Well, it can happen to anyone. You’re working along nicely, and then realize there’s been a massive miscommunication with a third-party vendor, and suddenly your community manager has run away with everything.
It was terrible. At the agency, we had worked long and hard on detailed strategies and edit after edit of videos. All the community manager was supposed to do was respond to people and keep the conversation going.
But this community manager was used to working in the full scope of community duties—used to creating content, editing on the fly, and customizing content to fit the needs of the community. He re-edited our videos and posted things we’d never had a chance to see or approve. And since it was a controversial campaign, and we were hoping to see some awards from it, that was a Big Deal.
It seems so obvious. It’s really important to create a document that outlines the exact things that each member of the team will be responsible for, both internally and externally. Get everyone on the same page right off the bat and make sure there are no overlaps and no gaps.
How does this benefit a community manager?
- You’ll know if this is even a job you want to take. If you’re used to running a community with a fair amount of autonomy, a junior publishing-only community manager job may not be for you.
- You’ll avoid getting in trouble.
- You’ll know exactly what business goals you’ve been hired to achieve.
For me, #3 is especially key. Everyone wants to achieve the same thing: success for the business and/or client. Each person on the team is absolutely vital in making that happen, and the best way to set them up for success is to let them know exactly what need they’re meeting. In this case, the community manager was supposed to help defuse controversy. In other scenarios, the community manager is responsible for relationship management. No matter what your goals are, make sure everyone knows what part they have to play.
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