Why Your Brand Needs a Community Manager
We’ve covered this pretty extensively on this blog before, but it bears repeating – good digital marketing isn’t something that just “happens.”
Publishing good content to your company’s blog requires research and editing. Proper social media marketing takes a regular commitment of time.
Even the outreach needed to connect with other websites and develop traction for your brand isn’t something that happens overnight.
Simply put, if you want your website to perform at its absolute best, you need to commit time and resources to implementing proper digital marketing strategies. And when it comes to allocating these responsibilities within your organization, you have two choices. You can either divvy up tasks and pile them onto the plates of your existing workers or you can hire a community manager to handle the entire process.
At first, the thought of hiring an entirely new employee just to manage your blog and social profiles might seem like overkill. After all, is it really necessary to take on this extra expense when there are so many other places you could be spending your money?
Before we come up with a definitive answer to this question, let’s take a look at exactly what a community manager can do for you:
A community manager can write your blog posts
We all know that, for business blogging to be successful, it needs to be consistent. A regular editorial schedule keeps readers engaged with your brand and reminds them to come back to your site again and again for new content. But unfortunately, if you add the task of blog post creation to an employee who’s already burdened with other responsibilities, you run the risk of missing these important publishing deadlines.
A community manager – on the other hand – can take responsibility for blog posting through the following tasks:
- Researching industry trends and past website performance to optimize future post topics for traffic generation
- Writing high quality posts on a variety of interesting subjects, including industry news updates, product tutorials and “inner looks” at your company’s office culture
- Sourcing images for posts, creating internal links and uploading the posts to your company’s website
- Responding to reader comments to boost engagement with your most dedicated followers
Essentially, a community manager can take your company’s blog from being a digital “ghost town” to the type of thriving destination you always dreamed it could be – without impacting the workload of your current employees.
A community manager can follow up with social contacts
Beyond creating high quality blog post content, a community manager can ensure that the value of your posts is disseminated appropriately to your company’s social profiles. This can be done through a number of social-specific tasks, including:
- Publicizing new blog posts as they go live
- Publishing other profile updates that prompt follower engagement and brand loyalty
- Responding immediately to any comments, questions or complaints that are left for your business
- Curating content from other social sources in order to increase your brand’s perceived authority
All of these tasks are an important part of social media marketing, but they often get overlooked when employees get busy. Instead of fully engaging with members of your audience, employees who aren’t entirely committed to your digital marketing plan may post social profile updates once and call it a day. While this strategy is certainly better than nothing, it isn’t able to address the broad range of follower interaction that occur in the same way that a dedicated community manager can.
A community manager can forge connections with other business owners
Finally, good community managers aren’t just active on your company’s website. They’re also reaching out to others in your industry in order to arrange promotional opportunities. Tasks in this realm may include:
- Organizing guest post exchanges with related websites
- Setting up joint venture sales partnerships with other business owners
- Forming the relationships needed to get industry authority figures to share your site’s content
- Conducting training sessions that grow your audience
When taken together, the economic impact of a good community manager can be substantial. And it’s certainly true that all of these tasks together represent enough work to keep one full-time employee busy. But the power of a community manager comes from more than just taking work off of other employees’ desks.
When you distribute tasks piecemeal throughout your organization, you wind up with a marketing effort that appears disjointed. Blog posts may be written in a completely different tone than your social profile updates, leading to cognitive dissonance in the minds of your followers. At the same time, important deadlines might be missed when there’s no single leader overseeing everything – resulting in the inconsistencies that can frustrate your readers.
Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that bringing on a community manager would be a good decision for your business – no matter how large your company is. But what if you simply don’t have the budget to hire a new full-time employee? Never fear! The following strategies can help you to take advantage of the power of community managers without breaking your budget:
Hire a community management intern
The dearth of jobs for recent college graduates has made the employment market more competitive than ever. As a result, plenty of current or former students are willing to take on unpaid internships in order to improve their resumes and get their feet in the door with good companies.
To find an unpaid intern to hire your community management work, contact your local colleges and ask to post a listing on their job boards. Interview candidates just as you would regular employees and share your expectations with the new community manager you hire. Who knows? If your intern is good enough, you could eventually hire him or her on full-time in the future!
Bring on a part-time employee
If you’d rather go the more traditional route, you can always hire on a regular part-time employee to manage your brand’s web presence. Not only will this save you on salary expenses, you’ll avoid having to pay for benefits as well.
Free up internal employees for community management
As a final alternative, you can always assess your internal resources to see if any of your current staff members have the time and inclination to handle your community management. To take this approach, ask employees to look for ways to improve their efficiency or if they’re currently involved in unnecessary projects. If you can free up just 5-10 hours a week of one employee’s time, that could be enough to start experimenting with proper community management.
Unfortunately, your business can’t afford to ignore the power of a well-organized, well-optimized digital marketing strategy. Today’s consumers expect to be able to interact directly with their favorite brands. As a result, failing to cater to your potential customers in this way can cause you to miss out on a significant number of sales.
For this reason, we have every reason to expect that community managers will soon become as integral a part of any corporate team as accountants or salespeople. Get on board with this trend today and see what a difference a good community manager can make to your business’s success!