Community managers do everything, right? They work behind-the-scenes, and the multiple facets of the job can get confusing. Do you think you have the skills to do it on your own? Or do you need to hire some help?
Your Role as a Community Manager
1- Monitor the mention of the brand online. With the right tools, it’s easy to see what people are saying about you:
Google Alerts: Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term.
SocialMention.com: A social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.
Facebook Graph Search: Facebook just announced the expansion of Graph Search that will allow users to search status updates, comments and photo captions.By searching for things like “posts about [your brand here] by my friends” and “status updates about [brand],” you’ll see who’s talking about your brand and find opportunities to jump in the conversation.
Twitter Search: Twitter search results are divided into sections. On the left, you can toggle between these categories: Tweets, People, Videos and Images. These results are determined by Twitter’s search algorithms, as are the “top” tweet results.
Twitter Advanced Search: If you are going to be using the search often, you can save it.
A day on social media platforms is not the same the following day. Keep an eye on what people are discussing, and on the latest trends, hottest topics, news and campaigns.
1. Know your voice. Are you more serious or do you add a little bit of snark in your posts? Do you stick mostly to business or can you be off the wall? Do you like to stir things up or do you remain neutral?
2. Have Easy Access to Visuals. The more you can incorporate photos, screenshots and graphics, the richer your communication will be.
3. Know the Rules. As a community manager, make sure you know Facebook’s policies. Pages can be shut down without warning for violating these policies.
4. Plan your posts.
When to post on Facebook?
In terms of specific days and times to post on Facebook, here are some of the stats I found: Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. I love the way this was explained in the study: as they put it, “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!”
The best time of day to post on Facebook is debatable. You should first also think about the demographics of your audience. Think about what their day looks like. Is your typical fan a mom? A student? Likely to work at 9-5 job? All of these factors can help determine the best time to post on your page.
The best time to post on Facebook is when your audience will see it. And this is going to be unique to you and your business.
Make sure to check your Facebook Insights where you can see when your fans are online.
When to post on Twitter?
Weekends have the highest engagement.
Sunday = Interaction Funday.
Sunday is the optimal day for Tweeting for fashion brands, as those Tweets sent at the beginning (or end, depending on your perspective) of the week receive 41% higher interaction. Everyone likes the weekend, right? Use this opportunity to announce weekend sales or promotions and get people excited to do some weekend shopping.
You won’t necessarily be online during these times. Specially the weekend. The solution?
Schedule posts and tweets.
For Facebook, you can easily schedule the posts while writing it and then see all the scheduled posts in the Activity log.
You can always change the time or delete a post. From the mobile app you can only delete the post.
For Twitter you need to use an app, like houtsuite.com or tweetdeck.com.
Avoid Grammar Mistakes
Grammar Mistakes can kill your content.
a. Use an online grammar checker like http://www.grammarly.com/
b. Don’t overuse exclamation points!!!!!!
c. Use correct capitalization and quotation marks
1. Build a community: Start with your family, friends, acquaintances, address book.. then:
2. Find influencers: Following influencers is the first step to do when building an online community. Using Followerwonk.com, the job is made easier.
3. Identify Brand Advocates.
a. Ask. The first way to find Advocates is to ask the Ultimate Question for customer loyalty: (On a scale from 0-10), “How likely are you to recommend us?” Customers who answer 9 or 10 (highly likely to recommend) can be considered advocates.
b. Listen. You can identify Advocates by monitoring Twitter and other social channels.
c. Observe. You can find Advocates by observing customers’ behavior. For example, if customers are bringing referrals to you.
4. Engage: Being a community manager isn’t just about creating content it is also about interacting with the audience. Don’t automate replies.
5. Answer Questions Quickly
Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will get back to them. Or point them to a useful resource is another good option.
6. Expect It to Take Time
Real community doesn’t happen overnight. Keep building your community one person at a time, and it will eventually begin to flow naturally. Don’t give up when your account doesn’t “go viral” immediately. Don’t obsess over numbers.
Everyone can see complaints on your brand!
The anatomy of crisis management:
Fix the issue in a timely manner, typically within a few hours. How you will fix the problem is dependent on what the crisis is. Respond quickly (even if it’s to say we’ll get back to you), but don’t respond in the heat of the moment when you might feel like “telling them off.”
Get to the Source
Go directly to the source and deal with the situation. Try to remain calm while doing so. Yes you should answer the customer on social media but at some point, you need to pick up the phone and personally get in contact with your customer.
Don’t Fight Back
1. Respond Calmly to Negative Posts.
2. Always be polite and nice to everyone on social media: You will probably sometimes get at least a few Internet bullies that will drive you crazy. Whatever they say and no matter how rude they are, you have to always be nice and polite when replying.
3- Sometimes the only thing you can do is apologize. Examples: posting a revealing low cut, v-neck shirt during Ramadan month.
Go Back and Review
When it’s all over, go over what happened. How well did you handle the situation? Did it escalate to a bigger problem than it was? What could you have done differently? Was there any damage control that could be done afterwards?
92% of consumers say they would go back to a company after a negative experience, if they received an apology and/or a discount and/or offered proof of enhanced customer service.
Do I need to hire a community manager?
But ask yourself:
Are you spending more time answering customers’ questions than working on improving your product or service?
Are people interacting with and talking about your brand online?
Do you no longer have time to update your Facebook page, blog and social profiles at least once a day?
Do you have the budget to hire an advocate for your brand?
How to choose a community manager?
5 Qualities of an Effective Community Manager:
1. Strong communication skills
The community manager, in many ways, is the face of a brand, and this person must be able to effectively communicate the message to the audience. This goes beyond the writing skills, they should be comfortable interacting with people offline as well as online; a natural networker.
2. Good judgement
The role of a community manager is of a curator. This person must be able to parse through all the content coming out of an organization and determine what to share, how to share and when to share. Problem solver.
3. Dedication. Willingness to work around the clock.
When you’re a community manager, you’re on 24/7.
4. Organizational skills
Community managers have to be able to multitask, and that means staying organized.
5. Passion for the brand. Interest in your industry. Enthusiastic.
“You are the representative of that brand. You have to eat, sleep and breathe the brand.”
I’m a big believer in valuing intelligence, personality and overall fit before looking at a degree. But if it really matters to you, look for someone with a degree in journalism, communications or English, or someone with a PR or corporate communications certificate.
And most importantly: They’re already good on their personal social networks!