Community Managers Can Make Or Break Social Business Adoption

April 15, 2013 Comments
Community Managers Can Make Or Break Social Business Adoption

When people think of Community Manager responsibilities they typically think of someone that manages the company’s Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ Page, Instagram account…and any other social media sites with a newsfeed and a community.

But riddle me this…

Is a business not a community?

It’s important to remember that a social business is more than a single person posting to Facebook or Twitter.  Social Media tools have a myriad of functions outside of (simply) marketing.  To truly become a social business, a company must understand how social tools fit throughout the entire organization.  Whereas companies can often see the value of a community manager to engage individuals outside of the walls of a company, it’s often far more challenging in reality to get buy-in and adoption inside the walls of the company.

Imagine if just one person in the company had access to email the outside world, or if internal emails did not exist.  Can you imagine the decrease in productivity and innovation brought on by limited communication?  The widespread adoption of social tools throughout an organization can bring new life to a company as everyone has the opportunity to contribute.  A good community manager can help to educate and inspire an internal team accelerating the speed of adoption inside of a company.

Me against the world

SisyphusAs time goes on, businesses need to create more touch points, involve more stakeholders, engage more customers and therefore train and encourage more internal team members.  A good community manager serves a role eerily similar to the IT professionals of the early 2000’s.  They must reactively fix broken hardware, software and processes, and they must lead the way with innovative approaches to business problems.  A good community manager serves as more than just an outpost to the outside world, and must lead the way internally through proactive support and encouragement.

The achilles heel of the typical community manager–especially in small and medium-sized businesses–is that they are either all alone, or close to it.  Often they do not get the guidance or marching orders other than “keep our Facebook page going with content.”

I think we need more than that.

I think we need to start thinking of community managers as more than Facebook-enthusiasts and Twitter-monkeys.

Let’s create a culture where there are more touch points, where employees are free to become brand ambassadors, where community managers spend as much time educating and activating their peers as they do their customers.

Who’s with me?

  • http://www.mbhahn.com Michael

    Good Post Jeff, I have written a number of blog posts on this topic. Community Managers wear many hats and create relationships from the brand to the people.

    • http://www.jeffgibbard.com/ Jeff Gibbard

      Thanks Michael. I’d love for you to write a post on the topic for Social Media Philanthropy (http://socialmediaphilanthropy.com), if you’re interested.

      • http://www.mbhahn.com Michael

        sure, i just need help finding a topic

    • Reiner Knudsen

      Michael, would you mind sharing the link to your blog – if Jeff doesn’t mind. i’d like to read more about it. Thanks.
      Jeff, great article. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jonathan Steiert

    Great post, boss. Didn’t know this was your post until I saw it on the TVM page this morning! The headline was terrific and the talking points present things that aren’t always associated with Community Managers. Bravo, Jeff!

  • Sanjay Abraham

    Community management is one of the most critical functions in an organization but still its given very less importance. Perhaps because importance of social media for business itself is yet to be understood by businesses. A vibrant and active community is the life blood of any business. If not nurtured properly it could just be a virtual ghost colony nothing more…

    • http://www.jeffgibbard.com/ Jeff Gibbard

      I totally agree, and even more so, the value of creating a social culture internally, is even less understood. Most companies are stuck on social media marketing, and treat it like an item on the to-do list.

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