The word community manager refers to the concept of online user community. This is the group of loyal customers of a brand or users interested in it, present not only on social networks but also on all kinds of online platforms, including the corporate website itself. In fact, in English the concept of community manager differs from that of social media manager , precisely because what a community manager does goes much further beyond what someone who deals with managing social networks does.
All companies, especially those that use the internet as the main customer attraction channel for their business, strive to build their own community of users to ensure their growth.
The community manager is the professional who is responsible for building and managing (manage) this community around the brand on the internet , generating conversation around your sector (the more interesting you make your sector among users, the more likely they are to consider your brand positively), and specifically your products or services.
What is this post talking about?
Do I need a community manager ?
As we pointed out at the beginning, a community of users loyal to our brand is, for some companies, the difference between their success and failure. However, it is not to the same extent for all. Companies whose billing does not depend on what is said about it on the internet will not be as interested in building that community as others that are entirely dedicated to online sales. And even for companies that rely solely on the internet for growth, the priority may not be that either, at least initially.
There are businesses that decide to open their activity to the internet that, when entrusting us with the online marketing strategy, immediately asks us if, in addition to content marketing (blog posts, videos, etc.) and pay-per-click advertising, we also offer community management . And it is that among some companies that begin their adventure on the Internet there is the erroneous belief that any online business needs a profile in all social networks and someone to manage it. Is not true. Be careful, someone who is passionate about social networks says it and spends the day on Twitter, and also has an account on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. But a company must think about the usefulness of the investments it makes , that is, if they will cause a return, and for this a series of factors must be considered.
The moment in which we know that we must turn to a community manager is the moment in which we realize that our online community is so important to our company that, if it does not take control of its strategy and administration, could be harmed.
5 questions before making the jump to social networks
When considering the possibility of hiring the services of a community manager , a company must ask itself if it meets the necessary conditions for these services to be profitable. Some of the questions we must ask ourselves are:
1. Does the invoicing of my company depend on generating and managing a community of users on the internet?
As we have said before, there is an erroneous belief that if we have an internet presence, we must create and manage a community of users. But that is not always the case.
For example, an architecture firm may have a website to showcase their portfolio, but if their clients come from offline backgrounds, they probably won’t need to have a social media presence or even drive traffic to their website.
A commercial labeling company, on the other hand, can obtain a large part of its billing from the internet, through requests for information about its products on its website, but not due to the type of product (one-time purchase) it will generate a loyal clientele around the brand. That is why it is probably more profitable for you to invest what you would pay a community manager in someone who designs and manages pay per click campaigns in Google AdWords that attract quality traffic to your website, for example.
On the other hand, a food safety consultancy, for example, could choose to create and grow a user community and manage it, as there is an interest among the hospitality sector to be up-to-date in everything that concerns food hygiene. To do this, it is necessary to plan a strategy that guarantees a constant flow of multimedia content (posts on the web blog, videos on YouTube or Vimeo, collaborations in other media, images, etc.) in order to generate conversation in that community.
In short, if our turnover or growth does not depend on generating a powerful user community, we will not need a community manager yet, we can keep our social networks updated, if we have them, with the posts that we go to. uploading to our blog, some news of interest about the sector and some corporate activity. As has ever happened to all of us who are passionate about our work, community managers tend to think that their activity is very important, but not . It depends on many factors.
2. What social networks or platforms am I interested in promoting as a company?
Okay, let’s imagine that yes, we conclude that we are at a point in our business growth that requires community managing . Making the leap to social networks does not mean that we have to all social networks . It can even mean caring for the community around non-social media platforms such as Google or Tripadvisor reviews, Yelp, or comments from our own blogs.
Depending on our activity, one social network or another, or one platform or another, may be more interesting. A company that sells a fun product online, such as Squeasy or Dome, or a company related to personal image, such as a nail salon, with a loyal clientele, can have a great ally for self-promotion on Instagram or Facebook.
On the other hand, a food safety company may benefit more from opening a YouTube channel to explain developments in food hygiene regulations in a practical way, and having an active LinkedIn account.
Opting for the most appropriate strategy will help us focus efforts on what will offer us a greater return on investment.
3. What forms of content generation do I use to generate conversation?
We cannot make publications to generate conversation about our sector and our products or services that can build loyalty to a user community starting from scratch. We need a constant flow of content. Ideally, a large part of these contents should be of their own creation (posts on the company’s blog, their own or stock images specifically selected for each publication, videos and infographics of their own creation, surveys, promotions, etc.) and a A smaller proportion are news and other types of content produced by third parties that are of interest to the sector and the products or services we offer.
These contents can be generated by the company on its own, through a team of people dedicated to it or, more commonly in small and medium-sized companies, by subcontracting an online marketing agency specialized in business growth. on the internet, that offers all these services.
