Today is the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day! Almost every organization big and small has some form of community manager. Traditionally the role of community manager applies to anyone who interacts with the public representing their organization. Most commonly this role is associated with someone who manages the organization’s social media channels. Whenever you interact with a brand online, there is (hopefully) a community manager on the other end responding to you in a timely manner.
When I get asked what I do for Geonetric I typically don’t respond with “Community Manager” simply because it’s not a widely recognized title. If I do, most people hear the word “manager” and instantly assume I manage a team of marketers (which isn’t the case since we don’t have managers at Geonetric). Instead I tell people that I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist. The broader title is a better representation of what I do since very few community managers like me just do that one role (unless you work for McDonalds or other very large corporation).
Community managers often wear multiple hats at their organizations. We have a hand in public relations, customer service, content marketing, marketing strategy, research, analytics, branding, and can touch many other departments in an organization beyond marketing.
Mashable has a fantastic list of 10 Qualities of an Effective Community Manager you should check out. Number one on that list is Strong Communication Skills – and for good reason. Not only do community managers excel at online relationship building between a brand and its audiences, but they are also good at offline communication. Community managers close the loop between the information they are gathering while interacting with customers and the community online to report back useful information that influences decisions made throughout the company.
The role of the community manager continues to evolve every day and this doesn’t bother community mangers – in fact – we love it. Community managers are an adaptable bunch who are always on their toes. Whether it’s replying to a tweet “after hours,” spotting a topic that is suddenly trending which would make a great blog post, or innovating ways to leverage new social media channels, we just roll with it.
The key is to have a supportive organization behind the community manager to take advantage of real-time opportunities. I couldn’t be a successful community manager without the entire team of Geonetric cheering me on. Which I think is the real goal of Community Manager Appreciation Day: not only to show community managers that their role in the organization is important but to acknowledge which organizations are there for their community managers in return.
So if you’re not a community manager and still reading this, here’s some easy ways to show your community manager some love today:
- Send out a simple tweet giving them a shout out (include the official #CMAD hashtag at the end!)
- Check out the social media channels they manage and ooh and aww at them.
- Ask what the current trends are online (specify industry or non-industry specific trends). Be prepared for an information overload.
- Email a fun meme your community manager would enjoy. I’m partial to Grumpy Cat or anything Betty White myself. Create a custom one here: Meme Generator.
- Coffee. Being a CM is a 24 hour gig and when their alerts explode at 3:00 a.m. they’ll need that coffee.
- Set up a social media command center for them to work in. They will never stop smiling.