Monthly Archives: October 2013

MRY, JetBlue, and LiveFyre all in One Place

MRY, JetBlue, and LiveFyre had community managers present a panel to the class on October 15th. Each of these companies are in different segments in the professional world. They each use social media to reach out to clients and their customers that are at the forefront of creating online advertising and social media campaigns. Each of the presenters mentioned that they “fell” into their space as there really was’t a “social media” roll before.

LiveFyre had mentioned that they think there will always be a blend of employees but now the jobs are a lot more defined; because of specialization. According to Jet Blue its not about what education or specialization you have, but what resources you can offer.

 

MRY has a distribution team that deals with paid, earned, experiential and owned analytics. The community managers are daily monitors; but also creatists.The CM works with creative, strategic, legal, and analytics team to be sure that the posts are to company standards, and effective

 

 

JetBlue has three teams to act as a checks and balance. Public Communications, Marketing, and customer support. The customer support team is 24/7 who monitors every interaction/mention that is on social networks. They look at all of the information to see how to make operational changes to make a better customer experience. Customer Insight is also a major team within customer support; they take surveys and measure analytics that they use to look at strategy with their customer interaction. There are about 27 people who work on the customer insight team managing the thousands of mentions per day, phone calls, and emails from customers. The mentions that JetBlue gets are mostly from customers in real time; allowing them to be proactive and change a situation before it begins.

 

LiveFyre has a team within marketing that deals with its customers. They are the ones who use and manage the social media to provide support to the free and enterprise users. LiveFyre uses HootSuite to see where issues are happening and use their customer support team to help figure out a solution. The strategy team has 3 people who create engagements for their customers to interact and share ideas. Some of the customers of LiveFyre are Community Managers who use LiveFyre software and interfaces. The current VP of LiveFyre was the first community manager, who they hired before engineers. This allowed them to get ahead on figuring out where they wanted to improve online discussions. As they have grown the whole support team is managing the enterprise accounts while a few people from different departments work with the free users.

What are factors in social media analytics?

Today social media analytics are measured in a variety of ways for each different tool. Users generally think that analytics are just metrics, but they are so much more. When measuring analytics users and professionals should look at Strategy, Metrics, Organization, and Technology. By looking at each of these factors you will be able to determine if you are posting information that is effective and that your clients or users want to see. This should be a main goal within your company as social media can be a huge revenue generator.

Screenshot 2013-10-14 18.13.08Strategy is key for determining if you are meeting your companies goals while posting effectively online. One great way to make sure that your strategy goes as planned is to plan for the present and the future by looking at key objectives, your companies mission and vision statements should be studied closely when determining how to post and communicate with clients effectively. By developing a good strategy starting out will help in the future as little updating will be needed on how to interact with clients. If a poor strategy is developed you will have a hard time determining the most appropriate way of outreach.

Metrics are used to measure how effective your campaign is in interactions, and outreach. Metrics are closely nit with your strategy. If your strategy is planned out poorly then your metrics will reflect that. A company can measure many different elements of strategy to generate metrics such as the number of posts, interactions, mentions, tags etc. Using tools such as backtweets are some of the most effective ways of measuring some of these analytics. By developing an effective plan you can determine how your company is doing with its presence and you can make changes if necessary.

Organization is one of the most important factors when it comes to social media analytics. It is best that a company representitave investigates resources, employee expertise, and employee involvement before developing a strategy. Today many companies have problems with this as they don’t have adequately trained employees who know how to represent a brand. This costs companies a lot of money each year if they mess up when dealing with their reputation online, thus having at least one or more trained employees is key.

Technology and how you use it is key to representing your company. With adequate resources and employee training using devices such as iPhones and iPads with software such as hootsuite or TweetChat it makes it easier to manage your presence at one time. Employees are able to manage all tweets sent to a company Twitter handle, or even hashtags and try to effectively address any complements or concerns.

