Web 2.0 is causing a rethink in the way companies communicate with their customers, both current and potential. Communication strategies are designed thinking online, and it work not with the desire to communicate, but to maintain a conversation with your customers. These form communities on the Internet where they exchange opinions on any topic, including here the brand or product of a company.

Conversación de pájaros

 

But we must bear in mind something: what is said about our brand? Is there someone in our company who has noticed? Maybe yes, but in an unconscious way, and without giving conclusions afterwards.

And although the conversation must be natural and fluid, alive and honest, someone should encourage that online consumer to participate in it. And this is where the Community Manager profile comes into action.

 

1. Who is the Community Manager?

Simply, he is in charge of giving voice to a brand / company in social networks. It is responsible for managing and moderating Internet communities, where users with common interests are related. It responds to them and interacts with them, creates new content and takes care of the reputation of the brand on the Internet, always with one objective in mind: to build trust in the consumers of the company.

 

 

 

In fact, not everyone in the company could be in charge of the digital communication of a company, in the same way that neither could anyone exercise the role of Communication Director. This is usually the fault of many companies that give this job to any employee, who ignore the importance of correctly performing social communication on the Web and the benefits that can bring us doing so.

 

2. Community Manager vs Social Media Manager (SMM)

Before entering the subject, it’s necessary to differentiate this profile with another of the new ones that are emerging: the Social Media Manager.

For those who do not know any of these figures, there will be no problem, and you will learn something new today. But for those involved in the subject, there is always confusion with both profiles. Therefore, let’s start with the CM.

 

2.1 What does the CM (Community Manager)?

It is the executing person, who works hand in hand with all the management tools of the digital community of the company (operational level). It is just this person who has delimited his range of actions by the SMM, which we will talk about later.

It is in charge of knowing what they say at all times about the company in the networks, attending to the people who address the profiles of the company and looking for and creating suitable content to publish. All this, as we have said before, according to the strategy set by the SMM.

 

2.2 What does the SMM (Social Media Manager)?

In fact, it is the position superior to the CM, and is responsible for developing and planning the Social Media strategy on the Internet. It provides a vision and an operation in a general plane.

This person will also determine the type of content and the tone of communication used with the audience in digital media

Once having differentiated both profiles, we went on to specify in more depth the work of the CM.

Social Media Manager (SMM)
Both SMM and CM must agree and create synergies to take the strategies along the indicated path.

3. Functions of the Community Manager (CM)

The main reasons why a company should hire the professional services of a CM, either within the marketing and communication department or as an external collaborator are the following:

  • They know more and better the clients (current or potential), since, through the RRSS, it will help to know who has more interest for our product or services, the hobbies they have, where they live, their age, etc.
  • Customer Support. Responding suggestions, complaints or comments.
  • Public relations. Knowing the most influential users in their field and those who are most loyal to the brand.
  • They generate sales. Dynamize the social network, attracting customers to both the physical store and e-commerce
  • Create brand notoriety: Creating trust between consumers and brand, trying to interact with it and prefer it over others.
  • Search for new customers
  • Manage online reputation
  • Planning online media
  • Promotes and encourages debates and discussions in blogs, forums, etc.

4. How should be the ideal Community Manager?

In order to perform these tasks, it is understandable that this professional must have a transversal thinking, that thinks in an integral way.

To do this, keep in mind that to communicate in social networks and in the network in general, you must know where to communicate (planner), what message to express (communicator), how to express the message (creative) so as not to leave indifference in the consumer, and know the possibilities that the channel offers (online).

This profile manages to be a good professional adaptation to the new digital consumer, who as mentioned in previous points, has a proactive attitude, the so-called prosumer, which generates content, listens to the opinions of other users, influences other consumers, etc. Therefore, it is important to create a bridge between the brand / company and the community in this context.

Community Manager
Fuente: www.marketineando.com

 

Having commented on its main professional functions, it is equally interesting to know the training base that can have an average CM. When characterized by his transversal thinking, his range of knowledge and skills will be broad.

It would be advisable to have knowledge or journalistic skills; Being the director of online communication, you will have to know how to write computer content and know how to synthesize it, adapting the content to each medium or support: forums, blogs, portals, etc.