4. Am I interested in achieving the interaction of ‘influencers’ with my brand or my products or services?
One of the ways to maximize the return on investment of a community manager is for him to be in charge of actively involving influencers (so-called ‘influencers’) and complementary brands (not direct competitors) to share our content with their followers. In this way, many potential customers will know about our products or services.
5. Can I afford an investment that goes beyond what the community manager does?
As we have seen in the 4 previous points, community management goes much further than browsing social networks through a profile and making publications from time to time. You have to develop a prior strategy, which has a cost, and involve added activities so that your activity is profitable for us, which also has a cost. It is a monthly investment that we must assume (in this post we explain how much a community manager charges, in general terms, for each of the services it offers). If we are not in a position to do it, we better leave it for when we can, or we will waste the money, little or a lot, that we allocate to this.
community management involves investing in more than just managing posts and interactions on social media. It requires making an investment in content to guarantee a constant flow to generate the necessary conversation that allows building a community.
What does a community manager do on a daily basis in each social network?
What each social network includes, in general terms we have already answered previously in this post, but we will detail below, understanding that it may vary according to the particularities of each company.
Unique posts: in general, it is advisable to post 2-3 times a day on our Facebook page, including news related to the sector or the products or services we sell, posts on our blogs and calls to visit the website, among others.
Content promotion: some of the publications generated on Facebook with a link to the web must be promoted on social networks, since not only will the number of people who will view that content and get to know the brand, but it will also improve the SEO of the web.
Interaction with other pages: to help attract the attention of complementary companies (not direct competitors), it is interesting to ‘like’, follow and comment on their profiles. This will lead to more sharing of company content and status updates, and will increase awareness of the brand.
Creating custom images: weekly it is interesting to collect photos of the activity of the company that may be of interest to the user community that we intend to generate.
Customer service: we must use this social network to serve people who are not satisfied with our products and services and make it appear in the social network, when they make comments in a courteous way. In addition, it is interesting to serve users through the direct message channel.
Facebook Ads: In addition to promoting content, you should consider the possibility of publishing ads with Facebook Ads. This usually requires an extra in what a community manager charges, since it requires extra skills such as audience segmentation, pay-per-click campaign management, analytical reports, graphic design, images, tests A / B, etc.
Daily Tweets: the usual thing in this social network is to publish an average of 7 to 10 tweets per day. 3-4 of these tweets can have self-promotional content (calls to action to promote traffic to the web, with images, videos, etc.) and the rest can respond to an approach that aims to provide value to the community and interact with the target audience for the company.
Creation and administration of hasthags: it is necessary to monitor current affairs (that is why an ideal profile to be a community manager is to have journalistic training) and, when appropriate, You can participate in the conversation with the corresponding hashtag. This will help increase the visibility of the company and generate more followers and interaction.
Interaction for public relations purposes: one of the most effective uses of Twitter is as a public relations tool. Journalists are usually very active on Twitter, and they usually use this social network to find sources to cite in their articles or in their opinions, so it is useful to create lists of journalists, bloggers and influencers on the network so that they know the company and share your content. This is one of the fastest ways Twitter offers us to maximize return on investment.
Content promotion: Twitter also serves to promote content by segmenting the audience, managing the campaign and preparing analytical reports. You can also send signals to search engines such as Google that it is worth sharing that content, and thus enhance SEO. This feature may require additional budget.
Customer service: we must use Twitter to serve people who are not satisfied with the company’s products and services and make it appear on this social network, even if they do without quoting us directly, when they do so in a courteous way, using tools to monitor what is said about us. You need to respond quickly and courteously, and resolve any questions. If, on the contrary, they say something positive about the brand, they will interact, respond, retweet or favorite.
Keyword monitoring: Tools such as Hootsuite can be used to monitor what is being talked about on Twitter that is relevant to the business, and post and interact with it when necessary.
Daily posts: It is advisable to publish between one and two daily posts on this social network, after careful selection of hashtags. An Instagram account achieves visibility (followers, ‘likes’) especially through these hashtags.
Hasthags selection: it is necessary to monitor the topics that are generating the most interest on Instagram about our sector and our products and services (including those used by the ‘influencers’ that may interest us) and, when appropriate , you can follow or ‘like’ posts and accounts with the corresponding hashtag. This will help increase the visibility of the company and generate more followers and interaction.
Content promotion: Instagram is one of the social networks that allows promoting content by segmenting the audience by use of hashtags, location, etc., managing an Instagram Ads campaign and preparing analytical reports. You can also combine this campaign with Facebook Ads, since they share the same control panel, facilitating monitoring of the two channels at the same time. This feature may require additional budget.
Customer service: Instagram usually makes it easier for customers to contact us through a direct message, without the need for us to follow them first. This feature makes it easier to serve people who are not satisfied with the company’s products and services. You need to respond quickly and courteously, and resolve any questions. In addition, after monitoring hashtags or brand mentions, we can ‘reward’ customers who have purchased a product or service or say good things about us by sharing their publications on our timeline and doing ‘likes’, or perhaps offering a discount or gift.
