Social media has changed the way brands do business. Aside from expecting an excellent in-store service, customers want real-time human response from the brand whenever they inquire or complain. In fact, consumers turning to social media to voice out their praises and concerns have increased at least an 8 fold since 2014. 42% of these users likewise expect a response within an hour. This is an opportunity brands can take advantage in countless ways.
How can a social media manager who creates content strategies, plans and implements the social calendar, and evaluates analytics be able to monitor and respond real time to brand comments? This is where a community manager comes in.
Though social media manager and community manager are often used interchangeably, they actually have distinct job functions. Here’s a brief definition of each.
A social media manager is responsible for the brand’s content strategy. They produce social materials and map them out based on the company’s product or service calendar. Social media managers also respond to comments and inquiries. And more often than not, they deal with online users who have already liked or engaged with the page.
Community managers, on the other hand, advocates the brand across different social networks. They actively go around online communities portraying a charismatic persona. Community managers go beyond their owned social media accounts and communicate with existing and potential customers.
Let’s now do a deep dive.
What is community management?
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Community management brings your brand a personality – a likeable personality that regularly interacts with your target market online. It creates a welcoming image with a distinctive personality that sets the brand apart from competitors. Online users can’t help but engage with your posts because your brand sparks encouraging discussions.
(Image retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2015/12/010/10-of-the-most-brilliant-customer-service-exchanges-ever-seen-on/)
Community management is also a good way to extend an excellent customer service. Brands can manage customer complaints before it gets more exposure. It can also turn customers into loyal fans by providing a remarkable after-sales service online. Having witty remarks also shows the “authenticity” of the brand which does not only entertain the readers but also makes the brand more memorable.
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Lastly, community management enables you to monitor, measure, and analyze how your brand is perceived. It bridges the brand to valuable, raw, and unfiltered feedback. Having a person dedicated to studying social sentiments and constantly on the lookout for trending topics make community managers a B2C must-have. Having the knowledge to what your market likes and how they think is much more crucial than gaining thousands of post likes that, admittedly, hardly translate to sales.
Good community management can make your brand loveable and also, bag awards! Below is a local case that won Gold for Best Crisis Management for Chowking at Marketing Magazine’s 3rd annual PR Awards held last March 2016. The fast-food branch could have ignored the hate posts but decided to play the witty game.
Basketball enthusiasts were fired up after the Gilas Pilpinas vs China game and went haywire online.
(Images retrieved from http://www.wheninmanila.com/chowking-responds-to-gilas-loss-in-the-fiba-finals-against-china/)
Chowking was quick to react making netizens fond of them.
The bigger your customer network becomes, the more important that you manage your community. Growing your social media following is just the start. The real challenge comes in when you start taking care of your existing and potential customers.
Kumar, B. (2017, June 8) Why Community Management Matters for your Business (And How to Do It right) Retrieved from https://www.shopify.com/blog/community-management
Furubayashi, J. (2014, January 7) What Community Managers do & Why You Need Them. Retrieved from https://simplymeasured.com/blog/what-community-managers-do-why-you-need-them/#sm.0001yw7v365gcf5j11cqg9d3qx6on
Causon, J. (2015, May 21) Customer Complaints made via Social Media on The Rise. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/may/21/customer-complaints-social-media-rise
Inocencio, J. (2016, May 4) How Chowking and NuWorks Turned a Boycott into Brand Love. Retrieved from http://adobomagazine.com/campaign-spotlight/how-chowking-and-nuworks-turned-boycott-brand-love