Even so, her work is not only informative, and she must know how to communicate with her community, through experiences, know how to listen to her, persuade her, interact with her using the language of the advertising field

Análisis de datos

 

In many occasions, they tend to be fanatics of the new information technologies, which usually has a positive impact on the company, since the knowledge will tend to be updated. You will be immersed in the network for any new developments: new applications, new RRSS, technological updates, etc. His work in many occasions is to be permanently connected to that reality.

Apart from those fields of knowledge, it is also intrinsic to this profession to know perfectly the product that sells, your company, your competition, market, etc. so they also usually have enough knowledge in marketing.

With this last, a sociological aspect is also linked, since they will have to know how their users are, how to understand them, what they expect from the company’s product, what motives drag them to consume it, etc.

5. What is NOT a Community Manager?

Knowing all the above, there are still companies or individuals who still don’t understand very well what are the functions of this type of digital profile.

It’s normal, it’s something new that people will have to learn over time. Moreover, even in companies of the sector itself (agencies), many of them even know how to delimit such functions, and in the end these people end up doing functions that they would not have to perform.

So then, let’s list a few examples of what is not a CM:

  1. He is not a fellow, to leave with Facebook because he has nothing else to do, nor the first that you take by the side to manage your digital identity. We are talking about brand reputation.
  2. Nor is any employee of the company. The only function they would carry out in the end would be to get into the profile of Twitter or Facebook and share right and left. If your strategy is really going to be that, I recommend getting one of these:

    Pajaro bebedor
    Fuente: © CuatroDuros
  3. It does not have to be the webmaster of the company’s page. As much as you know the digital world, there is no reason to assume that you are going to get to know the world of Social Media and stick it in brown.
  4. And finally, it could not be a newcomer to the working market, although he have done a master’s degree in Digital Marketing, but he haven’t even touched a tool that is even necessary to be a CM.

6. Types of Community Manager

Now, once these minimums of action and knowledge are defined, the work of a CM can be as varied as companies require their services, and factors such as: sector, available resources, level of internal knowledge, etc. They will show the type of CM that the company will require for itself.

According to Sergio del Prado, Senior Brand Manager at Unilever, we can establish 3 large CM profiles, depending on the type of company and sector in which it operates:

 

6.1 Operative Community Manager:

Located in companies with strong digital presence, such as e-commerce companies (Amazon, eBay, AliExpress) or media. The work is integrated with the responsibilities of the marketing department, in terms of specifying strategies, actions and creating valuable content. Therefore, the work of the CM is only operative.

 

6.2 Strategic Community Manager:

Offline companies, without big communication budgets, where the base of the business is not marketing, or that do not relate to the final consumer directly. These are the cases of distribution or technology companies. In this case, the work of the Community Manager is to define and implement strategies in RRSS, influence opinion leaders, and sometimes, they are also responsible for SEO and SEM optimization.

 

6.3 Activator Community Manager:

They work normally in large consumer companies. They are companies located outside the network in what refers to business model (for the moment), but despite this, they consider increasingly important their introduction into the online world to reach the consumer.

Its task is to implement campaigns to activate the brand, always having space and flexibility to adjust the content and strategy in favor of efficiency. It is not strategic work since the strategy is integrated into the digital plan made by the agency and the client. This is the most common profile of all, since the brands of big consumption are the most intensive in communication resources towards the consumer.

 

7. How much does a Community Manager charge?

This question surely will be in many of  my readers. But as in everything, there is usually no agreement on that subject.

Being a very new profession, these types of activities are still being regulated, and you can find high rates in multinational companies, such as the very poor ones you can find in your uncle’s cellar.

To better understand the situation, the Youtube Socialancer channel offers us a better insight into the economic situation of these new professionals. How to set prices or rates, depending on whether you are self-employed or work on your own.

8. Final considerations

With all the information in hand, now you will understand the importance that this professional profile can have within a company.

In this new Industrial Revolution 4.0, with everything digitized step by step, this figure will be increasingly necessary to make the brand image an asset to be taken into account.

However, it is true that it’s a profession not very consolidated at the moment, there is still a long way to go. It is a field that must still be defined in the labor market and in the business world.

Stay tuned for the blog, soon I will publish more information about which tools are often used to develop this profession, some recommendations and the challenges that come with these new profiles.

Do not hesitate to leave your opinions in the comments!