Community Management and Social Media Management: It all makes sense now

Photo cred: Rowan County Health Dept. Community Resources website

Coming into this class there was an ambiguity surrounding my understanding of what exactly a community manager was. At the time, it didn’t even occur to me to think about what a community manager was not (hint: community manager =/= social media manager) . As we moved through the beginning stages of the class, I grasped the general idea behind a community manager – or so I thought. Finally, this past week, it all came together for me.

I can confidently say that I now know what being a community manager entails, generally speaking. Furthermore, I learned the distinct differences between a community manager and a social media manager. The week culminated with me interviewing Carrie Jones, the community manager over at Chegg. The interview further reinforced my perception of the responsibilities of community managers. The final verdict was this: community managers work within the company and create strategy to engage the “community” and social media managers use social networks to bring that strategy to life.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Community Manager

  • Internal focus on communication and collaboration
  • Welcoming new members to the community
  • In charge of the guidelines that set parameters for community engagement
  • Promoting member-to-member communication within the community
  • Engaging and facilitating brand ambassadors

Social Media Manager

  • External focus (outside of the brand website) on outreach and communication
  • Acquisition of new members and users
  • Increasing brand awareness via content creation and curation
  • Participating and facilitating conversations about the brand while promptly addressing issues that arise within social network spheres
  • Strategizing on optimal brand promotion using social networking tools

Similarities amongst the two

Each role is distinct in job responsibility but many aspects overlap. For example, both community and social media managers, to some degree, have to focus on metrics regarding member engagement. Neither can do their job well if they don’t keep tabs on what draws users in and what keeps them coming back. Another example, in my opinion, is that both community and social media managers need to be concerned with USG. While USG could be simply lumped along with the rest of a community manager’s responsibilities, I feel that social media managers are the ones that bring in the users that will ultimately lend the brand USG.

Improved but still improving

Because for the longest time (pretty much the entire summer up until now), I was unable to accurately distinguish the difference between the two, this post only addresses the specific characteristics of community managers versus social media managers on the most fundamental levels as understood by me. My understanding would be incomplete without the class materials, especially these two resources – this post by Vanessa Mauro and this post on the Community Roundtable blog – that lay out the differences in a most understandable manner. But furthering that understanding was the interview with Carrie Jones, which only clarified the very different nature of her job specifically in comparison to her colleagues who handle Chegg’s social media presence.

If I left out any crucial elements or misunderstood any existing concepts, please let me know! The learning is on going and I’m sure there’s plenty more I have yet to understand about what it means to be a community manager versus a social media manager.

Is a Social Media Manager the same as a Community Manager?

Not too many people realize that a Community Manager is different from a Social Media Manager. Many people think that they are the same thing due to the fact that Facebook or Twitter can be communities and people that run them are managing them. The two differences amaze a lot of people and if you do not take a class in Community Management then you are not expected to know what the differences are.

A Social Media Manager according to WhatIs.com: “individual in an organization trusted with monitoring, contributing to, filtering, measuring and otherwise guiding the social media presence of a brand, product, individual or corporation.” Generally, a Social Media Manager is somebody that has different experience in business, focusing in PR and Marketing. This is the person that makes a good impression about a product or service through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They also try to encourage their audience to purchase or discuss a product.

Community Managers are a little bit different, they are the ones that are managing relationships not only with their customers but their brands. This person has a background in development, and marketing. A Community Manager generally will oversee a Social Media Manager to see that things are running smoothly while running a general interest community of their own. 

After looking at the article “Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different?” I now see why people generally have a hard time being able to tell the difference between the two. Above, I did state the  “professional” definitions, but I would say that a Social Media Manager deals with representing a good or service through social media outlets, while a Community Manager builds the relationships necessary to the growth of the company and groups audience.

Today many “online managers” will play both roles of a Community and Social Media Manager as many companies and organizations find that it is not a necessity to spend a lot of money to hire multiple people to do tasks that almost go hand in hand. I know someone that works for a major organization (to remain un-named at their request) whose title is Social Community Manager. He does everything from customer outreach and product promotion to answering customers questions about specific products or services. As a one person operation it is tough to do all of these tasks at once where you should really control your Social Media presence as a team.

