Community Management: What is it and why is it so important? What skills do you need to become a community manager?
With the development of the Internet, community management has become an indispensable task for promoting the image and awareness of a brand or company online.
But what does a community manager actually do? What are the main differences between the social media manager?
In this article, we'll define the concept, explain the reasons behind the rise of the profession, and present some best practices to follow to activate your network.
What is community management?
Community management includes all measures for the development, integration, and support of the online community of a brand or a company.
The main challenges at stake are to:
- create a dialogue with customers and prospects,
- manage the brand image online and offline,
- promote the brand and organize events,
- operate, manage and optimize the social media,
- strengthen the sense of unity of the online community.
Tasks of a Community Manager
A community manager is responsible for orchestrating virtual communities. It is a central role that allows the company to monitor social media channels, define a communication strategy, and defend the company's interests on social networks.
This profession emerged simultaneously with the development of online communities and is now a pillar of corporate communications.
👆 The community manager can work exclusively for a company or become self-employed and look after several brands at a time.
By hiring this employee, companies can increase their web reputation, the loyalty of existing customers, and attract new ones.
Here are the main activities:
- performing social listening and identifying trends in the sector,
- defining a content strategy aimed at promoting a specific image of the company,
- monitoring the online activities of the main competitors to assess their influence and possibly draw inspiration from them,
- animating the community and building relationships with the target audience,
- managing the company's social profiles,
- measuring the effectiveness of campaigns through KPIs,
- staying up to date on social media marketing best practices.
👆 Blogging is undoubtedly one of the most successful methods and activities in recent years to gain visibility online. To reap all the benefits, community managers often turn to marketing agencies to optimize the content from the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) point of view and make it appear among the first results of search engines.
💡 Salary: According to the well-known portal Glassdoor, the gross annual income of a community manager in the USA is $46,333.
What is the difference between social media management?
The social media manager is responsible for managing corporate communications. He creates a communication plan in which he presents his strategies:
- selection of social networks,
- content management roadmap,
- advertising campaigns,
- identification of key performance indicators (KPIs) for monitoring.
The task of the community manager, on the other hand, is the daily management of the community to increase brand awareness and improve web reputation.
Thus, it can be said that a social media manager is responsible for the communication strategy on social media platforms and provides an overarching framework, while a community manager is responsible for building, managing, operating, and maintaining the company's interactions with its communities through its social networks.
In structured companies, these two figures work in close contact. This is not always the case with small companies. As a rule, the two roles there are performed by a single person, often an external expert.
Some tips for optimal community management
Now that we have seen what the main goals of community management are and why the profession has gained importance, let's see how this process is implemented in practice.
💡 For successful community management, you need skills and experience. With the right strategies, you can grow your community exponentially and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
To perform community management in the best way, here are some best practices that can be of great help:
- Identify the target audience as well as you can. It's important to make sure it consists of the right people who are really interested in the topics. It's the number of "active" people that counts, not the number of followers.
- Observe user behavior. Listening is fundamental to identify the needs and requirements of the web community. The goal is to understand your audience's needs as quickly as possible so you can provide the right answers.
- Allow a certain amount of freedom of expression. It's important to allow the community the freedom to criticize. Indeed, negative feedback, if constructive, can add important value to the company. Avoid deleting comments and banning users as much as possible.
- Outline the rules of the game. As important as it is to maintain some freedom of expression, it is equally important to set boundaries from the start that cannot be crossed. An appropriate moderation policy is important to ensure that exchanges are always respectful.
- Involve the community and find ways to encourage them. The community needs to be constantly encouraged to be active. Therefore, it is important to try to draw attention to a specific topic in order to start a discussion.
Various community management tools can help you manage your community effectively making life much easier.
Stay competitive with community management
Nowadays, good community management has become essential to survive in an increasingly competitive and connected world.
Whether we like it or not, the importance of the online community is growing and will continue to grow in the years to come. To respond to this challenge, small and medium-sized businesses are challenged to adapt to this context. It is not a matter of passively experiencing the changes, but of managing the change in order to take full advantage of the great potential it offers.