Traditionally, communication between a brand and its consumer was unidirectional, brands sent out a message and users received the information, but with the arrival of Web 2.0 and the appearance of the first social networks at the beginning of the 21st century, things changed and we began to have two-way communication with brands, more proactive users, direct communication channels and the much-valued immediacy.
Brands had to be prepared, they had to be quick, spontaneous, empathetic and connect first-hand with all the audiences on the other side of the screen that were now at their fingertips. Therefore, the need arose for a figure to adequately manage this new means of communication.
The role of the Community Manager emerged as an essential component of establishing and maintaining a relevant online presence.
What is a Community Manager?
The Community Manager is the professional in charge of managing and strengthening the community of your brand or company within the social networks and no, it should not be your nephew or your cousin.
The main objective of this role is to build strong relationships with the audience, encouraging listening, creativity, interaction, empathy, engagement and loyalty between both parties. This person should be like a bridge between the brand and the users, outwardly it is the voice of the brand, but inwardly it is the voice of each of the consumers and followers of the company.
Key roles of a Community Manager
First brand ambassador:
The Community Manager must soak up the brand, its values, its philosophy and above all its personality and be very clear about the tone in which he/she should speak. This profile is not just another employee, it must be someone passionate about the brand who knows the good and the bad and knows how to take advantage of opportunities by being a spokesperson for the company.
Content creation and publishing:
This profile is also responsible for planning, creating and scheduling relevant and engaging content on social media and other digital channels. This includes publishing, images, videos and other formats that generate interaction.
In addition, he or she actively monitors and responds to comments, questions and messages from followers. It fosters meaningful conversations and resolves problems or complaints effectively without immediacy getting in the way.
Data analysis and metrics:
The Community is the one who tracks the performance of publications and campaigns, using metrics to evaluate the impact and adjust the strategy accordingly.
Identify trends and opportunities:
Keep an eye on the latest social media trends and relevant news to take advantage of engagement opportunities and increase brand visibility.
In the event of sensitive or controversial situations, the Community Manager must act quickly and diplomatically to manage crises and protect the brand’s reputation. But he is not alone, he will need to have a communications team to support him in these circumstances to follow any protocols that have been established.
Where does a Community Manager work?
The Community Manager can work in a variety of environments, such as digital marketing agencies, in the digital or marketing department within companies in different sectors or even independently.
It is common for them to be present in marketing, public relations, digital or communication departments. Their presence is essential for brands that want to have an active and engaged presence on social media and digital platforms.
In theory it’s all very well, but in practice, roles often get mixed up and the functions of some positions become intertwined with others, so it seems important to us to differentiate some terms that are often confused.
Difference between Community Manager and Social Media Manager
Although the terms “Community Manager” and “Social Media Manager” are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between the two roles:
The Community Manager
It focuses on creating and publishing content, but also on building and managing online communities, interacting directly with followers and maintaining a close relationship with them.
The Social Media Manager
On the other hand, it focuses on the overall social media strategy. He works on campaign planning, goal setting and performance measurement in social media.
While some responsibilities may overlap, each role has a specific and complementary focus within a company’s digital landscape.
Community Managers who have made a difference
CM of KFC: this fast food chain has become one of the most successful brands on Twitter (now X) or TikTok thanks to its Community Manager.
The company’s Communication and Media Director assures that he has total confidence in him and that is what has led them to be a brand that doesn’t look like one, they are like another user or influencer.
Ron Barceló CM: This CM does not go unnoticed, as he is not a hidden worker, but embodies the human character of “Roni”, created by the company itself to achieve greater identification with the brand and to be able to socialise more closely and directly with users.
Before concluding, and taking the above examples as a reference, it is important to highlight that each brand has its own personality and not all brands have or should behave in the same way on social networks.
What is a fact is that CMs no longer just talk to the public, the trend is to give them more freedom to explore and exploit the true personality of the brand.
Companies have become people and users of social networks themselves, people who talk, joke or prod others. Real people connecting with others.