Community Manager, the underestimated (or unknown) job !

« You’re young, you are just coming out of University and you’re on facebook and Instaram .. cool, you’re going to become a Community Manager! » How many CM have been hired, to act #asifiamtrendy #andinadditionastartupper, by companies on a “first name basis” and assume they target a minus 30 yo population? How many recruiters or companies really know the role of the CM?

There was the same dilemma in the late 1990s or early 2000s when companies were looking for a Webmaster. He was at the time the five-legged sheep, being able to master (let’s go for the list!):

  • Web copywriting
  • SEO techniques
  • Graphic Design Software like Photoshop, Indesign, etc.
  • HTML programming at the base, plus PHP, plus languages specific to database management
  • Macromedia Flash Suite, Dreamweaver.
  • Video on the net… if the video was compressed to pass on 56k modems, and most importantly, all editing techniques …
  • etc.

Nowadays, in most job offers, key tasks assigned to the Community Manager could be either quite limited to just posting photos/videos and responding roughly (or not at all) to a community, or quite disproportionate with combining following multiple roles and responsibilities:

  • Social Media Manager, with the definition of the complete digital strategy, by selecting the social networks, the editorial line, etc.
  • Digital Marketer, with the optimization of Inbound Marketing and the multiplication of ATCs, acquisition levers and even up to the construction (MOA) of digital assets
  • “Referencer”, with the optimization of the SEO for the existing websites/blogs and necessarily of the SMO
  • Producer of content requiring the expertize of a professional photographer or videographer (realization, script, editing, transcription, etc.), but also and especially the faculties of being a Writer, mastering French and English, with the choice of words preferably to create relevant #.
  • Technical Developer by overcoming the facebook code to generate forms or any other integration of applications or quiz on FB pages … (Ed: use existing solutions, you will save time!)
  • Traffic Generator, in addition to this, the role of Statistician plunging the hands in the tools of statistics and analysis, to extract the essential KPI and measure the ROI 🙂
  • Data Miner, or how to plug my apps/accounts/pages/profiles on the home-made CRM or possibly on a Sales force or a Sugar CRM
  • Community Animator, by answering the most judicious, humorous or polite way to followers.
  • Sales Representative, since many exchanges or posts often require sales qualities, especially when it comes to the animation of communities of a company which sells products/services, some members of which are prospects or customers from other brands
  • “Fosterer” of customer loyalty, especially in the understanding of customer needs, remarks/comments in order to keep them loyal to the brand or product
  • Lookout, for competitive intelligence and benchmark …
  • And the quality of Quick Digital Learner, because he is often self-trained to all the applications and tools necessary for the exercise of his trades.

Social Media and Community Management are part of the digital transformation that many companies are/will be facing. They are part of a more global system for digitizing the relationship with customers/prospects or partners of the Company/Association and Institution. They must be recruited not on the basis of their age by the strong belief that « social media is only a young people business”; but above all, they must be recruited based on key skills required to perform the roles and responsibilities to deploy the communication strategy defined by the company. Moreover, from my personal experience in training a number of young people, it is clear that the matter of age is not the key point, and that most of companies have difficulties to measure the impact of social media or they master it partially. We also must stop believing that the CM must be under 30 yo and modestly paid, especially if the future CM needs to successfully accomplish most of the tasks listed above.

The Community Managers are, from my point of view, the pillar of the digitization of the company communication, and must be recognized as:

– Relational interfaces (from identifying customer needs and market trends to the after-sales service) because they are in constant contact with customers/prospects

– Pioneers in the use of digital assets and applications

– Genuine Creative thinker because they translate and analyze on a marketing and technical levels customers/prospects needs

– Trainers, for internal teams and also customers, about the transformation, new services and new uses of companies products and services.

Above all, they help to make the brand of the company, a true « Experience »!

#socialmedia #communitymanager #digital #recruitment

About Christophe LEVY : Digital expert, for more than 20 years in the web and marketing fields, he acts as Consultant-Trainer on digital transformation and social media.