Since its inception, the Community Manager profession has been one of the most interpreted, defined, and, above all, in demand for all those who make up the digital marketing imaginary . Its relevance in any social media marketing action today is out of the question, although with the proliferation of new positions in digital environments, the functions of this social media manager tend to be in a gray area where it is lost among other disciplines that interact in an organization’s marketing plan .
Therefore, the objective of this post is to answer questions regarding what is a community manager , what are the functions of a community manager , what tools does a community manager use or how much does a community manager charge , among others.
Keep in mind that social media strategy should not be taken as an independent element of the organization’s online marketing plan , but as one more link in a chain made up of Social Paid Media , SEO or Digital PR , among others. For this reason, it is important to be clear about what a Community Manager is and what he is not , put him in context with the other roles that participate in the social media department and how to get the most out of the budgets we manage.
Following Stephan Fuetterer in ‘Does my community love me or not love me?’ , a social media team should have among its members:
- Community director – communication director: as previously noted, the social media strategy is part of a unitary communication strategy that can (and should) have a projection beyond online media. Therefore, any step to be taken within these social platforms must be aligned with the company’s communication objectives. The community director (or Chief Community Officer ) is in charge of designing and supervising the communication strategy .
- Social Media Director – Social Media Director: He is the person in charge of the development and management of the communities in social media. Reports directly to the Community Director, and both establish the objectives, measurement methods and processes to follow in case of crisis. Fuetterer also points out that, in addition to the external communication strategy, both professionals must define the behavior patterns of the employees themselves on social networks .
- Social media strategist – Social Media Strategist: designs, describes and schedules the strategies to be carried out . It is a professional with extensive knowledge of social tools and platforms as well as the possibilities of each of them.
- Community managers – Community Manager: we come to the ‘profession of the decade’. Reports to previous profiles.
- Web and social media analyst: is in charge of ‘translating’ the data into normal language . X-ray and study the different communities in order to determine the profile of our followers and participants in the different communities. He works closely with the Community Manager (if he is not himself) to adapt the reality of these communities to the achievement of the objectives indicated by the management.
- SEO: SEO, Search Engine Optimization , is the ability to build our content to facilitate public access to the network. In other words: write for search engines, (especially Google). Currently, any multimedia content has to be thought for this web positioning , which means that we have to write and tag our content to achieve a correct reading in search engines .
CLARIFYING CONCEPTS: WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER?
As we have already seen, there are different figures that make up an organization’s social media department (either end customer or social media agency ), hence it is more frequent than it would be advisable to confuse the functions of a community manager with the from, for example, a Social Media Manager, a term that in recent years has also been gaining weight in the digital marketing environment .
So what is a Social Media Manager ? The Social Media Manager is in charge of planning the strategies that will be carried out in the Social Media Plan , thus endowing the various social media of a brand with a strategic focus. Therefore, here we already find a first difference: a Community Manager is in charge of executing the actions planned by the Social Media Manager .
However, in order to effectively execute this social media marketing strategy , the Social Media Manager must be up-to-date with what is happening in the digital environment, in order to obtain a global vision of the evolution of the digital marketing sector and its competition. (For which we recommend you consult the 10 trends in digital marketing for 2018 , or download our study on the use of social networks in Spain ).
Therefore, the Community Manager and the Social Media Manager must work side by side , especially in everything related to the interpretation of the information generated as a result of the implementation of the social media plan : one of the functions of the Community Manager is to analyze the results. From the actions carried out on various social platforms, all this collected data will be interpreted by the Social Media Manager , who will draw conclusions for its strategic planning.
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY MANAGER
According to Wikipedia , the Community Manager is the person in charge or responsible for sustaining, increasing and, in a certain way, defending the company’s relations with its customers in the digital sphere , thanks to the knowledge of the needs and the strategic approaches of the organization and the interests of customers. The figure dates back to the origin of virtual communities as “The well” and then continued to have relevance in the field of distribution lists, newsgroups and web forums.
Create, analyze, understand and direct the information produced for the most used social networks , monitor that the actions proposed in the social media marketing plan are executed or create digital communication strategies , among others, are the functions of a Community Manager whose objective It will be to establish a communication that far from silencing, censuring or ignoring your clients, is transparent, open and honest, bringing them closer to the brand.
But what other functions does a Community Manager have ? This social media manager protects against identity theft and other corporate damages by actively listening to the conversations of its clients on blogs and websites and social networks ( monitoring on social networks ). Moreover, it is the person who deals daily managing social networks of the marketing content (or content marketing ) and analyze the statistics of the social networks you use.
Finally, from the Spanish Association of Community Managers (AERCO), they point out that the Community Manager must ‘listen’, ‘ constantly monitor the network ‘ in search of conversations about our company, our competitors or our market. As a result of this listening, he will be able to extract what is relevant from it and create an interesting and intelligible discourse for his audiences.
SO WHO DOES THE COMMUNITY MANAGER DEPEND ON?
