Insights

Why your community manager is one of your most valuable employees

Posted by
Wendy Meyer
Insights

Why your community manager is one of your most valuable employees

Écrit par
Wendy Meyer

In a time where businesses across the world have been forced to partake in an experiment that tests their ability to embrace innovation and lean heavily into the world of online communication, those who are succeeding all understand that community management is a critical business function and not a 'nice-to-have'. The way we define relationships will likely never go back to the way it was before; however, that doesn’t mean that you can't nurture customers and build communities.

Say it with purpose or say nothing at all

In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the power of community should be at the top of every executive’s agenda. Brands cannot afford to be insincere, fluffy, meaningless or empty. With every corporate statement under the microscope and every promise being closely monitored, the power is in the hands of the communities and how they respond. How brands behave during 2020 will determine how well they are supported in the years to follow.

Community management builds a brand

With this in mind, a brand’s community management team is now one of the most valuable teams within the organization. With a refocus on social media, community building needs to be a strategic building block – one that now needs to transform from a purely functional operation to a brand asset management role.

Who should be responsible for reshaping this space?

Many debates have been had among communication professionals about community management being an in-house function versus agency function. The answer is that both can play a role. The functional role of customer care, usually taken on by the in-house team, should be aligned to the brand tone and behavioural traits. In-house customer care experts that know the brand best and have access to colleagues who can provide quick solutions and answers should feel empowered to live the brand voice, tone, and style in every piece of messaging that is crafted. It's also important for them to remember that reactive responses are also pieces of content, created to provide a solution or answer, give guidance, and most importantly, build a community. The structure and training, usually conducted by an agency team, can help to ensure that every communication – not just proactive content creation – helps to shape a brand’s reputation.

A true commitment is needed

Social has been disrupted in a way that will set the pace moving forward. Brands now have to ask themselves, "to what end are we doing social media?" If you’re investing in the content creation but not the community building, you’re asking customers to engage you, only to ignore them when they do. Sadly, this is the case with 80% of brands according to a study of 50 international brands, conducted by FleishmanHillard. If a company decides to invest in social media, it needs to commit to a full, structured program with community mangement at the centre.

So how will you come out of 2020 differently as a brand? One thing is for sure: you can’t go back to the way you were before.

Looking for more communications guidance during the COVID-19 recovery period? Check out our communication evaluation checklist which asks a series of simple questions to help youdetermine what communications are right for your brand right now.

In a time where businesses across the world have been forced to partake in an experiment that tests their ability to embrace innovation and lean heavily into the world of online communication, those who are succeeding all understand that community management is a critical business function and not a 'nice-to-have'. The way we define relationships will likely never go back to the way it was before; however, that doesn’t mean that you can't nurture customers and build communities.

Say it with purpose or say nothing at all

In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the power of community should be at the top of every executive’s agenda. Brands cannot afford to be insincere, fluffy, meaningless or empty. With every corporate statement under the microscope and every promise being closely monitored, the power is in the hands of the communities and how they respond. How brands behave during 2020 will determine how well they are supported in the years to follow.

Community management builds a brand

With this in mind, a brand’s community management team is now one of the most valuable teams within the organization. With a refocus on social media, community building needs to be a strategic building block – one that now needs to transform from a purely functional operation to a brand asset management role.

Who should be responsible for reshaping this space?

Many debates have been had among communication professionals about community management being an in-house function versus agency function. The answer is that both can play a role. The functional role of customer care, usually taken on by the in-house team, should be aligned to the brand tone and behavioural traits. In-house customer care experts that know the brand best and have access to colleagues who can provide quick solutions and answers should feel empowered to live the brand voice, tone, and style in every piece of messaging that is crafted. It's also important for them to remember that reactive responses are also pieces of content, created to provide a solution or answer, give guidance, and most importantly, build a community. The structure and training, usually conducted by an agency team, can help to ensure that every communication – not just proactive content creation – helps to shape a brand’s reputation.

A true commitment is needed

Social has been disrupted in a way that will set the pace moving forward. Brands now have to ask themselves, "to what end are we doing social media?" If you’re investing in the content creation but not the community building, you’re asking customers to engage you, only to ignore them when they do. Sadly, this is the case with 80% of brands according to a study of 50 international brands, conducted by FleishmanHillard. If a company decides to invest in social media, it needs to commit to a full, structured program with community mangement at the centre.

So how will you come out of 2020 differently as a brand? One thing is for sure: you can’t go back to the way you were before.

Looking for more communications guidance during the COVID-19 recovery period? Check out our communication evaluation checklist which asks a series of simple questions to help youdetermine what communications are right for your brand right now.

Wendy Meyer
Vice President
Having moved from the South African FleishmanHillard office, Wendy has international experience in helping brands leverage social media and digital platforms as business tools. Working on multinational client strategies, she has deep experience in online crisis communications, corporate and consumer brand building, and executive thought leadership. Globally, she is a Social & Innovation Lead for FleishmanHillard.
Wendy Meyer
Vice-présidente
Ayant travaillé au bureau sud-africain de FleishmanHillard, Wendy a acquis une expérience internationale en aidant les marques à mettre à profit les plateformes de médias sociaux et numériques en tant qu’outils d’affaires. Sa contribution aux stratégies de clients multinationaux lui a donné une expérience approfondie en communications de crise en ligne, en développement de marque d’entreprise et de consommateur, ainsi qu’en leadership éclairé pour les cadres. À l’échelle mondiale, elle est une leader en médias sociaux et innovation pour FleishmanHillard.