Overlaps in Social Media Management and Community Management

This past week we have been reading about community managers and social media managers and the difference between the two. Vanessa DiMauro conveniently charts out the roles that a social media manager has that a community manager doesn’t have. I also read many other articles that pointed out the difference of the two. You can read them here and here.

Although I see the differences, I also see a lot of overlapping. After being a moderator for a week in #CMGRclass and after managing my startups social media accounts, I have some hands on experience. After doing the readings, I keep wondering, “Can you be a social media manager without being a community manager?” and “Can you be a community manager without being a social media manager?”

Below is the chart taken from Vanessa DiMauro’s article “Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different?”

B2B Success Measure Role Accountability
Drive leads Social Media Manager Marketing
Raise awareness of products or services Social Media Manager Marketing
Visibility of company, products, services or thought leaders Social Media Manager Marketing
Increase sales Social Media Manager Sales
Event attendance Social Media Manager on public channels, Community manager on community channels Marketing
Customer questions about how to use a product or service Community Manager Customer Service
Learn from customers (e.g. feedback into product development) Community Manager Product Management/R&D
Customer retention / satisfaction Community Manager Sales
Call center reduction/ Improve customers’ ability to get help from each other Community Manager Customer Service
Increase utilization of the products Community Manager Product Management

As you can see, the two roles have different jobs. However, they are also all closely related. For example, once you start to raise awareness of a product or service you will most likely have questions. A lot of these questions will most likely be asked through social media. So, when a customer asks a question through Twitter, who’s role is it to respond? The above chart states that it is a community manager’s role.

A social media manager is constantly checking their social channels and looking at customer’s reactions. They are learning from their customers because they are listening and are aware of patterns. Maybe a “how to” blog post gets more “likes” or “retweets” then a quote does. Knowing this information is useful and they are essentially gaining feedback. The above chart states that passing along feedback is a community manager’s role.

In my opinion, a social media manager is different from a community manager, but only slightly. I think we would find that a social media manager already manages the community that they have built. I also think we would find that a lot of community managers are active on social media. Overall, I think it comes down to the companies understanding of social media and community management. If they truly understand the impact of social media they might want to hire a “Community Manager.” If a company has both a Social Media Manager and a Community Manager, I have a feeling the two department have daily face-to-face meetings.

 

Community Managers vs. Social Media Managers: What’s the Difference?

In today’s media landscape, the terms “community manager” and “social media manager” have more or less become synonymous. This practice of interchanging these two roles, however, is highly inaccurate. Let’s investigate this unruly phenomenon and hopefully, by shedding some light on it, we can change our behavior (yes, I mean “our,” as in, I’ve fell victim to this, too).

Back to square one

Let’s bring it back to basics. If you talk to a lot of people, you work in social media. Social media managers want to reach every person who participates in a conversation with the brand, and truly make for an engaging experience.  If you try to get a lot of people to talk to each other, you work in community management. Community managers essentially look to eliminate their own jobs — they want the brand to come to the point where users are talking to each other, so they act as the brand’s own personal defense.

You know you want it…

 

After reading through this article, even though I thought I was “bringing it back to the basics,” I found myself more confused. I see the clear distinction that is being made here, but I asked myself, “Don’t community managers use social media to get lots of people talking to each other?” It’s safe to say that these roles have become blurred.

Especially in the consumer space (versus the business-to-business space), the audience is a lot larger and broader, and it is not always as easy to decide which person — the social media manager or the community manager — should be the one to jump in first. This idea brought up another thought in my mind: we often generalize social media, much like the roles of social media manager and community manager, and clump it into one big responsibility. However, the nature of the content produced and the platforms used truly depends on the nature of the brand. B2B brands need strong community managers and social media managers, just like consumer brands do.