Regardless of the ideal organizational chart that Stephan presents us in his book, there is currently no unanimity about the location of the Community Manager within the company: IT, Human Resources, Communication, Marketing, Customer Service … anyone is likely to shelter under his wing the actions linked to social networks. However, by affinity, perhaps your site is straddling the communication and marketing departments , with some autonomy gained from the specific weight of your channels in the company’s marketing plan .
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT A COMMUNITY MANAGER
After the theory, comes the practice: get ready because on the next pages we will enter “point blank” into the world of the social media manager :
FUNCTIONS OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER
Although we have already mentioned some of the functions of a community manager, along the following lines we will delve into the matter:
- Execute the social media plan established by the Social Media Manager
- Generate the content that will be distributed by the main social networks where the organization is present
- Schedule, schedule and publish that generated content
- Identify trends in social networks to be able to apply it to the brand’s digital marketing plan
- Detect influential users of your sector or brand, monitor their activity and, if necessary, cultivate relationships with them
- Know the tools and platforms necessary in the management of the different communities.
- Monitor the conversation that occurs on social media about the brand
- Manage or transfer the demands through social networks of the stakeholders to the customer service department
TECHNICAL SKILLS OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER
Although there is no specific higher level training that regulates the activity of a Community Manager , it is evident that there are desirable common qualities for those who exercise this activity. In this sense, “ The Role of the Community Manager ”, WhitePaper prepared by AERCO and Territorio Creativo (today Good Rebels ) in 2009 already advanced what would be the main skills of a Community Manager :
- Sectorial knowledge: it has a certain expertise in the sector in which the company performs its role, to strengthen credibility and reputation.
- Marketing, advertising and corporate communication skills: to understand business objectives and align your activity with them.
- Copywriting: You must write well and you should like to do it.
- A geek point : passion for new technologies, for the Internet and Web 2.0. Testing new applications and services is your daily bread.
- Creativity: In the economy of attention and the overabundance of information, creative minds are more likely to gain attention share.
- Experience in online communication: knows the most appropriate channels and has good contacts on the Internet.
- Culture 2.0: there are values and rules of conduct described in the sixth section, which must be internalized.
ATTITUDE OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER
And the attitude? How should a community manager deal with the daily management of social networks? Here are some tips
- Useful : a good companion, who likes to serve and be of help to others.
- Open: understands and appreciates diversity. Avoid being categorical; He understands that there are people on the Internet who know more than oneself, and is willing to give voice to that knowledge, without wanting to take a chair at all costs.
- Accessible: it is close in the deal.
- Always on : Live with permanent or frequent connection to the network.
- Connector: Detect and facilitate opportunities, connecting members of the community with each other.
- Early adopter : likes to be trendy , you could call it a trendsetter.
- Evangelista: He is passionate about the brand, the company and life.
- Defender of the community: represents clients and users before the company. He likes people.
- Transparent: in standards and in equality between users.
That same publication also included those social skills that a good social media manager / community manager should master:
- Good conversationalist: good communicator in general and good conversationalist in particular (knowing how to listen, knowing how to respond).
- Resolute: responds quickly and appropriately.
- Agitator: encourages participation, to make the community a living and dynamic space.
- Empathetic: to be able to put yourself in the place of others.
- Assertive: He has his own character and personality, defending his opinions against others, when the case comes.
- Comprehensive: values the opinions of other participants in the community.
- Teamwork: coordinate, collaborate, share.
- Leader: leads from participation and knows how to find leaders within the community.
- Moderator: strives to maintain a friendly environment among all users. Relaxing tensions, but staying firm when cutting bad ways.
- Incentive: it offers incentives to users and detects deficiencies in the community.
DAY TO DAY OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER
As we have seen so far, the tasks of a Community Manager require a multidisciplinary profile where qualities such as creativity, design or active listening are intermingled. Despite the fact that these social media manager tasks vary depending on internal factors (size and structure of the organization) and external factors (crisis), it is recommended to follow a work plan that allows optimizing the time allocated to each milestone:
The first task of a working day of a community manager should be the review of mentions to the brand, either on social networks or other supports (media, blogs or forums). For this, it is interesting to use tools such as Mention , Google Alerts , Feedly or those of each social network (advanced searches on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram …). All these tasks can be extrapolated to the analysis of our competition, an activity that will help us prevent potential reputational crises from external agents.
Where do I post? What do I publish?
Although this point may be conditioned on the initial review that has been carried out, the ideal is to have an editorial calendar for social networks outlined in advance, since it will allow us to focus on the social media plan drawn up by the social media manager . In this sense, we can leave almost any content scheduled, either through the social networks and websites or third-party tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite, to name a few:
- Fan page on Facebook
- Twitter and Instagram profiles
- Corporate blogs
- LinkedIn Pages
Talk to the audience
This is one of the aspects that brings the most added value to the brand a social media manager represents: customer service. Regardless of whether you will be the one who offers the solution or the end or simply act as a transmission belt with the corresponding department, it is advisable to take into account the following tips:
- Identify your interlocutor . For example, if you are a user who usually interacts regularly, monitor your activity beforehand. If this is your first time participating in the conversation, find out about their previous interactions to learn how to act.
