08 Mar 5 Tasks Community Managers Face Every Day
“Oh, you’re a community manager? Must be nice to hang out on Twitter all day.”
“Really, social media is a job now? What a time to be alive.”
When I tell people I’m a Community Manager, those are probably the two most common responses. I get it, we all had to have that moment of realization that community management is not only something that exists, but is, in my obviously biased opinion, incredibly important.
I’d like to peel the curtain back and expose what a day in the life of a Community Manager is really all about.
One notable omission from this post is content creation. At Ignite, we’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated team of really talented content creators. Stay tuned to the blog for how great content comes to be.
(Note: All #brand names have been concealed to protect the innocent.)
Reactive work involves looking for tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram comments, and so forth that warrant a response and addressing their concern, comment, or question.
“But, Derek, doesn’t every incoming message deserve a response?”
Surprisingly, or if you’ve spent any time on the Internet, unsurprisingly the answer is no. While genuine questions, comments, and concerns are all likely to be addressed, there are ways to almost immediately disqualify yourself from a response. Those ways include having hate speech or profanity in your message to a brand, or having a medley of obscene images serve as your Twitter cover photo. If your tweet at a brand could be put together solely using Cards Against Humanity cards, you may have taken yourself out of the conversation.
Few things signal that a Community Manager isn’t doing his/her job more than a Facebook page full of links to Johnny Coolguy’s new mixtape, horrific images, or requests to join the Illuminati (all of which happen… regularly). Monitoring channels, typically Facebook and Instagram require the most attention, means making sure that each channel’s community guidelines are being adhered to.
These fires aren’t literal. That work should be left to the proper professionals. Instead, the types of fires that a Community Manager might face include product recalls (or other widespread issues), backlash due to negative news about the brand, or on rare occasion, someone making threats towards the brand. In these cases, word may need to move way up the legal chain prior to taking action on social media. Thankfully these situations aren’t all that common.
Being a Brand Steward
As a Community Manager, we are often the last link in the chain between the brand team (and any other creative agency) and the copy that Joe/Jane Public reads. Because of this, we have to consider all brand equity before pressing send. What’s the brand voice? What can we legally say/do? How much “fun” can we have?
One of the big differences in using social media personally versus professionally is the potential for legal ramifications. Say I want to tweet something to Kanye from my personal account (I don’t, but work with me here). One, no one will likely see it. Two, I’m not trying to gain anything by using his name. Now, say a brand wants to mention Kanye in a tweet. In order for that brand to legally be in the clear, they need to have a written agreement with Kanye. Using a celebrity’s Twitter handle is analogous to using their image/name in print media. Don’t do it.
“Since you took over as CM, these blue bars have gotten much taller. Great work!”
Since Community Managers are often the social face (well, at least the keyboard) of big brands, a typical day includes a handful of meetings with partner agencies, brand teams, and internal teams. Whether there’s a new product coming out, a new trick on Twitter, or Facebook changed their algorithm…again, it’s our job to keep up with the latest company news and social media trends.
Any given day as a CM can bring a plethora of other tasks like compiling reports on how certain posts performed, scheduling a month of content, or at Ignite, drinking a beer (yes, we’re often hiring). I hope you’ve found this to be both informative and entertaining. Please share it with your own community; those blue bars don’t just go up on their own!