Looking for the lowdown on community management? Not sure how it’s different from social media management?
Read on as the Loomly team addresses all your questions in this community management FAQ.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is community management?
- What is the difference between community management and social media management?
- Why is community management important?
- Who needs community management?
- What skills are important for community management?
- What is the main focus of a community manager?
- How do you become a community manager?
- How much does community management cost?
- What are the best community management tools?
What is community management?
Community management is the practice of building an authentic community either externally among your customers or internally among your employees and partners through various types of interactions.
Brands use both online and offline opportunities to create a network in which they can connect, share, and grow. A brand’s community may be spread across multiple platforms, such as social media, forums, blogs, YouTube, and Quora.
There are six types of community management as defined in the SPACE model:
- Customer support and success
- Product ideation, innovation, and feedback
- Acquisition and advocacy
- Content and programming
- External engagement
- Internal engagement
What is the difference between community management and social media management?
Although community management is a key aspect of social media strategy, it is not the same.
Social media management includes creating, publishing, reviewing, and improving a brand’s social media content.
A social media manager will post as the brand’s account on social networks. They’re the voice of the brand and are responsible for posts, replies, and general content. Typically, they deal with people who have a relationship with the brand.
Community management takes place after your social media publishing. So it’s part brand monitoring, part customer service, and part being active in discussions related to your brand.
A community manager will post as a brand ambassador under their own account, not the brand’s, and develop the community by participating in discussions, finding new customers, and listening to the current ones. Typically, they deal with people who may or may not have heard of the business they represent and boost awareness for the brand.
Why is community management important?
Community management is important for several reasons:
- Retention of existing customers. Community management plays a significant role in retaining existing customers who are likely to make further brand interactions.
- Attracting new customers. One of the major characteristics of communities is that information flows fast. Therefore, effective community management can help in cultivating new members through positive word of mouth.
- Enhanced brand reputation. Instead of focusing on the short-term benefits and increasing sales, community management focuses on strengthening the long-term position of the brand by building a reputation.
Who needs community management?
If you want to build a long-term business with a strong brand, you’ll want to invest in community management.
What skills are important for community management?
The top ten community manager skills (& qualities) are:
- Excellent communication skills.
- Organizational and project management skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Analytical skills.
- Market research skills.
- Engagement skills.
- Ability to navigate community management tools.
- Domain knowledge.
- Love for the brand
What is the main focus of a community manager?
The main focus of a community manager is to be a brand ambassador, engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones. They also focus on gauging sentiment around the brand, using social listening tools to monitor feedback and engagement.
How do you become a community manager?
There’s more than one way to become a community manager, but the following steps will help you position yourself well for this career path:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree. Community managers usually need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as marketing or communications.
- Gain experience with marketing, sales, or social media. Employers look for community managers who are familiar with marketing strategies, sales techniques, and social media management. Any relevant job experience in these areas is valuable to this role.
- Demonstrate communications skills. Writing blogs, drafting social media posts, and planning email campaigns are essential in the community manager role. Demonstrate your ability by maintaining your own active social accounts, guest blogging, or freelance writing.
- Build a strong resume. Craft a resume that emphasizes your experience building community and refining branding. You can gain this in other jobs or as a volunteer working on marketing campaigns for nonprofit organizations.
How much does community management cost?
Community management costs vary according to your requirements. Prices can range from $1800 to $6900 per month.
What are the best community management tools?
The best community management tools include:
- Sprout Social
Manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Craft, schedule, & auto-post content to all your social channels, then track analytics and manage interactions from a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
Community Management FAQ in a Nutshell
Although community management is often confused or used interchangeably with social media management, it’s a different role with its own set of goals, skills, and qualities.
If you want your business to succeed, make sure you invest in community management to retain your existing customers, attract new customers, and enhance your brand awareness.