So after numerous tests, lots of time-outs I finally set…
What does a community manager do?
Gavin picked up an old post of mine with some great questions.
Gavin: Jye and all, I picked this post up through my paper.li today and was intrigued to discover what these ‘Community Managers’ actually do and what the communities they manage are. I’m afraid I’m still at a loss. Perhaps someone can enlighten me a bit more?
Jye: People who look after your social media profiles and interact with the community as and when needed. They act as the mouth piece, the peace keeper and the facilitator between an organisation and their customers and stake holders.
G: I imagine for many organisations (I can think of my own, for example) this is managed in house, but for those who are smaller or may not have the capability or the time to manage their own brand they will need someone else to do it?
J: Yes, I think both models work – in-house and agency. The advantage of the agency model is you may be able to tap into wider communications experience (issues and crisis management, demographic experience etc.). As long as the price does not exceed the return, then it’s a strong model.
G: Are these roles normally provided by Agencies for third parties as part of a full service, experience?
J: Yep – we’re seeing more and more of them. I set them up at my previous agency and at the one I’m working for now.
G: What about those who can’t afford that, are there people who offer this as a professional service?
J: I’d assume there would be. But agencies shouldn’t be mutually exclusive of a cheap rate.
G: What’s the experience for small business when you have a ‘for hire’ consultant doing this for multiple organisations, when you have no other stake in the business? I’m thinking of Jason Fried’s position on the handing off of your organisation’s conversation with the market to others, for example.
I think the experience varies for small business – including agencies as a hole – I’d make sure that whichever agency of individual that was working on community manager – a customer facing role representing the whole brand to a large community – has some stake in the business and is passionate about their clients. It sounds like a utopia, but I’ve definitely experienced it.