9 Tips for Social Community Managers

This post was inspired by The Community Roundtable 2011 State of Community Management Report presented by The Social Customer


1. Get Support From The Top. Social Media is something that touches nearly every aspect of your business. From customer service to sales, PR to HR. Without proper support you may not only find your efforts fizzle or fail, but you could get yourself into hot water with senior leadership. Start off on the right foot by securing a champion and get backing from key leadership. While you’re working on support, be sure to ask for and justify the dedicated resources you will need for success.

2. Get Expert Advice. Learn from experts and specialists. No one knows everything, and in a business like social media, things change faster than the weather. You will save your company time, money and possible embarrassment by engaging with a specialist in the field.

3. Develop a Multipronged Social Policy. Every company should have a Social Media policy. Even if they do not engage in any social media activities. Why? Because your employees engage in social media activities. Protect your company and your employees with a written policy. Multipronged policies work best so you can differentiate what activities are acceptable for different departments or job roles.

4. Start Small & Build. You don’t need to have everything at once. If you’re just getting started in social, pick one area of focus and perfect it before jumping into other areas. For example, if you know your customers are heavy Facebook users, start with Facebook. There is no need to start a blog, get on Twitter, create videos and build a LinkedIn group overnight. In fact, you may find you only need to focus on one or two areas to make an impact.

5. Communicate & Educate. Remember point #1 – Get Support? Well your support will be short lived if others in the organization think you spend all day “chatting” on Twitter. Educate your peers, managers and other departments by holding a lunch and learn session to show what you do. Get input from others, document and distribute successes and keep in close contact with your champion.

6. Know Your Audience. This is part of #4. If you really know your audience/customer/client you should know what tools and technology they use. Are they on Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Niche networks? You need to be where they are.

7. Know Your Objectives. It seems so simple, yet this one can so quickly be diluted. Why are you using social media? What do you want to achieve (today, 90 days, 1 year)? What do you want your audience/customer/client to take away from your involvement on social media (offers, news, assistance, etc.)? Write this one down, share it with all members of your team and revisit it regularly.

8. Test, Measure, Report & Repeat. In Social Media, this area is evolving fast! Identify what metrics make sense for your initiatives and your objectives. And remember, as stated in the Community Management Report, not every initiative has to connect to the bottom line. Think of it as 3 metrics scorecards: Strategic, Operational and Daily.

9. Stay Current! What worked yesterday, may not work today. If you work in this space you already know new tools, ideas and technology are emerging every day. Stay on top of it and don’t be afraid to tap outside professionals on a regular basis to be sure you’re seeing the forest through the trees.


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