Doing digital marketing is no longer just an option for companies that want to grow and become more competitive.
It has become an essential part of the marketing strategy for any business that hopes to survive in the current commercial context.
Digital marketing comprises several intersecting pillars or cores. Included in these are search engine optimisation (SEO), content, data analysis, paid publicity and, of course, social media.
In an organisation, the community manager is the professional in charge of managing these key marketing elements as well as the company’s communication.
In other words, it is the person responsible for making the social networking machine work correctly within the company’s digital strategy.
This article discusses what a community manager does and does not do.
A community manager’s tasks
First, the main objective of a community manager must be understood. This can be summarised as: Managing, growing, and developing the digital community around a company or brand in order to establish positive and lasting relationships with followers and potential clients.
More specifically, the actions of a community manager lead to:
- Greater visibility and better brand reputation.
- Growth in followers, traffic and subscribers.
- Increased engagement and conversions.
- Indirect improvement of SEO.
- Opening of new channels for customer service.
All of these factors intersect with other marketing actions. A community manager is an integral part of the company, but for this professional to be responsible for the whole marketing strategy would be an enormous job for just one person.
Here’s what is required of a community manager:
1. Data analysis
Every strategy that works begins with an analysis of the current situation. When a community manager comes on board, they will first seek to answer questions such as these:
- What is the current condition of the company’s social media and digital community?
- What is the level of engagement, traffic, conversions and reactions to posts?
- What content or posts have the greatest chance of reaching the target audience?
- What is the competition doing as far as social media actions and strategies?
- What results are they getting?
To discover the answers, the community manager will dive deep into the metrics of the company’s social media administration and the social context of similar companies.
Later, they will determine which steps to take, discard strategies that have not worked, and propose a strategy that will most likely include a monthly post and content calendar.
But the community manager’s analysis does not end there. In reality, this professional is an ally who will permanently monitor the public’s response to a brand and seek to optimise it every day.
2. Marketing strategy
Although a community manager is a professional who specialises in social media, normally they have a lot to contribute while planning and developing an overall digital strategy.
Sometimes, especially for small and medium companies that are just establishing an online presence, the marketing manager is also the community manager.
If a larger team is in place, the community manager will still be involved in the details of the actions to be taken.
Other professionals who also work as a team to consolidate the global digital strategy are SEO specialists, pay-per-click (PPC) publicity experts, programmers and so on.
3. Content creation and management
Sharing the right content at the right time on social media is also the community manager’s job. They could be responsible for uploading posts one by one or even writing the posts.
In fact, this is the most common scenario for small businesses without a big budget.
However, ideally the company will scale so that the community manager can be supported by professional social media administration tools and an expert copywriter.
The community manager can then focus completely on strategic planning of the editorial calendar and on results analysis.
4. Communication and customer service
The community manager is also the person responsible for responding to comments, messages, questions, and concerns expressed by users on social media.
Therefore, this professional needs to have excellent communication skills in addition to having the best handle on the brand’s tone, philosophy, and the values of anyone in the company.
Companies that have very large online communities normally cannot function with just one person “behind the screen”, so community managers are often supported by one or several virtual assistants, or even a chatbot with automated responses.
5. Press and public relations
Nowadays, the community manager also fulfils the role that used to belong to the public relations manager as this new profile absorbs most of the PR tasks.
So, it is also normal that part of their job is finding news of interest for the company, dealing with the media, obtaining press coverage, managing media crises, improving the company’s image within a certain sector of the public and so on.
What does a community manager ‘not’ do?
To clarify, there are many freelance professionals who specialise in more than one of the pillars of digital marketing.
These are experts with the experience necessary to plan an editorial calendar with SEO content, manage paid ads on Google and additionally run social media campaigns, for example.
But, it is important that the community manager is not confused with a jack of all trades, nor think that the whole digital strategy from start to finish rests on the community manager’s shoulders.
Many community managers have the necessary skills to carry out the following tasks, but they are not strictly a part of their role:
- Website development.
- Multimedia content design and editing.
- Specialised content editing.
- Paid publicity campaign management.
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