Social media manager, a job profile that was rare few years ago is a common job profile in the agency world, especially in the digital and social media marketing industry. Over the years with the initial glitz evaporating over the hype of social media marketing, brands and agencies have evolved from growing a million plus fans to building and managing quality communities.
This led to the emergence of a new role – “Community Manager” often defined as a role that is more brand centric. “For me, a community manager’s top priority is connecting people with their passions, nurture teams, keep them in sync and ensure there is a streamlined process in place to deliver optimum results. The stress is immense and while tempers run high, a community manager needs to be that centrifugal force that keeps the sanity intact,” informed Vivek Bhatia, brand champion and community manager at Experience Commerce.
However for Priya Chaudhary, community manager at Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, her job has never been restricted to execution and handling ORM i.e. answering every query and responding to comments on social media. “I involve myself in every aspect of the brands digital marketing. I prefer knowing the route we are planning for a campaign; this makes it easier to think of social ideas that can work.”
The same holds true for Amanda Castellino, Community Manager at Chimp&z Inc. Starting up in the role of a communicator today her responsibilities have increased as each social medium has evolved, making campaigns more engaging and interactive. “As an agency, we are tying up with national and international brands, working on content, digital ads, and video content across a plethora of platforms that is challenging and intimidating at the same time. The role changes on a daily basis and is dynamic. You need to be on the tip of your 6 inch stilettos.”
To take a deep dive into the growing job responsibilities of a Community Manager, we at Lighthouse Insights decided to talk to some of the interesting minds managing this role in their agencies. Over a series of articles, we’ll share how the role has evolved, job challenges and a word of advice to whoever planning to be the next community manager.
In this first story, we take a peek into an ideal crazy day at work for six community managers from across agencies. The answers have been slightly edited to match the tonality of the article.
Amanda Castellino, Chimp&z Inc
In advertising, almost every day is a crazy day; we usually rank a normal day as a 4 – 5 on the crazy scale. Things do get interesting after we approach an 8 or a 9. But isn’t that what advertising is all about? We live for the challenge!
On an average level 3 day, we do the following:
- Client – Community Manager - user response management and ORM.
- Strategic planning and content duration.
- Monitoring our brand’s daily progress.
So on a normal day, we log in to check how people are reacting to our content, complaints etc. This has be monitored and slotted before we send it to the clients. We have standard responses for some of the queries but otherwise we also involve our client’s if it is pertaining to a new campaign or products. Post this, we clean up the responses and engage with them. After this we plan and strategize for future content plan and execution.
On a crazy day, we pretty much do the same thing, times ten.
Vivek Bhatia, Experience Commerce
Almost every day at our agency is a crazy but creative day for me. As a Brand Champion working with communities of very large sizes for a leading technology brand, my plans are firmed up weeks in advance; but schedules go for a toss, plans change at the drop of a hat and before you know it, you’re sucked up in a whirlwind.
I prefer reaching work before the madness begins. I like to soak in the calm; settle down, listen to some music or read something interesting, before I dive into analytics of the past day’s work. It is my quiet time. I have a quick catch-up call with my Account Managers and update them if there has been a notable situation, worth sharing.
I prefer being pro-active. So I keep goals in check or make to-do lists for the next day before I leave work the night before. This ensures I start my next day with much more clarity. For other things that come without a warning, I take them head-on with all the surprises it brings with itself.
Priya Chaudhary, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi
A crazy day would be when all the brands that you handle decide that they want to capitalize on the next big festival or EOSS or something new happening. You are left with 2 days to ideate, plan, create and execute digital campaigns. To add to it the 2 days you have to work on it are weekends!
Shaleen Agarwal, Isobar
A day prior to the campaign going live is a classic example of a crazy day in the life of a community manager. It involves creating, arranging and pushing teams for all the extra effort required to make it a success. This is to remain prepared in advance and also make way for ad-hoc requirements which can never be said no to.
Sabiha Khan, WATConsult
My day always starts with a client call or running through emails and this happens before official reporting times. Office time boundaries are to be ignored as a community manager.
As I travel to work, I usually structure my day so that priority tasks are aligned and tackled first and then secondary tasks are considered. When I reach office, I start with priority accounts which are almost 50% of the accounts I handle. Reviewing ongoing campaigns, highlighting and managing red flags, checking on progress of non-campaign specific accounts, etc. takes up most of the morning. Simultaneously, I address the priority to-do listed. After priority accounts I check the same for remaining accounts and then focus on internal work which could be operational or administrative.
Post lunch I move to the ‘thinking’ tasks - analysis, strategies, reviews, etc. and also skim through the financials for the accounts. Closure of the day is usually with some research – industry specific as well as generic – I like to keep up with what’s happening in the world as being a community manager, anything that is trending or is interesting helps spark ideas.
This is when I do not have any meetings. Real crazy days are those when I am out for back to back meetings, while managing my team who is in office and the influx of emails.
Adyasha Tomar, The Glitch
For a community manager, there isn’t the concept of a ‘day’ and ‘night’! It is a 24 hour job, weekends included! We get more excited about FB/Twitter notifications from our brands than we do from our personal accounts. Answering queries, having conversations, removing spam- basically keep the conversation about our brand going- and the page clean- that is what our day involves.
Alfie Saldanha, Indigo Consulting
As Community Managers, we work in one of the greatest revelations of our digital time; social media.
There are various ingredients that make up a crazy day. One ingredient by far would be receiving a brief from a client first thing in the morning with tight deadlines. It’s only then you realize how important co-ordination is if you’re in my shoes. Grabbing hold of your team in the morning and stressing how important this campaign is to them is a task. But safe to say I’ve made more friends than enemies.
Another ingredient is when you find trending hashtags that you think you can apply to our updates. It’s struggle, since apart from pre-approved calendar you need to strive for getting this one creative out that you think will take your users by storm. Catching hold of your designer, copywriter, brainstorming an idea, getting the idea hashed down into a creative and getting approvals. It can be a while by the time all these things are in sync and in the back of your mind you’re afraid that the trend doesn’t die down. The adrenaline rush I tell you! But these crazy days make me love what I do.
Apart from these hidden ingredients are the gems I do every day, that is posting, replying to comments, thinking of ideas to stay on top always and scheduling updates to go live overnight while we are asleep so that the brand has a 24×7 presence to reach the night owls, the customers in different time zone and even those in other countries.
Image credit: logiwebsocialmedia.com