With customer communication becoming one of, if not the most important pathway of business, demand for effective community managers is on the rise. Community managers are the voice of the brand in this intensely growing social media centered world. The roles and responsibilities of community managers can be broad and large, but the end goal for businesses is generally the same, more business! This is achieved through customer acquisition, customer development, and ultimately, customer retention, or in other words, brand loyalty.
Community managers are the composers of community involvement. In general, the main role of a community manager is to promote the brand on social networks by stimulating community involvement and conversation. Community managers are active in the online community by creating a social persona. With their persona, they actively communicate in a way that will educate and boost awareness of their brand. Another key objective for community managers is to engage new users. Customer acquisition is the first step in building a loyal online community. Without educating and engaging new users, the business and the brand would never grow.
A “vision for the future of work” is considered a top characteristic of a firms community manager. Community managers must have a game plan for what they want the image of their brand to look like. With this vision, community managers manage the content and social feeds of their online communities. This requires monitoring all digital channels of the community. This involves making sure the right tone, topics, and opportunities have been created in the community. This also involves eliminating possible threats to the brand and its identity. Community managers constantly monitor feeds, deleting negative posts or feeds, and encouraging ones that they believe will benefit the brand. This opens the door to another key role of community managers which is to be first line of defense if a PR crisis occurs. Having a direct persona with the community, community managers have the ability to potentially sway the negative PR and eliminate it from exploding.
Community managers are the educators of the brand to the community. They act as a representative for individuals as well as the entire community. They are a knowledgable resource that is available to support the brand and the community. In doing so, customer development that educates customers and keeps them coming back is achieved. The many roles of a community manager are driven to create customer retention. Community managers listen, respond, share, drive, coordinate, report, and provide support to the community in order to develop a community that becomes loyal to the brand and to each other. In addition to the many roles of a community manager, they must also be able to support relevant business functions such as sales, marketing, PR, and customer service.
There is no question as to why community managers are growing in demand. Taking a further look at their roles shows how crucial they to a business. Community managers stimulate awareness, value, and preference of the brand in the eyes of the community through a specific strategy. Having the face of the the brand online, it is extremely important for community managers to be well organized, and have a very good process for what kind of image they want to create for their brand in their online community.
As a community manager, what footprint will you leave on your community?