Want to be the very best community manager you can be? Try these easy tips and succeed

We all want to succeed in our endeavours, especially when digital marketing is concerned. Yet it can be difficult to know even how to start, in a landscape where even your job title is a little vague and all-encompassing. Add these best practice top tips for community managers to your daily regime, however, and you’ll soon be on the way to success- courtesy of the team here at Zebra 360.

Why does strong community management matter?

Strong community management matters in the modern business environment. Not only does it helps cultivate strong customer relations, but it’s a key way to build brand loyalty and facilitate customer retention. Nothing this powerful comes without effort and hard work, however. A skilled community manager needs to have a plan, know how to call on metrics to help facilitate it, and have the drive needed to get the ball rolling.

Not sure where to start? Here’s our top tips.

1.   It all starts with a plan

Consistency and continued development are key, especially when it comes to scheduling content and creating your community. Without a plan, such consistency is near impossible to achieve. Make a content calendar that keeps your contributions timely, relevant and interesting- and use that calendar to keep a cohesive forward plan active. You also want to make sure that you have correctly assigned your team members their roles, and that only key personnel are able to post- after all relevant copyediting and checks have taken place.

2. Get comfortable with communication and personality

You may be behind a keyboard, but everything about your role as community manager is a customer-facing job. With that comes a lot of pressure, and a lot of ways you will take the blame even if you weren’t the cause of the issue. Can you stay calm under pressure? Can you communicate clearly without confusion? Can you stay professional even when the urge to flip someone the bird is strong? You are the public face of your brand, not an individual, when you are in this role. If you’re not sure how strong your communication skills are, it’s time to get to work on them.

This idea that you are the ‘face’ of your brand is an important one. Customers want to feel they’re interacting with a meaningful entity, not a bland corporate facade. Establish your brand identity, and how to stay ‘in character’ and on-tone throughout all communications.

And, while giving your brand a tangible personality to differentiate you from the crowd is important, it’s also key not to take it too far- this requires nuanced handling and a keen awareness of your audience to get just right.

3. Know what success really means to you- and how to measure it

Social media can be a nebulous entity to try and tame or track. Yes, there’s ROI, clicks and conversions… but building a brand identity is a little more than just that. How do you know if your efforts in your social community are delivering results?

The answer can vary from business to business, but be sure you define for yourself what this is- and how you will track it. Typically, paying close attention to what content your audience consumes from you, what gets them talking, and what nets you more followers is always valuable. Don’t’ forget to measure in customer satisfaction, and how quickly and effectively their queries are being handled.

In turn, this carefully collected data should always be used for your company’s benefit. You know what’s clicking with your audience and what isn’t. You know what engages them and what doesn’t. Collect this feedback and use it to enrich not only your own position but your company’s too.

4. Don’t talk…converse

The whole point of social media is to create conversations. Yes, a lot of effort is going to go into your content… but don’t just talk AT your audience, but TO them as well. User-generated content is powerful and authentic. It drives conversation in a way simple content creation never will be able to. It also helps foster the image of you as an approachable, engaged brand.

5. Embrace the unique factors of your role

Social media is a role that doesn’t come with strict business hours. You may end up feeling like you’re always on call. We’ve all seen the horror stories of social media running wild while companies fail to respond- or their responses make it worse.  If this sort of semi-on call position isn’t for you then you’re unlikely to make the most of your role as a social community manager.

That doesn’t mean it needs to take over your personal life, however- just that you should be ready for the unique challenges of the job. Keeping an organised plan on hand, and making sure you stay on top of the many technical tools available to make your life simpler.
Go mobile. Ditch the idea of this as a ‘desk job’ at all. Look past native tools to cohesive management tools that keep everything centralised and simple. And strive to find a work/life balance that lets your role empower you.

Being a successful community manager isn’t the easiest role, but with these top tips for best practices among social community managers to help you, you’ll soon be well on the way to success. And remember: the Zebra 360 team are always on hand to help and guide you.