- It is time to talk. Manage responses, clarifications, thanks for the mentions …
- Do you have a promotion running? Participate in susceptible conversations through hashtag monitoring
One of the tasks that consume the most, and that entails more responsibility, since in this case we must distinguish between publications aimed at social networks from those that will be subjected to more exhaustive treatment on the organization’s blog, for example. A Community Manager is not a video editor, nor a graphic designer, although it is true that with tools such as Canva or Wevideo you can generate audiovisual content in a simple and “digestible” way through social channels.
Regardless of who generates the content, it is important to follow the steps outlined in the initial editorial calendar, since in this way we can optimize part of our working day to create content whose publication date is planned in advance.
It should not necessarily be a daily task (unless the client requires it), although periodic reporting is one more function of the community manager . The objective of data processing is to find cracks in the social media plan , as well as opportunities to exploit for future campaigns.
TOOLS OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER
This point could be endless, whether we are talking about monitoring tools or content publication or contests, so we will try to summarize in the following sections:
In this case, if only one tool had to be chosen, there would probably be unanimity regarding Hootsuite , a multifunctional platform that allows the global management of any online presence. Although it has a free plan, its payment models are affordable and tremendously amortizable (from $ 10 per license)
Analytics and monitoring
Increasingly used, mention is a suite that allows monitoring the buzz generated around a brand on any online platform. In addition, it facilitates the preparation of dashboards, impact statistics and even detection of influencers .
One of the most complete tools to analyze a community in social networks. Through Audiense it is possible to analyze relevant data about growth: type of follower, interests, location, language … On the other hand, it also provides the best hours to share our content on Twitter. Although it is a payment tool, it has a 15-day evaluation version
A must for any online community manager, especially for its ability to interpret everything that happens on a web page. In our case, it is a key tool for the Community Manager , since it will allow you to detect the traffic generated from your activity or the most viralized posts.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Tool more typical of SEO, although it has very practical functionality, which is none other than unlocking information related to search traffic that appears in Analytics as NOT PROVIDED.
Tool that facilitates the programming of content to publish on social networks, especially those that do not directly offer such features (such as Twitter or Linkedin). Buffer offers a free version (with which it is only possible to connect one profile of each social network, programming a maximum total of 10 publications simultaneously) from which it can be expanded to Premium plans depending on the needs of each case.
Promotion and contests
Suite of tools that can be used both for optimizing fanpages (especially Facebook) and for running contests. In the latter, Cool Tabs offers free plans and others from 10 euros.
HOW MUCH DOES A COMMUNITY MANAGER CHARGE?
Another one of the big questions, especially if the person asking it is an SME that takes its first steps on social media. “How much does a Community Manager charge?” It is perhaps the most difficult question to answer after defining the functions of a community manager: it will very much depend on markets, tasks and location within the organization chart, especially if those tasks are outsourced to a social media agency.
If we had to get wet and give figures, hiring a community manager can entail a disbursement of between 18 and 24,000 euros gross per year in a market such as the Spanish one, although we reiterate that it will depend on the worth of each candidate. On the contrary, if what we are considering is hiring a social media agency , we will have to move between a dedication of hours from 30 euros onwards, taking into account that in general all those services related to production (design , videos …) are usually priced separately. It is not uncommon to find community manager services from 100 euros a month (or even less), although before accepting the client should be clear about what they will get for that amount …
We have already advanced a scale (30 euros / hour), although at this point you will surely be wondering what criteria I must take into account when hiring a social media agency . To make your choice easier, you can take a look at the services of The Social Media Family , or simply go through the following list:
- Portfolio . What sectors have you managed? What type of client?
- Success stories . What milestones have you achieved for your clients? Has it been a trending topic ? Have you generated thousands of impressions? Have you contributed to the social selling strategy ?
- Their own social networks . Preach by example? Does it generate attractive content?
- Team . How many people will work on your account? What are their profiles?
- Services . Will you deal with content generation? Will you design infographics? Will you edit videos? Will you manage incidents through social channels? Will you send mailings?
More than 3,000 words later, it is time to take stock. As you may have observed, the functions of a community manager are not easy to define, since he has become a kind of man of the Renaissance who is required to know almost everything that happens in the digital marketing environment . However, we will try to briefly summarize some keys to be a good community manager:
- Know your sector . Monitor the competition and keep up to date with what happens
- Choose your keywords. It may sound very SEO, but one of the functions of the community manager is to generate traffic to the organization’s website, so it is important that it is aligned with the search engine marketing area (if it exists) or, if not, determine which keywords best represent brand genesis
- Write for Google (and for other search engines). It is not necessary to be an expert, but if you have the basic notions necessary for our texts to achieve the desired objective, which is none other than fattening the conversion funnel (if you have come here from a search it is that we have achieved our purpose J)
- Measure and analyze . Both on social networks and on our website: learn from the user and adapt to their needs
- Stay alert . Being a Community Manager is a high-risk profession, in which a crisis can arise at any time: it tries that if it happens, it does not catch you off guard.