For the most part, social media still feels like the Wild West. Agencies and brands are challenged to come up with the next big thing, and brands need to create programs that are new and different. Because of this, the PR industry follows the social tenet, “one size does not fit all,” and in most cases, that is the correct philosophy. Yet, sometimes standardization is a must for not only protecting a brand’s reputation but for the sake of internal organization, especially in the social space.
Here at Cone Communications we see huge value in standardization when it comes to community management for a brand. The community manager is the voice of the brand online; they humanize a company/organization, build a community of fans and followers and provide customer service relief when needed. One inappropriate tweet can shift a consumer’s view of a brand, and one viral video can lift one competitor above another. It may be the Wild West out there, but if there’s anyone who can wrangle it all, it’s the community manager.
Cone offers a best-in-class, standardized process for supporting clients’ community management needs. Our Cone Communications Certified Community Managers (C4M) focus on five key areas
- Content development and management
- Community engagement, moderation and service
- Reporting and insights
- Knowing the social landscape
- Marketing and campaign support
Our training module equips community managers with the needed structure to remain competitive in an often undefined social landscape. Community managers work with account teams and clients to develop a social strategy, grow an online audience and inform our clients on the latest social media trends. Trained staff leave with the necessary templates to manage a client’s social presence and to develop necessary documents such as a social media handbook, outline of a brand’s tone and personality online, a crisis escalation strategy and posting and response strategy.
Social content development is one of the biggest tasks for a community manager. We provide staff with monthly and annual editorial calendar templates so they can stay on top of opportunistic content and organize planned posts. We also train them in competitive reporting (weekly, monthly, annually) so they continually build on content that’s successful and resonating with a client’s online community.
We have trained and certified nearly half of Cone’s staff to be well versed across social platforms, but most important, to understand the operational needs behind managing a social community. A community manager is never expected to know everything. In fact we always say the best qualities of a community manager are resourcefulness and a desire to help; if they don’t know the answer, they can find the answer and enjoy learning from it. However, we do equip our C4M’ers with the foundation needed to feel confident in their roles, and as a communications agency, we can feel confident offering this service to our clients.
We keep our staff on the cutting edge, but can’t emphasize enough that before a brand can build a social empire, they need to have a community manager with a foundation like C4M to guide them.
How do you standardize for success in such an ever-changing industry?
--Marissa Green, New Media Specialist, @themarissagreen