So if both comm. and social media mgmt. involve social media…

What’s all this “other stuff” everyone keeps referring to that community managers are also involved with? It’s never made clear that community managers have both online and offline responsibilities. Jenn Pedde (@JPeddesums it up best:

So what does a community manager do?

Communication, moderation, guideline writing, engaging day to day online (forums, owned communities, blogs, newsletters) and offline (events, conferences, meet-ups), strategy, working with the social teams/marketing/support/product/PR/management, surveying, customer service, and a variety of other activities.

Living and learning in a digital era, it’s easy to forget that communities offline are just as — if not more important than — communities online. A lot of the conversation about the brand happens online, but we see the results of such conversations take form in an offline realm. These conversations are only really worth it if the audience can translate what they’re saying into real actions in the “real world.”

Everyone loves examples
@Sharpie benefits from a social media manager, who's engagement with the audience makes for fun content that speaks to the brand identity.

@Sharpie benefits from a social media manager, who’s engagement with the audience makes for fun content that speaks to the brand identity.

Just incase it’s not entirely clear, here are two examples of work done by a community manager and work done by a social media manager. Community managers are more focused on socially or conversationally enabled content and responding to comments. Sharpie (@Sharpie) is great example of a brand that does not necessarily benefit from a community manager, as the business model cannot support deep relationship development, but benefits highly from unique user-generated content that social media managers would create.

The online web store Etsy is a great example of a brand that is well-supported by a community manager. In order to get users conversing with one another, the community managers at Etsy hold events, create webinars and curate collections. By doing so, Etsy is giving users opportunities for users with shared interests, etc. to collaborate. Thus, if the collaboration is successful, users feel a new sense of loyalty to Etsy because they owe this newfound success to the brand itself.

 

 

Etsy community page

Etsy community page 

Now that you know how to spot the difference between a community manager and a social media manager, which do you think your brand could benefit from best? Maybe you’ll even want to pursue one of these roles as a future career!

Moderating #CMGRClass on Twitter & Google+

My moderating week did not go as well as planned. It seemed everyone who moderated before had many people involved and participation was much higher. On the flip side, I learned new things regarding moderating and while I thought this week was tough just to jump back and forth from Google+ and Twitter with only a few comments, I know that there is so much more involved regarding community management. For example, in the article by Jeff Sonderman titled How the Huffington Post handles 70+ Million Comments a Year, there can be up to 25,000 posts an hour! Now if I thought this week was challenging, I can’t imagine what they go through daily, even hourly! Although, with that volume, they have up to 30 full time moderators that work 24/7/365 in six-hour shifts where they can go through hundreds of comments an hour.

One of the biggest takeaways from this week was that regardless of how many people participated, there was still good discussion. For Huffington Post, having 100,000 comments on a post isn’t unusual and with that, you can still have a very meaningful conversation. I think the same goes with not many comments. This allows the moderator to be able to be involved in the community and participate more since there isn’t as much on the plate. I felt as though it wasn’t that difficult to respond to what everyone had to say on the posts. It allowed me to follow up with some questions.

Photo courtesy of Jon Gossier  via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Jon Gossier via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Fabrizio Van Marciano via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Fabrizio Van Marciano via Flikr Creative Commons

My Week as a Moderator

As stated above, I was hoping the discussion went a little deeper and I had more participation. I felt that I posted just as much if not more than other weeks, and I was active on Twitter. It didn’t seem that many people were responding nor was I getting many active participants on Twitter. However, with the comments we got, we were able to have a good discussion. The standout was Anne Marie, who posted on everything we put out there on Google+. We only got 1 retweet about an article I posted, and that was by Hannah. The Twitter participation was very disappointing. I would ask open ended questions and not many would respond. I have found this to be true for most weeks though, not just my week to moderate.

