What is community management?
There are various ways to define "Community Management" because various actors and specialists have monopolized the subject with their activities. As a result, this term is sometimes deviated.
Community management is the management of a community for the benefit of an actor we will designate as a "community master". This management aims to animate the community for the benefit of the promotion and the good functioning of the products and services that the community supports. To achieve this end, the community gathers around a brand (eg Nike), an institution, an organization or a company (the professional association of experts, a judo club or the architecture office Pau- paul), a personality (a model or an athlete), a brand (Apple), an idea, a concept or a cause (permaculture or the defense of animals) or a flagship activity (a festival).
In all these examples, the community management will take care of animating the members of the "community" in favor of what justifies, for each member, its presence within it. In this sense, it goes well beyond the definition commonly used by web agencies that limits it to influence, monitor, control or defend the reputation of a company or brand on the Internet.
Community management has come into its own since the development of social networks, the principle of which is to bring people together through a popular and powerful platform. In the first deployments of the social networks (in particular Facebook), it was easy to reach at "good price" a coherent target (one speaks about the rate of organic reach). This goal was then transformed into "sponsored posts" which themselves required more and more energy, management and animation to produce the expected effects.
At the same time, potential networks have multiplied (Instagram, Snapchap, Linkedin, Twitter, Pintrest, ...) requiring you to structurally manage your presence and moderation (opinions, comments, multiple platforms, ...). And the community management took all its meaning.
However, limiting the community management activity to this presence on these networks is absolutely reductive and an admission for the master of a lack of understanding of the concept and the use of appropriate tools.
In fact, today, the "community manager" (or the community management team) seeks not to depend only on social networks whose cost, but also the performance is inversely proportional to the increasing use of all your competitors.
In addition, many players realized that it was as important to lead customers (or fans) in the community as prospects (or potentials).
Thus, the activities of community management are multiple. Among these we can mention:
- The creation and maintenance of a close relationship within the community;
- active presence on social networks;
- the promotion of a brand, a product, a service or an event;
- The organization of an activity;
- Interactivity according to different rhythms and modes;
- The ongoing dialogue with both prospects and customers;
- The management of reputation and reputation;
- The development of efficiency both in collaboration and exchange,
- The production of an attractive community content;
- Development of specific formats for community animation
- Easy provision of tools;
- Assistance or any act that will facilitate understanding or response to questions from members;
- The transformation of the image of an organization (more cool, more concrete, more practical, closer, ...).
The activities are countless and the setting of a clear objective will often allow the community master to reach it more easily.
The community manager will understand that his community management is hybrid. He is interested in social networks, but also to other modes of interaction (sometimes more effective) such as emailing, newsletter, instant messaging, SMS, blogging, ... and aims for so many find prospects that satisfy (and retain) hard-won customers.
We will come back to all these concepts soon.