BlogHangout

Continuing Education for Community Managers

October 6, 2015 — by Emma Cunningham0

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BlogHangout

Continuing Education for Community Managers

October 6, 2015 — by Emma Cunningham0

Continuing Education for Community Managers“I want to learn more about social media and community management. Who should I be following?”

I actually hate that question.

I have to admit that I struggle with telling people who to follow or engage with to build their community management knowledge. Each community manager has so much to offer!

However, I do find that a lot of community managers offer up information that, according to social media platforms and brand effects studies, is years out of date. So I guess that makes this blog post timely.

The best place to get hard information on what works on social media is to do real research. Most social networks have excellent resources available to advertisers and brands, and if you spend enough, they’ll even meet with you to set up a Spark Session (Facebook) or a general workshop to run through creative ideas and responses.

Beyond that, there’s a ton of hard data available to learn what’s working or might work for your brand. Check out actual studies on brand engagement. Become familiar with Nielsen’s Insights section on their website. Read carefully through the business sections on Facebook and Twitter. Look through your own data and see what resonates best.

Your community management style should reflect the brand. The initial post is the acquisition…your job is to retain. Keep the formality level and language level consistent. Every consumer response is no less of a marketing tactic. Be friendly, be helpful… and be on-brand.

So where’s the best place to learn? Well, I learned on the job, and I know a lot of you did, too. But taking a regular marketing course or business communications course through a local college or continuing education program can offer some great insight into what works. Know what might work even better? If you can find a course or ten on marketing psychology, psychoanalytics, or data science.

It’s great to connect with other community managers and exchange tips and tricks, but ultimately nothing compares to having a strong foundation of research and hard data, whether it’s your own or from a social platform or a third-party study. And if there’s someone you truly admire, make sure you check out their paid work and not just their personal profiles. It’s all very well to admire how they present themselves, but can they do it for clients too? Stop watching people and start watching their brands.

Emma Cunningham

Digital Strategist at FCB
Emma Cunningham is a Digital Strategist at FCB, working on social media marketing for both B2C and B2B businesses, supporting everything from CPG to government. But first and foremost, Emma is a conversationalist. Besides sharing too many opinions in public forums, Emma believes that listening is the best way to effectively communicate.