The role of a community manager comprises understanding the audience and making suitable changes in this ever dynamic medium. “It is to reflect what the brand is, while keeping them engaged in what they are interested in,” informed Shaleen Agarwal, Community Manager at Isobar.
Alfie Saldanha, Sr. Social Media Manager, Indigo Consulting further adds that the key ingredient required in a great community manager is passion. “A passion that manifests itself in many forms.”
He further adds that from just being a brand person today the role has become very challenging as it requires a rare blend of being analytical and intuitive. “Judgment and experience lets you make a decision based on what the data says, but reading in-between the data will help you understand what your community really wants. It’s not easy to find someone who understands and can fulfill both personal and business needs at the same time – but that’s what makes a great community manager.”
Sabiha Khan, WATConsult also agrees that with digital becoming a sizeable investment for brands the role of community manager has evolved from operational and tactical to a role with varied responsibilities.
At the same time the role has evolved to creating memorable engagements for fans, that make them fall in love with the brand thinks Vivek Bhatia, community manager and brand champion at Experience Commerce. “Before it was more about hierarchy, making people happy and the thinking was constricted. At my current agency, it is more about thinking outside the proverbial box, breaking hierarchical limitations and building that trust with different teams, which comes together as a force to reckon with.”
But what makes the job of Community Managers so challenging? In our first story we had taken a peek into an ideal crazy day at work of 7 community managers across agencies. Read 7 Community Managers Describe What Is Like Having A Crazy Day At Work
In this story, to understand the importance on what role a Community Manager plays in an agency, we ask community managers to share real life incidents from this year where they had made a big difference to a campaign.
The answers have been slightly edited to match the tonality of the article.
Sabiha Khan, WATConsult
It is difficult to ascertain a single person’s difference to a brand as it is usually a team effort. However, there are instances when an idea helps make a difference. This happened recently on World Tourism Day when a travel client wanted to leverage the occasion to generate engagement on their social profiles. The initial idea was rejected due to time and budget constraints and we had to come up with a simple and extremely cost-effective solution.
We thought of a basic CTA based activity which revolved around stamps wherein people had to answer questions, identify or match the stamps to the country and despite our initial reservations on the success of the idea, it worked. We got a phenomenal response from the audience on the page and the brand got to leverage the occasion on time effectively.
Amanda Castellino, Chimp&z Inc
As a Community Manager my responsibilities are not only limited to overseeing a campaign but to also jump in when required and actively participate in the process. For GERC (or TOI), as the Community Manager, I was actively part of the ideation process, when we hatched the idea for the Father’s Day campaign and how we took it forward on digital.
The idea of introducing a brand to the audience on an occasion like Father’s day was quite a challenge. But the solution we arrived at seemed nothing less than perfect!
That very evening, the entire team of Godrej Expert Rich Crème was sitting in office racking their brains for 1 mother thought, 1 simple idea which would, to put it bluntly – charm the pants off the client.
Needless to say, it was a long day and an even longer night in which the entire team sat together, brainstormed and came up with a foolproof strategy for Father’s Day!
Adyasha Tomar, The Glitch
This year, one of our brands (A snack) got into a friendly banter with a leading cab service on Twitter. The result? Our brand page got a lot of traction- and had another chance to portray it’s fun, lighthearted side! Such incidents make the brand seem more human, more relatable and definitely more likeable.
Vivek Bhatia, Experience Commerce
A community manager is often the first to spot a trend. On the brand that I am working on, recently we noticed trends from keywords being used by our fans while talking to us. Often fans make product enquiries which we have not heard about yet; possibly picked up from some global cues.
Our community manager was able to validate the marketing team’s hunch that new product was likely to be a big hit. I would consider that as one of the key things we can do – listen carefully and give early direction to marketing and creative teams.
Alfie Saldanha, Indigo Consulting
From March this year, when it was announced that Twitter had acquired live video-streaming app Periscope. I had been eyeing the tool and wondering how best to use it. That was the time when a client brief came our way for the launch of a new product, it was the perfect opportunity to make hay when the sun shines.
Working on a limited budget and only equipped with an iPad, I made my way to the launch to broadcast the event. Periscope gave real-time access to viewers of the launch and provided a live forum to educate people about the brand’s products and services. Needless to say, the client was all smiles at the end and the successful launch was just another feather to my hat.
Priya Chaudhary, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi
I handle a brand that has monetary limitations, in other words, no money for campaigns. This was one of the first brands I have handled and I am too attached to it. This year for Women’s Day I had pitched for a video on women travellers and their security. Of course as suspected the idea was shot down due to cost restraints. My team was adamant on getting this idea executed and we spent almost a week to execute this with absolutely no cost at all.
This meant me getting behind the camera! But at least we got what we wanted and the best part was that the client was really happy and gave us a little budget (however tiny) for social ads. WIN!
Shaleen Agarwal, Isobar
During the launch of one of the products, we had covered the event via a live tweeting session. Based on the audience perception of the live tweeting session we customized our communication which resulted in campaign being a huge success.