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Community Manager: Definition and role in Email Marketing

Published by Teresa Alba on May 10, 2018

community manager

Although community managers have gained a lot of space in recent years, there are still many doubts about the role of this professional. Some don’t know for sure what this profile is or what this person does, and often confuse its functions with those of other digital marketers.

And although I don’t consider myself a community manager, due to my experience working to promote my personal brand and the content of other brands on the Internet, I acquired an exact view of this professional.

Therefore, in this article, I will speak in-depth about the role of the community manager according to my experience and, specifically, we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is a community manager, and which skills define this professional?
  2. What are their main functions?
  3. What is their role in an email marketing strategy?

Since I started writing here, I’ve learned a lot about social media and the fascinating world of email marketing.

These two channels are the basis of all digital communication between brands and users, so they must go hand in hand. Cases like the one I recently exposed on this blog, have already shown the importance of applying mixed strategies to avoid a crisis.

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·  What is a Community Manager?

Let’s start by talking about what a community manager is and, above all, how to differentiate their role from other profiles that make up a marketing team or department.

Important
“The Community Manager is responsible for managing the brand image in different online communication channels. In other words, this professional will be the spokesperson for the brand and will interact with customers and followers. ”

That is, this professional is not limited to sharing content on digital channels, but goes far beyond managing the brand image through conversations with users, problem-solving, community observation,  etc.

This profile is often confused with other people, especially with the social media manager. This happens, on many occasions, because you usually don’t have both profiles in a team (despite the importance of them working together).

Important
“The main difference between a Community Manager and a Social Media Manager is that the former plays a tactical role, and the latter is mainly strategic.”

In other words, the social media manager is the one who must plan and organize the strategy (the type of content, the frequency of publication,  etc.),while the community manager is the one who performs each action and maintains constant contact with the online community.

► What are the most essential qualities of a successful professional?

To understand a little more about what a community manager is and the importance of his work, it can be advantageous to know more about the qualities that characterize this profile.

For this reason, and so that you know how to identify the really professional profiles in this area, here is a list that defines this professional in general terms:

●    He should be communicative and able to effectively transmit and write messages on behalf of the brand on social media and other channels.

●    He will be in permanent contact with customers and followers; therefore, he should demonstrate empathy and be a good listener.

●    He will have to manage different content on several channels at the same time and be aware of all the reactions of the community, so he will have to be extremely organized.

●    Social media platforms are online 24/7, so a community manager must be highly proactive and not wait to see what will happen with a particular action or marketing trend.

●  Trends and developments in the marketing sector lead to the need to continually renew, be creative, and apply different techniques of trial and error.

●    Although the social media manager is responsible for measuring and analyzing the results, the community manager must be analytical and detect changes to communicate them to the team.

In addition to these general qualities, this professional is generally should be committed and passionate, as his actions will impact the brand directly.

He must also know the technological environment and understand the brand’s values, in addition to being willing to continually evolve and learn from the news that appears on the Internet.

In summary, a professional community manager stands out for his versatility, as he has many qualities, even if he is not responsible for the company’s marketing strategy.

community manager

· What does a Community Manager do?

The work done by a community manager is generally not well understood, which is why we tend to think that this work can be done by anyone.

However, if we take a look at his qualities and functions, we’ll see that only true professionals can deliver results.

To clarify some points, I’d like to talk about things he’ll have to do:

► Active listening

Every day, even before posting content, the community manager must listen to users so that, once he is aware of their preferences (questions, complaints, needs…), he can adapt the message that will be published.

The Internet facilitated two-way conversations between companies and customers through social media, as it is one of the aspects most valued by users. Therefore, active listening is essential when creating a community of followers

► Diffusion of the brand voice

The community manager should always keep in mind that he speaks as a spokesperson for the company and should not use his own words. That is, he must always convey the brand’s messages with the appropriate  tone and language.

This is one of the tasks for which I have a special affection because whoever generates content for companies also knows very well the importance of knowing how to put themselves in their “skin.”

► Content Management

This is another daily task; creating and publishing new content. But the work goes beyond that, as this professional has to analyze the impact of all posts and identify problems to make the necessary changes.

He will need to manage this dissemination of content on social media and other digital communication channels that companies or businesses routinely use, such as email marketing (which we will see later).

► Monitoring

As I said before, the social media manager is the one who should be in charge of the strategic definition, while the CM is the one who will execute it and therefore, will have to continually monitor the results.

Therefore, at the strategic level, he leads the relationship between the different departments involved in a digital marketing strategy.

► Relationship building

When I talk about managing the community, I am not just referring to the followers who approached the brand. This professional will need to interact with influencers, competitors, and more.

Only by defining the agents with whom a close relationship should be established, it is possible to generate “win-win” connections.

► Reports

According to the KPIs defined in the global strategy, the community manager will be responsible for preparing periodic reports so that the social media manager can monitor the evolution of campaigns and make informed decisions.

community manager

·  What is the role of a community manager in Email Marketing?

Often, the work of the community manager is associated only with social media. In fact, taking into account all their functions, it is easy to deduce that their work goes much further, don’t you think so?

These professionals, in addition to responding to requests on social media, assume the role of moderators and detectors of possible crises, which may involve the use of other channels, such as email forums, blogs, or corporate website.

Therefore, I don’t want to end this post without mentioning the ancillary role that the community manager should also play in an email marketing strategy.

In this sense, I can say in the first person that a community manager can play the role of:

► Manager

Due to the organizational qualities we saw earlier, this professional can manage different databases, segment them, and launch campaigns targeted at different audiences.

In the case of email marketing, he can also follow the evolution of statistics, to notify other members, such as the social media manager or the marketing director.

► Technical

It is the most boring role of all, but it is the basis for the rest of the actions. This professional should take care of technical aspects so that the digital marketing strategy works smoothly.

That is, he will have to include subscribers in the email marketing software, check the lists, run A/B tests, etc. All the less creative but also necessary tasks.

► Communicator

He will have to communicate appropriately with customers and prospects without forgetting to spread the brand values.

This ancillary function can become very important, as poor communication management or the responses offered to subscribers can lead to a crisis that would go beyond social media and could take an immeasurable proportion.

► Trend sensor

Precisely because he is in the day-to-day relationship with the online community, he is the one who knows better than anyone what users like and need.

That way, he can propose topics for the content of emails, indicate trends, and offer what subscribers are looking for.

► Analyst

In addition to that, he is also the right professional to interpret reports on open rates click and evaluate user engagement.

He will be responsible for speaking with other team members about any change, of course.

Community Manager

·  Conclusions

The role of the community manager is often underestimated in the belief that it is a professional profile for which no specific preparation is needed.

The reality is quite different, as it is neither more nor less than the person responsible for giving voice to brands on digital channels and, therefore, must have special qualities and know-how to work according to the global marketing strategy defined by the marketing director.

The community manager has a fundamental role in this regard, and virtually any digital communication channel in which actions are taken is part of his competence.

As a content marketing specialist and with some experience in performing tasks common to those of a community manager, I can say that his duties are not child’s play and that, in no way, this task should be assigned to anyone.

What is a community manager, according to your perspective? Do you think this professional is starting to be more valued?

Translated by Micheli.

Teresa Alba


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