I learned that I shouldn’t overpower or dominate when I am moderating and I felt that I just needed to let things flow, and ask follow up questions only when needed. I am not sure if I overpowered the class with articles I found or if simply they didn’t find what I posted to be interesting. I still think to myself what I could have done better and what went wrong. I am open to suggestions for enhancing the experience and getting the class more engaged.

Community Managers and Social Media Managers: Same Thing, Right?

Wrong.

But, to be fair they are easy to confuse. They share similar jobs but the extent to which a manager does them is what separates the two.

Image Courtesy of David Feng.

In the Community Roundtable’s blog post titled, “Differentiating Between Social Media and Community Management,” they explain that, everyone is a community manager…everyone has a group of constituents which could be cultivated to drive better performance” and that, “communities and social media are good for different types of business outcomes.” In the post they use bullet points to explain the differences between a Community Manager (CM) and Social Media Manager (SMM):

A Community Manager:

  • Welcomes members to the community
  • Moderates discussions

Social Media Manager:

  • Creates content: blogging, vlogging, podcasts – all with the hope stimulating a conversation
  • Manages SM tools (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.)

However Deb Ng, author of “5 Things Community Management Isn’t & 5 Things a Community Manager IS states that one of the five things a CM is, is a content creator. Confusing, right? Ng claims that, “what we post on the social networks is also considered content and we take great care in crafting these messages.” Funnily enough, Ng begins her blog post by saying, “though the community manager role continues to evolve, there’s still confusion as to what an online community manager does.”

According to Ng, a CM is someone who:

  • Is the voice and face of the brand; someone who will answer your questions and make sure you are connected to the right person.
  • Is a strategist; someone who carefully weighs their words and actions and makes sure that, “even the simplest of actions are planned out.”
  • Is a content creator (see above)
  • Is a numbers cruncher; they spend a lot of time looking at numbers, researching demographics, who’s interacting with you through what method or platform and how is the community reacting to your campaign.
  • Is a communicator; someone who knows how to talk and write and can do it well.

Image Courtesy of brandpilgrim.

Vanessa DiMauro, author of “Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different” initially says, “social media managers bring the guests to the table and community managers welcome them” but eventually turns to Blaise Grimes-Viort, a colleague, who she quotes as saying that community managers are in charge of customer relationships with the brand or product while social media managers are in charge of brand recognition and the reputation outside of the site.

DiMauro later includes a chart showing the different roles of a SMM and CM. Speaking as someone who once thought her job was to be a CM, I’m a SMM, this is one of the best charts to help explain the difference between CM and SMM:

Community Manager:

  • Customer retention and satisfaction
  • Improve customers’ ability to get help from each other

Social Media Manager:

  • Raise awareness of products or services
  • Visibility of company, products or services

DiMauro then includes a role that both CM and SMM share: event attendance. She claims SMMs take to public channels while CMs take to community channels. It’s a very interesting article and I highly recommend reading it. DiMauro also talks about Business to Business (or B2B).

Another good article to read that I didn’t talk about is called, “You may not actually be a Community Manager – and that’s ok” by Justin Isaf. In his blog post he talks about the difference between CM and SMM. Here’s a little taste of what says: “Social Media – people talking with the brand. Community Management – people talking with each other.”

So what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below what you think the differences are between CM and SMM. Are there any or are they slowly combining?

Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager: What’s The Difference?

Social media has become such an integrated part of our world that it almost expected that everyone knows how to use social media. However, there are professional roles designated for brands and companies that allow social media and community management to intertwine. The two roles, social media manager and community manager, often get confused between one another. However, there are distinct differences between the two that must be noted. In an article by Vanessa DiMauro, the differences between the two are shared. 

The Social Media Manager

According to DiMauro, a social media manager is someone who “operates from the edges of the company, managing brand recognition and reputation outside of the scope of the brand website.” By acting as someone who oversees the company rather than someone who is directly communicating with users, a social media manager can provide followers with an overview of the company while also marketing, managing public relations, and working with sales. As someone who has to coordinate with different departments so much, it is important that the social media manger is well informed about higher level aspects of the company.

