsibility in part, as there should always be a Customer Success department in house. Nevertheless, the community manager may be the first contact for many users, and therefore communication skills are quite important.
The community manager will be in charge of answering messages and incidents via social networks and other digital means, like reviews on an online shop or marketplace, before redirecting customers to other company departments. Empathy, good manners, and product knowledge are basic for this job.
Now that you know what a community manger is, do you think that you need one in your business?
If that is the case and you are concerned with the sale or distribution of products, remember that adding people to the team always makes communication more complicated. With a centralized PIM system (Product Information Management), you can centralize all of your catalog content and provide access to all the team members who need it. Amongst them is the community manger, who will be glad to have a reliable source of information to present products and answer user questions.
Try a PIM solution for free for 30 days with Sales Layer: this is something that a community manager can’t offer.