So, You Want to Hire a Community Manager

31 01 2011


You have the beginnings of your social media marketing strategy going for your business and now it is time to hire a Community Manager to run it all.  That all sounds pretty straightforward.

The problem is, most of the job postings I see for these positions say something like: “We are looking for a social media God who knows all about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, etc., etc.,”  The more advanced postings say something like; “Proven track record of delivering measureable marketing results through social media-driven campaigns.”

Being a good Community Manager is far more than having 500 Twitter followers, a deep knowledge of the latest “bright, shiny thing” in Social Media, or even a track record of running some successful campaigns.  This is a good start but not nearly enough to ensure long term success.

Your Community Manager is an extension of your company brand. This person is the human face that will interact with your customers, probably more than anybody else in your company.  Think of them as your company’s Colonel Sanders, only one that actually talks to your customers on a daily basis.

Sticking with the Colonel Sanders / fried chicken business analogy for a minute, picture what happens to your business in these scenarios:

  • Your Community Manager decides to leave for another more interesting (to them) job at another company.  It is their identity that your customers associate with your brand.
  • It becomes obvious over time that your Community Manager, while good at social media marketing, never had any real passion for the fried chicken business and doesn’t actually know much about fried chicken
  • Or, worst of all, your community manager likes your fried chicken ok, but has no empathy for your customers, their issues, or their concerns.

It’s time to stop thinking of Community Managers as social media Gods and think hard about them as extensions of your brand.  Sure, you want your Community Manager to know social media marketing, to know how to run campaigns that deliver measurable results, but there is more.  It is time to start thinking of Community Managers in terms of:

  • How long are they likely to stay in the job?  Or, with the company?
  • Do they really have a passion for your product or service?
  • Are they effective evangelists for your product or service? (Or, do they just pass product questions off to other people?)
  • Do they have a deep and genuine connection with your customers?
  • Do they provide read value to your customers in their interactions?
  • Are they going to stay around long enough to be measured on the effectiveness of the campaigns they are proposing or are they going to be off to the next cool thing?

There is always a lot of hype around any new technology and social media is no exception.  For serious business users of social media marketing and campaigns, the core values still apply.  Social Media gives us great new tools for creating genuine two-way relationships with our communities, but we still have to do the hard work of building and growing the relationships.





Web Analytics Usage Statistics

14 12 2010

I have always been interested in Web Analytics.  Most of the tools claim to solve world hunger, but which of the literally dozens of Web Analytics tools do people actually use out there?  I stumbled across one pretty interesting analysis of who is using what today.

Here are the Top 5 Web Analytics tools used according to this survey:

  1. Google Analytics.  (57%)  Not surprising.  It’s free to use.
  2. Quantcast Tracking. (18%)
  3. Google Analytics Asynchronous (14%) Also free to use.   More about what this is.
  4. Omniture SiteCatalyst.  (14%) Recently acquired by Adobe.
  5. comScore.  (9%)

The number six tool is down around 3% share.

This is just the beginning of a long analytic tool war.  With the data on the Internet fragmenting (see my previous 12/13/10 blog post) they tools makers will have to move quickly to be able to track and measure activity on the Web.

See Full Report





The Future Direction of Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

13 12 2010

SEM is pretty straightforward, right?  You use some analytics software to figure out the search terms that customers are using to find your product or service and then you bid on the right to place ads with those terms.

A new white paper from Forrester looks at the future trends in SEM.  Like a lot of things, the searchable Internet is fragmenting  in many ways:

  • Into new forms of content.
  • Into new uses: Mobile/Social and GoogleTV are examples.
  • Into communities and platforms that are opaque to traditional search engines.  Examples include the Apple iPhone, Android phones, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  Search engine technology is going to adjust.  In fact, Bing and Google are already making changes.

But, the bottom line is that search engine marketing techniques and analytic approaches must change as well.

You can download the full Forrester report for free from Omniture (owned by Adobe):  The Future Of Search Marketing

It’s well worth reading.





Major Cloud & Social Media Announcements at Dreamforce

7 12 2010

Wow!  The pace of change continues to increase – and for the better.  I just attended the Salesforce.com Dreamforce keynotes this morning and there were some pretty interesting announcements.  First, a couple word on Salesforce.com itself.  They are now at a $1.7 billion per year run rate and are rated as the #4 fastest growing company in the Fortune 500. Impressive.

Mark Benioff spoke a good bit about the pace of change; how social media has passed email, how the iPad is selling 1 million units per month, how mobile devices and location-aware apps are changing how we live and work.  What’s impressive to see here is how Salesforce.com has seen these changes and has leveraged them better than most other large companies out there.  IBM, for example, “gets” it but has just not been quite as agile at internalizing the changes in strategy required to lead in this market.

Some of today’s announcements:

  • Chatter. Salesforce.com has done a great job of integrating their social media app, Chatter, into all of their applications.  They say that Chatter is their fastest-growing application.
  • Jigsaw. Likewise, a recent acquisition, Jigsaw, has been integrated to leverage the power of the community to deliver more accurate and complete enterprise contact information, critical to good sales and marketing efforts.
  • Chatter Free.  Salesforce.com is making a free version of their Chatter app available for free to enterprise users and have gone a long way towards making it really easy for corporate IT to implement it.
  • Chatter.com Free.  In February, they will deliver a free mobile version of Chatter.  The point is that they want everybody using Chatter.  They want to make this the social media platform for enterprise use. Smart idea.
  • Database.com. Software.com is delivering an enterprise-quality database in the cloud for the first time. It supports relational operations as well as full-text search and has a built-in enterprise-class security model.  It also has published APIs that modify themselves as you use the database, making application integration easier.  For more details.
  • Open Programming Languages. Salesforce.com also announced that they are partnering with VMware to deliver support for any industry programming language.  Java , for example, will be supported on the platform for the first time.

The conference continues tomorrow and there will be more announcements, but this is significant progress across many fronts including cloud, social media, mobile, etc.  You can follow it all at www.salesforce.com/live








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