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Does Your Company Need an Online Community Manager?

One of new buzzwords in marketing is “community management."  In fact, community manager has become a common vocation in the marketing departments across the globe. This post will help you understand the role of an online community manager and answer the important question, “Does my company need a community manager?”

Definition of an online community manager
An online community manager is defined as someone who builds, grows, and manages communities for a brand, cause, or topic. This is not to be confused with a “community manager” of a complex of homes, apartments, or condos. If you want to do more research on this role, be sure to use “online community manager” in your search queries in order to get the most relevant results.

Determining if your business needs an online community manager
Ask yourself the following questions:

Does my business have a presence on social networks or sites where people have opted to “follow” my company?
If so, you may be building a community without even realizing it. If someone has opted to “like,” “follow,” or “subscribe” to your company, they are most likely hoping to receive some kind of regular update from you. Are you fulfilling this?

Do you want to identify advocates and influencers of your brand?
If you want to create an online space for those customers who are most passionate about your brand, one of the best ways to do this is to start a community. Offer incentives to community members. Reward them for being loyal. Also, another business justification for creating a community is to meet your customer service needs. If structured properly, your community members may answer questions about your product or service, thus cutting down on the amount of calls and emails that your customer service department must address.

Can you accomplish your business goals through some form of online interaction in a community?
If you have specific goals related to web interactions, then a community might be a great place to help you meet those goals. Members will opt to join for a variety of reasons, but most of all, they join because they want some type of connection to your company. This makes for an ideal environment to share a sneak peek of a new section of your web site, get feedback on a new video or advertisement, or test the conversion rate of a new product on sale.

Do you want to offer your customers an opportunity to bond with other customers and learn from them?
One of the best things you can do for your community is to foster an environment that will allow them to meet other like-minded customers. Be sure that the information you’re sharing in your community isn’t just all about the brand. Recognize your members and make an effort to get to know them.

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, then it’s time to seriously consider hiring a community manager. If you answered yes to more than one of the questions, then you may have an immediate need for a community manager. A strong and skilled community manager can be a major asset to your company and can also serve as the liaison between you and the voice of your customer.

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