The Business Value of the Community Manager


Published on, The social customer wants to interact with your entire company often—to share feedback, a great experience, or an idea—not just with your support team when there is an issue. You need to constantly be listening, responding to, and learning from these customers in order to create a truly satisfying customer experience.

Adapting to this new way of communicating can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your community manager is working directly with your customers to drive positive business benefits in every part of your company. Community managers:

Drive down support costs by empowering social support and self-service
Identify and incentivize brand Champions to speak on your behalf as word-of-mouth marketing advocates
Solicit, respond to, and document product ideas from your most engaged customers

The Business Value of the Community ManagerDownload the eBook, The Business Value of the Community Manager: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays, to learn how this role can drive significant value to every department in your company.

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The Business Value of the Community Manager

  1. 1. Contents The Need for Community Management in the Social Era. . . 2 The top roles a community manager plays in your organization: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 » Curator of Great Customer-Generated Content —  3 Community Managers are Editors!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . » Data Analysis—Community Managers are Data Nerds!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 » Medium Between Customer and Company —  Community Managers are Translators!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 » Creator of Great Customer-Facing Resources —  Community Managers are Educators!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 » And Finally, She’s Bringing Us all to the Same Page  — Community Managers are Cat Herders! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS VALUE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 1
  2. 2. The Need for Community Management in the Social EraTo truly understand the value of the community manager, you feedback that drives product innovation and brand loyalty. They’rehave to understand the way that social has changed the nature of creating systems for social support, so customers are encouragedhow we do business. Before social took hold, your customers and and incentivized to answer each other’s questions, help identifyyour businesses departments existed comfortably in their various issues and bugs, and step into the role of vocal brand advocates.silos. Your product team built for your customer, but rarely (if This is not something that is happening automatically, butever) interacted with them. Your customers’ experiences with your something businesses are catching on and adapting to, and it posescompany were restricted to their interactions with support, and its own unique set of challenges. Whose job is it to interact directlyonly when something went wrong. Your marketing team pushed with the social customer to empower them to act as valuableout content to your database, but they seldom solicited customer- resources to the product, marketing, and support teams? Whogenerated content. is responsible for setting the tone they use about your brand onThings are different now. Social does not just mean the emergence social? Who encourages them to speak up, curates the contentof various new sites and technologies. It means a true revolution in they create, and is responsible for listening and translating theirthe way and speed with which we communicate, a shift in where we messages to the people in the company who need to hear it most?get content, including the people we view as authoritative content Why, the community manager, of course!creators. This has huge implications for your business—the silos A company’s community manager is uniquely cross-functional,that once were so rigid have now been broken down. The social touching and bringing value to every part of the organization.customer expects to interact with your entire company, not just She’s 1 part cheerleader, part diplomat, part therapist, part author,support. They expect their voice to be heard and responded to and much, much more. Our community manager here at Getquickly. Satisfaction acts in many ways as the face of our company to ourSmart companies are not fighting this, but embracing it to improve customers. She’s a marketer, a support agent, a product person,their business. They are leveraging the voice of their customer to as well as a saleswoman. And if your company doesn’t have acreate rich, trust-worthy marketing content. They’re blowing away community manager, you’re losing out on the value that shebarriers between customers and the product team for smarter brings to every aspect of your organization. 1  Of course, community managers come in all ages and genders. But since our awesome community manager, Caty Kobe, is a woman, we’ll refer to the role as a “she” in this eBook. The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 2
  3. 3. The top roles a community manager plays in your organization:Curator of Customer-Generated Data Analysis — Community Managers are Data Nerds!Content — Community Managers are Editors! Among the benefits brought on by social are a ton of new waysEvery great marketer knows that content is king. Provide your to capture and measure insights about the satisfaction of yourcustomers with interesting, relevant content, and they will continue customers, as well as the successes and challenges of yourto frequent your blog, website, Twitter account, etc. But coming up business. Your customer community is a perfect place to examinewith content that is genuinely valuable to your customers (not just the way your customers are truly feeling about your brand,pushing out sales-y marketing content) can be challenging and put products, and services in a way that results in actionable insight forstrain on resources. Plus, in the social age, your customers trust your company.the opinions of their fellow customers much more than they trust Want to know which products people are talking about most,your marketing messages. and the sentiment they’re using to talk about them? Ask yourSo what to do? Supplement your marketing content with content community manager. She’s the one who knows which bugs aregenerated by your customers! Your community manager can causing the most frustration amongst customers, and whichsolicit content from your community in a variety of forms. Simply features are most in-demand. She can also tell you who your bestask them for their best practices, run contests challenging them brand Champions are, as well as which customers could use a littleto create videos, extend the offer for them to guest blog post… extra company love.even ask for praise in your community that you can place on Thankfully, inside every community manager is a data nerd who isyour website by embedding the simple out of the box code (or paying attention to the insights coming in through your communitywidgets, for you techies out there) that Get Satisfaction offers their and social channels, and making sense of them in a way that’scommunities. valuable to your company and customers. She also has uniqueBy allowing your customers to take an active role in your content insight into the time of the day, day of the week, and even seasonscreation strategy, they will feel like valuable members of your brand and cycles when different content resonates with your They’ll be more likely to take an interest in your product Looking to make a product announcement, or post an importantand the other content you put out. And the best part? You’ll have a blog from your CEO? Don’t post blindly — be sure to ask yourbreak from the tireless task of creating fresh, exciting content. community manager first when it makes the most sense to do so for maximum reach. The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 3
