Community management: It’s all about managing your time

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in Community Management |

As a community manager, your main goal is managing conversations.  The ever-evolving nature of this job role, however, means that you’re going to be managing conversations across many platforms. A tweet may only be 140 characters, but if you’ve got hundreds of tweets to respond to each day (or on a specific day) you need a plan of action to manage your time so that you get around to each social media platform. Here are a few tips to effectively manage your time: Divide tasks into daily, weekly and monthly tasks: When you’re building an online community, some things need to happen every day, while other tasks will only happen on a weekly or monthly basis. Twitter, for example, should get updated every day. Facebook, on the other hand, should only be updated two or three times a week (this is your customer’s personal social space and you don’t want to clog their timelines with unnecessary information). Similarly, you’re probably only going to be writing weekly blog posts. Map out a schedule so you’re not trying to get everything done in one day. You could also automate some of the tasks, such as Twitter updates (Hootsuite is a great tool to schedule tweets in advance). Commit to your schedule. Set time aside for each task and stick to it. Make Friday mornings your “blog writing time” and commit to adding a blog post each Friday (and then tweeting the link and posting your blog onto Facebook). Book these times in your diary so that you don’t get caught up with other work or get booked into meetings when you’re supposed to be doing community management work. Not only does this give your community something to look forward to, but it also means that you stay on track with your social media plan. Revisit your social media platforms daily:  If you want to build a community, you need to engage with people when they’re talking about you or your industry. Set up Twitlerts to notify you when your name (or a relevant keyword) is used on Twitter so that can log on and start chatting. Need help with your community? WSI specialises in community management in South Africa – contact us to help you build an engaging online community. Please follow and like...

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How many community managers do you need?

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in Community Management |

The number of companies looking to employ community managers has grown tremendously over the past year. Regardless of whether your organisation is a huge bank or a small retail company – people tend to think of a “community manager” as a singular person. While this used to make sense a few years ago, it doesn’t always work that way anymore. Here’s why: Job roles aren’t always clear. When you hire a community manager, you basically want them to “take care of the online community”. Managing social media accounts is one thing, but what if your community manager isn’t a good writer and you want him or her to write good blog posts? Or what if the community manager is a great writer, but lacks basic HTML skills to upload new blog posts? You’re going to have to plan for collaboration within your company if you want to empower your community manager with the right tools and skills to run your online community. The community manager becomes the complaints department. Your community manager might be faced with tough questions from clients (and if your clients are a niche group of people – like intermediaries who sell insurance – you’re going to have to give appropriate answers). Will the community manager be able to engage in high-level debate or will they simply be posting answers like “We apologise for the inconvenience…”? If you’ve only got one community manager, you might be limiting the value you can give your community. When you’ve got a team of people working on your accounts and monitoring your brand across various social media platforms, you can cover all your bases. Community management and digital marketing needs to go hand in hand. It’s great if you can find a community manager that knows your business, is proficient with all the social media platforms and likes to initiate conversations, but what type of input will they be able to give regarding your digital marketing strategy? Do you simply want somebody to tweet or do you want the community manager to advertise to the community, handle crisis communications, generate reports and analytics and give input on your company’s entire digital strategy? A single person usually won’t be able to fulfil all these roles. One-man bands used to be the way online communities were run, but today it takes collaboration between an organisation, a dedicated community manager and digital strategists to continuously take online community management to the next level. If you need help managing your online community, contact WSI. Please follow and like...

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What to do when you fumbled your social media community

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in Community Management |

Building an online community takes a lot of work. While many companies are engaging with their customers online, not all of them have a dedicated community manager in charge of their various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and their blog. So what happens when your online community suddenly turns into an online complaints department with unhappy clients airing your dirty laundry for all to see? Or worse yet – if you made a huge mistake by posting a comment that upset your community? One of the worst things that can happen is waking up to a flurry of e-mails, Facebook posts and Tweets from fans and followers attacking you. Here’s what you can do to recover: Start rebuilding trust: If you did something wrong (such as launching a product that hasn’t been properly tested or you made inappropriate comments on these platforms) – acknowledge it and apologise. You don’t have to grovel incessantly – but make sure your community members know that you are aware of the situation and that you’ll be working around the clock to fix it. Reply to valid complaints and make their problem your own problem to rebuild trust. Learn from your mistake: One of the most important things about community management is building a solid foundation. Are your employees going to be replying to tweets or will you have a dedicated community manager? Learn from the mistakes you made and set out a list of procedures and rules – who deals with complaints? Who’s monitoring your brand online? Make sure there are clear job specifications. Educate yourself: You can’t tweet blindly, without any concrete goals. Educate yourself on how community managers go about building engaging communities and mimic their strategies. Active communities don’t get built overnight, which is why you need a clear plan to create a meaningful online community for your fans and followers. Need a community manager in South Africa? Contact WSI for social media and community management. Please follow and like...

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