Periodic videos: YouTube is the social network that requires the most work to maintain, and therefore it can represent a greater investment for the company. It requires the generation of quality content, which involves a professional team that is generally larger or dedicates more hours to a single publication (you have to think about a topic, develop a script, make a recording or buy stock images, edit the video material and add voice-over and / or post-production). For this reason, with the exception of the largest companies, it is usual to publish once a week, once every 15 days or once a month.
Trend monitoring: It is very important to monitor everything that is being talked about on social networks beyond YouTube, and what search trends currently exist in order to decide what topics the videos that we are going to make.
Content promotion: It is usually necessary, especially at the beginning, to carry out video promotion campaigns on YouTube, segmenting the audience by interests, location, etc., and even in Google AdWords. Some people edit a short version of their videos to also promote them on Instagram, although the latter social network is more useful to show other aspects of the company, of more human interest.
Keyword monitoring: making intelligent use of the keywords that define the videos, taking into account relevance, can greatly favor the positioning of the company’s website (including each video in the web content and the web in the company profile on YouTube). Do not forget that this social network is part of Google, so it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that Google takes it into account in the company’s content indexing.
Status updates: studies show that daily updates on Google+ impact a post’s ranking after 90 days. – Studies have shown that daily updates on Google+ directly impact how well your site is ranked after 90 days. A percentage of these updates will favor the global positioning of the company’s website. As in the case of YouTube, we must not overlook that Google+ is a foray of Google in social networks, so this search engine must take it very seriously to assign a position to a website in its ranking. Furthermore, Google+ is already the third social network with the most users in the world, as it is linked to YouTube, with some 343 million active users.
Communities: many people use Google+ only to participate in the existing communities in this social network (which respond to different interests such as architecture, design, nutrition, animals, football, etc.), therefore that it is advisable to be active in those that are most relevant. You can monitor those that exist and create new ones if we detect a niche.
Adding segmented pages to circles: in Google+ there is the possibility of creating user groups similar to Twitter lists, which helps to interact regularly with the right people.
Hashtags: Google+ also allows you to add appropriate hashtags in updates. People use hashtags to search for posts that interest them, so we need to make sure to use the ones that are most relevant and popular.
Publication of original pins: companies that carry out creative and / or artistic activities can take advantage of two or three original pins daily on Pinterest, which will promote the company and attract people who like what it offers but still do not you know.
Interaction with other accounts: interacting with and pinning content from other sites that include the “Pin It” button helps a business build the relationships it needs to move to the next level. This will also ensure that users do not view the company account as an exclusively self-promotional channel.
Creation of boards: it is useful to create an average of a new weekly board, according to the interests of the channel’s followers.
Ads management: promoting pins with Pinterest Ads, a not very well known option, is a good idea in decoration, fashion, art, design, etc. companies, since this network social is used to get ideas, plan and buy. A community manager will manage (usually at an additional cost) advertising campaigns on Pinterest and prepare analytical reports.
Updates: an average of two posts on the company’s LinkedIn Page, which will reach those who follow you. All blog posts, articles and press mentions will be promoted through the page.
Interactions: It is advisable to follow other LinkedIn pages, focusing on opinion leaders and companies that are related to the brand, that are not direct competition, and share what they publish periodically when Let’s see what kind of content speaks to our audience.
Participation in groups: Joining and engaging with members of LinkedIn groups is critical. This will increase the participation of those who still do not follow the company page and will drive traffic to the web, improving their positioning in Google. Ideally, join 5-7 group discussions per week. This includes promoting site content when necessary.
Ads management: By providing an extra budget, targeting, tracking, and reporting can be managed on LinkedIn. This will allow the company’s posts to reach individuals and businesses that are tailored to the brand’s target audience but are not yet familiar with it, turning them into potential customers.
Other tasks that a community manager
Management of platforms such as Tripadvisor, Amazon or Google reviews
It is increasingly common for users of Google, Amazon and Tripadvisor to interact and rate our services on these and other platforms. It is necessary to monitor everything that is said about the company in them and, if necessary, answer any questions or interactions. This post explains how to manage reviews on Google and Tripadvisor and build a reputation, which can also be applied to Amazon and others.
Advertising and public relations services
community managers can also be in charge of developing strategic campaigns that include press releases, content initiatives, advertising, identifying opportunities with bloggers and youtubers, media relations and much more.
Ask for strategic advice on the internet
Before deciding to hire a community manager, ask for strategic advice in online marketing. You will ensure that you invest your money in the most effective way for the growth of your business on the internet. At Sitelabs we are passionate about social media, but we still like it more that our clients get the most out of it.
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