A community manager is a bridge between a brand and its consumers, communicating with the community and finding out their expectations of the brand, and moving in a way to fulfill these expectations and increase brand awareness. A community manager is also responsible for reporting any sort of complaints the community has to the brand and is instrumental in solving them.
Now that we know exactly why we need a community manager, let’s talk about being a good community manager – remotely. With the pandemic, the way that businesses have been conducting themselves has changed rapidly, and so have communities.
Community managers have had to change their methods to make sure community engagement doesn’t fall in their communities. While communities usually do operate the majority of the time online, during the pandemic there was no option at all to hold any sort of in person event. Plus, with communities breaching geographical barriers easily, community managers need to be able to handle members from different cultural, socio-economic, financial, and religious backgrounds without prejudice and make sure that community engagement isn’t stalled or that no one is marginalized.
It is due to this very reason that one cannot survive as a community manager if one doesn’t a passion for the community or the brand. The best to explain this is :
Google's Davidson even says: "If you want to check in at 9 a.m. and out at 5 p.m., you're in the wrong field. When you've dealt with nothing but mean-spirited comments, hundred of emails, demanding partners and a grueling schedule of tasks - all in a 14 hour work day - you need something other than a paycheck to keep you going."
Provided below is a day-to-day list you can use to be a good community manager.
Research, Research, Research. Before you even think of implementing a plan, a change, a post, or anything in the community, you first need to research it. Your research should hit below key demographics: what is the purpose of your community? How will this help your community building? How effectively can you implement this as a community manager?
The community manager is the action-taker here: you are the expert who has to be the guiding light for these communities and the blanket that will protect them from various malicious members.
Social Media is a fountain of information, be it through finding community members, relevant discussion topics or questions that people want answered. Before tackling any social media platform, you need to analyse the pros and cons of each platform, and what content works best on what platform, based on this you need to select the platform that will best suit you community needs and increase your community engagement.
For example: Linkedin is best for professional engagement and lead generation. Everyone on Linkedin is on the platform to grow their professional network and their knowledge about their niche. Facebook is better for more personal engagement and funny moments and one-on-one relationships. It has a more relaxed nature and people want to get to know each other without the constraints of a formal setting.
But even then, you need to keep up with your social network regularly, this might be hard as your network grows and it might be hard to keep up with posting regularly, hence, automation is your friend, pick a day of the week and automate your posts for that entire week, this leaves you worry free until your content runs out and you have to do it all over again.
Check in with your community regularly to ensure that there are no problems, and that community engagement isn’t stagnating. As community managers go remote, it increases the possibility that your community might become detached without a core member looking after them regularly. Community managers need to make sure their members don’t feel abandoned or bored or forget they are part of a community.
Regular group meetings or one-on-ones to encourage your members could work wonders for your engagement as it will make your community members feel valued instead of statistics.
Just because you are online, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your events, as long as they’re online. There are various niche-specific or fun events you can conduct to increase community engagement, the is to find the perfect ratio of events. You do not want to over-schedule events to the point that they become tedious to the community manager and community members, but you also don’t want so few events that until the event invite is sent to your community, they forget you exist.
It can be a bit tedious to find the right ratio, a good thumb of rule is to have one every month or every two months.
Some examples of events could be trivia nights, quizzes, marathons, movie nights, icebreakers etc.
The first 30-days in any role are equal parts exciting, overwhelming, and confusing. It’s also really important as it’ll set the tone and direction of your role for years to come.
Acknowledging the top contributors and public shoutouts/appreciation for great work done within the community is a step further towards building trust and fostering a culture of supporting each other.