New Fans, Status Updates and Likes, Oh My: A peek inside the lives of Hunter PR’s [caffeine-induced] community managers

April 25, 2013 // By: // 1 Comment

Social & Digital Media     

Friend: “So you’re on Facebook all day?”
Community Manager: “Uhh, no.“

Ever had a conversation like this? So have we. And although an important (and large) portion of a Community Manager’s day involves monitoring our respective brands’ Facebook pages, there’s much more to this job than meets the status update.

Community Managers serve as a brand’s link to its legions of fans — the ones that flock to social media to express opinions, share product reviews and engage with the brands they love. We’re basically Big Brother (not the TV show), and we accomplish what marketers set out to do every day: grab the attention of consumers and listen to exactly what they need and want from a brand. Even better, we speak to these consumers directly and effectively. Cool, huh?

So, what does a typical day in Community Management Land entail?

First, there’s a lot of coffee. Thankfully, the coffee gods have blessed us with an unlimited supply of hot, flowing caffeinated goodness. But in all seriousness, here are three important lessons about Community Management:

1. The Writing on the [Facebook] Wall.

Believe it or not, drafting social media content requires a lot of research, editing (and re-editing), and most importantly, creativity. Drafting content that is both engaging and on-target for brand messaging is the ultimate goal of community management. This means endless Google Alerts, newsletter subscriptions and familiarizing ourselves with quirky and “I-didn’t-know-that–was-a-thing” material (National High-Five Day was on April 18th). Having an open mind and a generally witty approach to content creation is essential.

2. A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Shares.

Not only are we responsible for the copy of social media posts, but we’re also in charge of finding — and helping create — the images that accompany our posts (think of us as a mix of Picasso and Mark Twain). So how do these images come to life? Much of the time, it’s a mix between editing stock photography and engaging our talented colleagues in the Design & Digital department to create custom illustrations. Without pictures, posts can only say so much…literally. Plus, images drive engagement from fans and typically result in more likes, comments and shares than plain old text updates.

3. [Facebook Post] Traumatic Stress Disorder.

After content is created and approved, it’s time to go live with your post. This is perhaps the most anxiety-filled aspect of a CM’s job. What if people hate my idea? What if there’s a spelling error I didn’t catch? If people take this post the wrong way, will I be held accountable? All of these questions undoubtedly enter Community Managers’ minds right before they hit the intimidating “post” button. We have three words to get you through this trying time: proofread, proofread, PROOFREAD. You can never be too careful or too thorough when sending information into the social universe. And never forget, when in doubt, stay away from posts surrounding controversial topics — or anything that could potentially land your brand in a sticky situation.

Community Managers are the wizards behind the curtain. We add character, passion and, ultimately, expertise to a brand’s voice and project it through one of the most exciting and challenging mediums in the PR industry — social media. All in all, not such a bad gig. So, will you accept our friend request?

About the Author

Alexandra Capotorto and Lauren Bowes

Alexandra and Lauren are social media community managers at Hunter PR. They both oversee various pages for a number of large brands.