The Community Manger

Conversely, the community manager “operates from deep within the company, managing customer relationships with a brand or product, and each other.” As opposed to a social media manager, a community manager is much more involved with the actual people who associate with a brand of project. It is important for a community manager to know the people who interact with a brand so they can make connections, share ideas among others, and connect people within a community when necessary. A strong aspect of being a community manager relates to allowing others to collaborate and relate to one another.

A chart DiMauro uses in her article to illustrate the differences between a community manager and a social media manager.

A chart DiMauro uses in her article to illustrate the differences between a community manager and a social media manager.

Do The Lines Overlap? 

In her article, DiMauro acknowledges that although the two roles do have different responsibilities, there is certainly some overlap. However, she tries to dissolve that confusion by creating a chart that outlines the differences between the two jobs. I cannot help but still feel that  distinguishing responsibilities between the two can be confusing. Although I can see that social media managers really manage the brand while community managers manage the people and relationships, I do sense that there is a sense of overlap between the two roles. Both positions utilize similar tools in order to accomplish their jobs: social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter allow both people to monitor the people that are interacting with their company. Both may also use similar analytical tools to monitor how their community is growing and who is interacting a brand. Although this information is used in different ways, both people work with these tools to efficiently do their jobs. The social media manager and the community manager may ultimately have different goals, but the overlap between their methodologies can certainly be confusing.

Do you agree there’s a difference between community manager and social media manager? Is there anything else to add? Share in the comments below! 

Social Media Manager and Community Manger – Difference?

This week was all about differentiating between a social media manager and a community manager. Initially, like I’m sure most people did, I thought they were the same thing. One will often assume that since a community manager uses Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, they must be a social media manager as well. That is where they are wrong. There are different duties for each manager and this week we really got to dive into the main differences.

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 3.04.13 PM

What’s the Difference?

My biggest takeaway from this week regarding the difference is that social media managers are generally more concerned with their brand while community managers focus more on relationships with members of the particular community. This is not to say both do not utilize social media, but they utilize it in different ways. A more simple explanation in my opinion is that social media managers are most concerned with their product or service, while community managers are more concerned with the users of that product. In an article by Vanessa DiMauro titled “Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different?”, she discussed some of their roles. According to Vanessa, social media managers are more focused on:

  • raising awareness of the product or service
  • visibility of company, products, or services
  • drive leads
  • increase of sales
  • event attendance

On the other hand, she goes on to explain that community managers are more focused on:

  • customer questions on how to use product or service
  • learning from the customers through feedback
  • customer satisfaction/retention
  • increase utilization of products
  • improve customers’ ability to get help from one another

So it seems that a Community Manager is more of a people person?

My answer would be yes. That is not to say social media managers don’t take the customers’ into account. I just think after all of the readings and comparisons this week, it is safe to say that community managers are more focused on exactly their title: the community. While both titles manage tools, a community manager is more focused about using these tools for engagement within the community.

Are there similarities?

I think so. One aspect that I believe is similar in both a community manager and social media manager is that they both create content. In an article by Deb Ng titled, “5 Things Community Management Isn’t & 5 Things a Community Manager Is”she emphasizes that a community manager is a content creator. She states,

It’s our job to communicate with the community and we use a variety of channels to do so. You’ll often see community managers creating videos and blog posts. What we post on the social networks is also considered content and we take great care in crafting these messages. You have to have a way with words and be well versed in grammar and usage to be a successful CM.

Another article from this week is by The Community Roundtable titled, “Differentiating Between Social Media and Community Management.” In this post, they go on to discuss that social media managers are in fact the content creators. So, while these two articles seem to contradict each other, I think that it shows both community managers and social media managers can create content. They may create content for different reasons, but regardless, they both do.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you think it is necessary for companies to have both a community manager and a social media manager? Can they have one person that acts as both?
  • Are there any other similarities between the two?
  • Is there an easier way to explain the differences?