Have you ever had your favorite brand reply to you on Twitter? Have you then taken a screenshot of this tweet and posted it to Facebook where over 100 of your friends liked it? Well then maybe you have a community manager to thank for the best part of your week. Now, you may think the man or woman who responded to your brand-praising tweet is an in-house community manager, but these days more companies outsource community management to agencies.
Who’s the Subject?
This week I had the chance to speak with Emily Maupai, an agency-based community manager in New Jersey. Emily currently works at 3E Public Relations, which is an affiliate of SGW Integrated Marketing Communications, one of the Garden State’s leading integrated marketing communications firms. After receiving a B.A. in Advertising from Rowan University, Emily now manages many consumer and B2B clients in industries such as health and beauty, restaurant, food and beverage, franchising, automotive, telecommunications, broadcast, and financial services.
I was actually able to intern for this marketing communications company a few years ago, and I know first-hand the hard work and dedication she has put into her work to build communities for her clients. Specifically, I spoke with Emily about one of her clients that she describes as a “professional lens company.” (For privacy sake, the company asked that specific information about their clients be withheld)
Why User Generated Content is the Best Kind of Content
As Emily has been growing the brand of this client for two years, the brand has become an opinion leader of the professional broadcast and cinema community. But what kind of content does she post to keep her community engaged? As discussed in class, it is important to decide if user generated content is the right fit for your website. For Emily’s client, the answer to that question is yes. Because her community is very heavy in content creation she always asks them to share what kind of projects they are working on and to share any behind-the-scenes shots they are legally allowed to post, and she says they normally do.
Author Richard Millington of Buzzing Communities supports this method as he says, “The best content for a community is content about the community.” When users are sharing these personal, behind-the-scenes shots it makes the page about the people in the community, instead of a solely a big advertisement for the brand. It also provides a reason for members to visit the page every day; to see if their content was featured, or just to see any new content from their online friends.Plan For Success
Emily and her team emphasize the role of an editorial calendar. Specifically, they try to plan out a month’s worth of content so that they are always prepared, but also they leave room for timely and relevant news breaks.This allows the brand to embody all of Social Fresh’s benefits of an editorial calendar by being timely, organized, and professional. Emily also values having a positive relationship with her client, and she has noticed that the brand team appreciates seeing what you are going to put on the web on their behalf before it goes live.
What’s the Best Part of Being a Community Manager?
To end the interview I thought it would be fun to ask Emily what her favorite part of her job is. She summed it up nicely by saying she enjoys connecting people and helping them more easily find the information they are looking for on the web.
Questions for the Audience
- Is the community management industry moving more towards agencies?
- Do you believe it is helpful to have a community manager that is removed from the all-consuming, in-house brand environment?
- Do you agree with Emily’s client approval process, where they send the planned posts to the brand before they hit the web?
Let me know in the comments below!