Community managers are well-and-truly the unsung heroes of social media management.

Whether you have an in-house community manager, or you outsource your online community management to an agency, it’s important to remember that these individuals serve many purposes as they’re extremely close to your brand. They’re customer-focused, authentic and attuned to the complexities of managing and moderating online platforms in the way that is best for your organisation.
Community managers are a crucial part of any digital strategy, so how do you know when your business needs one?

The 5 Signs you need a Community Manager:

One way only

1. You’re struggling to attract new users and keep existing ones

There’s nothing more unfriendly to a consumer than a brand that doesn’t engage. It should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy not to simply broadcast your message, but to take the time to build relationships with your audience, and this could not be more important than in the social media space.

Having a solid community manager in place you won’t miss any opportunities to have conversations, both public and private, and you’ll therefore have daily chances to strengthen those bonds. This both keeps your current audience engaged and shows new supporters that they’ll be acknowledged and listened to.

3. Your audience isn’t loyal to your brand

Community Managers are trained to speak to your audience in your brand voice, and make your social media presence an extension of your head office – but in a natural, authentic way. Building trust like this is key to positioning your brand as someone that they know, like and trust, and it’s this that will keep them coming back, as well as building advocacy among them.

2. You want a deeper level of understanding of your users

One of the keys to getting to know your users is listening to them – what do they complain about, what do they like about you, what are they requesting from you that you don’t already have? Proper community management is the perfect way to stay on top of these conversations, and to really be at the coalface with your customers.

4. You need to act fast in a crisis

Problems can escalate SO quickly online, and if your business is at the centre of a storm, you’ll want trained professionals in the driving seat to remain calm, manage the situation, communicate externally and internally and guide you through the aftermath.

Nobody wants to think that a crisis will happen to them; and we all hope we don’t have to put this plan in place – however as the saying goes, better to have someone and something in place and not need it, rather than the other way around. Of course, we all hope that we won’t have to have any of this in place – but as soon as it begins, you’ll be glad you did.

Don't panic

5. You need to keep your channels safe (and suitable for kids)

It can’t really be overstated how important it is to keep your channels child-friendly and safe, ranging from being on top of abusive engagement and dealing with it, to flagging inappropriate usernames.

This is illustrated perfectly by one of our team members, remembering a previous role:

“I had to explain to my boss why ‘banana hammock’ was an unacceptable username in a kids virtual world, and I’ve also had to go into extreme detail about an escalation involving minors with the president of a company. The slang that was being used by the perpetrator was very particular, and this gentleman didn’t understand the issue until I spelled it out to him.”

For the very real reason of protecting users, businesses need people who are on the ground, and understand cultural and subcultural nuances to ensure their spaces are kept clean no matter what!

One last thing to consider; what’s the cost of NOT investing in high quality community management? Doing it in-house, doing it part time or sporadically, or not doing it at all means you’re infinitely less likely to be able to build a loyal following. When we operate in an online space that’s so crowded with competition and so open for anyone to contribute to, it’s vital both to stand out and to keep your brand and followers safe.

If any of these points resonate with you or your team,

get in touch for a chat about how StrawberrySocial can help.