A Guest Post By Jason Mollica
Let’s be honest… the title of Community Manager comes with great responsibility. You represent the online “voice” for a company or brand. One wrong Facebook post or Tweet and it could mean embarrassment for a brand or disaster for an individual.
Managing a number of Facebook and Twitter accounts requires you to be on top of your game and on the look out for positive and negative responses. It’s also necessary to make sure a solid posting plan is in place prior to any engagement. With that said, here are five steps that can really assist you and/or your brand in being an effective community manager.
1) Understand Your Audience- If you think that because you’ve managed a retail client it means that you understand a healthcare client, think again. These are two different audiences. Research and ask questions of your client to see how they would like to be represented. Also, look at competitors to see what they are doing. No competitors? You have a chance to stand out then.
2) Create a Posting Plan- This can’t be stressed enough. If you are Tweeting and posting on Facebook without a content plan, you will get burned. While you may post something that is off the plan, it is absolutely integral that you have this “map.” The plan keeps you focused and on message.
3) Short and Sweet- Twitter allows for 140 characters, but don’t use all of them. Allow room for a retweeted comment or hashtags. On Facebook, just because you have more allocated space, doesn’t mean you should write a book. Make your message effective, sharable, and, most importantly, memorable. That said..
4) Stay Away from All Caps and Too Many Exclamation Points- While they may draw attention to you, it’s not for the right reasons. All caps posts show you are doing the virtual waving of hands, saying, “Look at me!” I have seen a number of sports teams and TV networks use this practice. The combination of “LIKE THIS” with multiple exclamation points isn’t an effective post or strategy. It just shows you are begging for likes.
5) Be Honest- This should be a no-brainer. You can’t make things up as a brand/individual. Followers WILL see through this. The more honest and transparent you are on social networks, the better you will be if/when something negative happens. People are apt to forgive you if you’ve been honest with them.
There are certainly other things to add to this list, but the five listed above should give you a good guide to community management. You may already be managing a small brand or a large company’s social networks. Take a look at your own posting and see if you have put the top five to use. It could help and enhance your social appearance.
Jason Mollica is the president of JRM Comm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy. He can be found on Twitter, @JasMollica, his blog, One Guy’s Journey, as well as YouTube and Facebook.