But what better way to gain insight than speaking to someone with first-hand experience?
I caught up with Melody Meacher-Jones, who is a community manager for Nestle UK, to find out what her job entails and her tips and advice for others.
Econsultancy: Firstly, could you explain what you do?
Melody Meacher-Jones: A community manager’s role is to advocate brands on social networks. Essentially, we create a brand’s persona and seek out opportunities to engage with potential or existing consumers online.
On a day-to-day basis, I’m responsible for the look and feel of my brand’s owned social channels (Nescafé and Nescafé Dolce Gusto), generating earned media, and ensuring our community online is being engaged with and to the highest standard.
E: How do you measure success?
MMJ: For me, it’s all about gaining a high engagement rate and generating earned impressions. Whether that’s jumping on a trending topic with a custom-made piece of content or having ‘a bit of banter’ with an influencer; success lies in those earned metrics.
However, as a community manager I’m also passionate about every person who’s a member of my brands’ communities. Success can also mean converting just one consumer to buy or become an advocate of your brand through a simple tweet.
E: What are the most challenging aspects of your role?
MMJ: Being the first brand to jump onto a trending topic. For me, reactive marketing is an integral part of my role and being a graphic designer too, I’m always searching for opportunities online for my brands to join in. Seeing and creating the content first however, can be challenging.
Another challenge is that consumers are expecting higher levels of engagement from brands. Over 50% of people who contact a brand on social media expect a response within an hour and they no longer want a mundane 140-character response.
Brands like Innocent Drinks have set a benchmark for community management and customer engagement online that the rest of the industry is having to follow and hopefully exceed.
For me, this means every interaction with a consumer has to be flawless and original to win over my communities.
E: Do you see the role changing/evolving in the near future?
MMJ: Absolutely. Community management is still a relatively new role within any marketing team, and as digital is evolving so will community managers’ responsibilities.
With the rapid rise of dark social, I’m interested to see how community managers will tackle this as our role relies on what people are saying being public. We can only wait to see how this situation develops.
E: Do you collaborate with wider teams within the company?
MMJ: In my role, I sit in digital marketing and work closely with brand teams and external agencies to ensure our earned strategy is aligned with theirs.
E: What social channels or platforms do you think are most effective for your role and how do you use them?
MMJ: Tough one. They all have pros and cons. It completely depends on where your community lives online. It might be a little ‘old school’ but from a community management perspective I find interacting with consumers on Twitter really effective.
It’s completely public (most of the time) and hashtags enable you to gain a wider reach and tap into conversations you couldn’t do on Facebook or Pinterest.
E: What advice would you give to people interested in pursuing community management?
MMJ: 1. DO IT! (It’s really fun)
2. If you’re looking to start a career in community management, I’d first search for brands who inspire you on social and see how they engage with their community.
Then I’d start putting that into practice by starting a Tumblr blog or an Instagram account with content that you’ve created. From there, I’d just start responding to users when they comment on your posts and start familiarising yourself with social media terms and analytics.
On that basis, you’ll have a great case study for when you start applying to roles.
To find your next role in digital marketing, check out the Econsultancy Jobs Board.