  4. 4. Medium Between Customer and Company —  produce marketing content, but it can often sound too sales-y andCommunity Managers are Translators! jargon-y to truly be the most effective resource for your customers.The goal of product development has always been customer Enter, the community manager! She’s intimately in touch with thesatisfaction, but now that customer reactions are louder, faster, and pain points your customers are experiencing, so she knows whateasier to tap into, product development, marketing materials, and content will be most valuable to them. She’s writing blog posts,customer support should reflect that by being smarter, nimbler, best practices, social media content, community posts, and repliesand more relevant than ever. Think about it — social provides you directly to customers to address those very issues. She’s alsounprecedented insight into the way your customers are feeling, anticipating information they will need, like when you release a newthe issues that are on their mind, the market developments that product or feature, for example, and creating how-to guides, videos,are exciting them, etc. The more you understand the things that and other useful content to educate and guide them.concern them and can provide relevant, valuable insight (or even aproduct) which addresses those things, the more they’re going to And Finally, She’s Bringing Us all to the Samereward you with their business and loyalty. Page—Community Managers are Cat Herders!Your community manager plays a critical role in this process. In a perfect world, your customers, marketers, product team,She’s closely in contact with your customers and putting together support agents, and sales people would all be on the same page.reports so the product team understands what to prioritize, the The description that marketers use to describe your product wouldcustomer support teams knows what issues to study up on, and perfectly align with the product team’s vision for it; the sales teamthe marketing team knows how their brand is being perceived in the would always use a marketing-condoned messaging to sell it, andsocial sphere. She’s sharing anecdotal praise which boosts morale it would always come across in a way that is compelling and clear.and feedback that is often the first indication of issues or bugs. The support team would be on board, as would your customers. Everyone would understand that you have a unique and valuableIt is the community manager who makes sure the voice of the product that is making the world a better place in a way that’s morecustomer doesn’t get lost in the noise! powerful and cost-effective than that of your competitors. People would show up to meetings on time, and someone would alwaysCreator of Great Customer-Facing Resources —  bring hot chocolate (or wine!).Community Managers are Educators!When it comes to educating your customers about your industry, Unfortunately, the world we live in is not perfect. The languagecompany, product, and services, there is no one better suited than your sales people use to sell your product often does not alignyour community manager. Sure, you have your marketing team to with the way your marketing team uses to position it in the market. The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 4
  5. 5. It’s different than the way the customers conceptualize your when they inevitably disagree on the details), is a role that is partcompany and the way your support team addresses issues. To therapist, part diplomat, part moderator—for our purposes here,have a successful company, a recognizable brand, and a product we’ll refer to it as herding cats — but no matter what you call it is, itthat people understand, you need to make sure that the various is a role that is best filled by the community manager.departments of your company are on the same page about who you Are there other people in your company who can facilitateare, what you’re doing, and what you make, so that your customers collaborative conversation? For your sake, we hope so…but only thecan fundamentally buy into this. community manager has the interests, perspectives, and needsTo get everyone in your company and market are on the same of the customer always at the forefront of her mind. Her voicepage about who you are and what you’re doing is not a simple will always be most closely in-sync with the customer becauseprocess — it will take iterations, revisions, and genuine dialogue that’s her personal nature and professional role. And since you’reabout the needs of your customers and the capabilities and doing your best to craft your company and products around yourlimitations of your offerings. Getting everyone to come together, customer, you never want to stray too far from their perspective.have these conversations, and agree on basic principles (even The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 5
  6. 6. The Ultimate Business Value of the Community ManagerSo what does this mean for you and your business? Though the And let’s not forget your product team. Until recently they relied oncommunity manager’s role may technically fall into one of the surveys, focus groups, and sheer intuition to guide and prioritizepre-social silos, in reality she’s impacting the bottom line across their product vision. Testing was time and cost-intensive, andmultiple departments of your organization, just like social is. bugs could live on for long periods of time in your product without being identified or solved. Companies with a community manager,The impact of the community manager on your support organization however, have someone who is fluent in geek and customer. She’sis clear—she’s deflecting one-off calls and emails by empowering the passing product ideas and feedback from the customer to thecommunity to act as a resource for social support. The community developers, and setting expectations, managing issues, and closingcontent she curates serves as a dynamic social knowledge base, which the loop back with the customers. By offering a community, yourprovides real-time, self-service support. All this allows you to scale customers are empowered to test feature rollouts and report bugsyour organization and still provide an excellent customer experience in real-time. With a community manager, your product team is surewithout adding support agents or costs. to hear what they have to say.Your community manager is impacting your marketing The good news is that you don’t have to tackle the transition todepartment’s bottom line by identifying Champions and social business alone. Hire a community manager who is friendly,embedding their conversations on your website, landing pages, and people-oriented, and proactive. Your business will be positivelyin campaigns. This dynamic, customer-generated content is more impacted across your organization, and your customers will seetrustworthy and authoritative than traditional marketing content— that you have their interests at the core of your business. They willsomething which impresses prospects as well as search engines. reward you with loyalty and social advocacy. And the best part?Speaking of search engines, customer communities are huge You’ll finally be able to delegate the task of herding cats.drivers of SEO. Let Google pick it up on its own, or embed it in yourwebsite for the added boost. to schedule a demo, or visit us at 877-339-3997 The Business VALUE OF THE Community ManageR: The 5 Major Roles a Community Manager Plays 6