Puppeteers of Communication Pathways: the Job of the Community Manager

The world is changing with higher velocity than ever before. Fads, trends, and what is “cool” in our society changes rapidly and without notice. One minute every one is rba1_20yelling “Yolo” after committing some small act of rebellion, and the next minute that’s lame to say. Trends like these may sound stupid and pointless, but they are in fact opportunities that businesses and corporations are learning to take advantage of. Similarly, these trends need to be handled delicately and correctly. There is nothing worse than an old executive attempting to sound “hip” or “with it.” For these reasons, a skilled professional who is savvy in these areas, attentive, passionate, and above all ambitious must be employed. This position is known at the Community Manager, and his or her job is to act as a puppeteer with strings of communication all coming together to move the business forward.

One of these strings connects to the company itself. The Community Manager must be able to understand every facet of the business, since it is he or she that will become the face of it on a variety of platforms. A large part of the Community Manager is to market the companies brand. If it is a new company, it may possibly be their job to create that brand or tweak it in order to make it more marketable. They must act as an ambassador, a cheerleader, a referee, and a teacher, and that is just within the company itself.

Outside of the company, the Community Manager’s second string connects him or her to the technology at hand. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many others are all very different in their uses, strengths and weaknesses. The Community Manager must understand these programs throughly so that their uses can be utilized to their full potential.

A-woman-views-her-profile-007The last string in this puppet metaphor only works when the first two are established, and that is the connection to the audience, customer, and community. The Community Managers take everything they have learned about their business and funnels it through the technology they are now experts in to the outside community. Connecting the company’s value to the community and making it well known is the main obstacle and the main task the Community Manager undergoes (hence the title, Community Manager).

Once these strings are successfully connected, established, and working properly, the Community Manager then has free reign to manipulate them in order to move the business how it will be most beneficial. It isn’t any easy job, but one that is indispensable and highly necessary in any business sector.

Images taken from:

http://firstmagazine.org/2010/10/28/manipulated-or-worshipful/rba1_20/

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jan/14/facebook-loses-uk-users-december

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1 Comment

  1. Jacob
    AWESOME! The titled reeled me in immediately. The graphic made me want to read more and the use of the adjective puppeteer and strings neatly and creatively intertwined into your content demonstrated you have a way of capturing your audience. This is true content development (next assignment)

    These quotes left impressions with me to look at Community Management through the lens of your content.

    “This position is known at the Community Manager, and his or her job is to act as a puppeteer with strings of communication all coming together to move the business forward.”

    “Outside of the company, the Community Manager’s second string connects him or her to the technology at hand. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many others are all very different in their uses, strengths and weaknesses. The Community Manager must understand these programs throughly so that their uses can be utilized to their full potential.”

    The second quote resonated with me because all too often, businesses, non-profits, colleges, universities and more hire someone to do their social media and this person throws all of the above at the brand’s campaign and to see what sticks, without measuring, monitoring or even understanding the true strengths or weaknesses of each digital, audio or visual tool.

    Love your metaphors! Thanks for giving credit for use of images. AND, thanks for adding tags, so your post can be found by others.

    Again, AWESOME!

    Like

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