Does a social community manager have a social life?

By | November 11, 2010

24 000 followers on the corporate Twitter account, 15 000 friends on Facebook….hundreds of DMs, questions, complaints, congratulations…this is what a social community manager has to deal with every single day.

No matter the size, businesses and organizations nowadays have understood that social media marketing is an essential part of their brand. And one of the most important aspects is building communities around it, making them grow and keep them always connected and updated, by offering them constant and instant feedback.

A social community manager is not only a person who is very skillful on handling Twitter and Facebook, or YouTube. He or she is a professional able to implement effective marketing strategies on social media sites, build strong customer relationships and entertain them. Let’s take the World University Rankings product as an example…to keep it closer to the ones interested in it ( students, parents, academia, employers)…with a 27 826 and growing number of fans, built up in less than a year, 300 wall posts and comments a week, the manager of the page has to post relevant and appropriate content on a daily basis and respond all queries…and this is not an easy task. Another example would be the World Economic Forum, their website, their 13.153 member Facebook page, the blog, the 1.499.139 followers Twitter account, the LiveStream account, the photostream on FlickR, the Myspace or YouTube…these guys are almost everywhere ! And the communities managed by Matthias Lüfkens, Anna Sims and Nicole Tapscott are constantly provided with key news and info on the WEF events or economic related issues, replies to their questions and engaged in discussions.

Service rounds on forums, blogs, social media sites, keyword search for mentions of the brand, making sure all the messages and comments are replied to, reporting technical issues to the team of developers, and informing the users of the solutions or newest releases, managing a community team, all these are followed by the creation of content relevant within each community medium, starting and involving in different discussions, engaging at most the community members. It is what a social community manager deals with within working hours, and even after that, in case of a internationally established brand, as consumers are active on different time zones, and they need to be satisfied instantly. Alexandra Dumitru, community manager from Seesmic, a social software application that integrates multiple Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn accounts, has to deal with that every day.

After managing people online, involving in conversations so that membership grows, blogging, twittering, what is left for the offline interaction with people, apart from the online catching-up with friends?

Does that leave time for friends and family? Does that leave time for coffee, dinner, cinema, theatres, and reunions…?

Sitting at a table with such a person you may sometimes feel ignored or even lonely, as they often plunge into their blackberry, or iphone checking if everything is ok on the communities they manage, or if they have any late desperate calls from their development departments. However, most of the times, you feel wonderfully inspired and relaxed, as these people are people’s persons, and know how to deal and communicate in each situation and they know the art of making a good conversation. Being very dynamic and active almost 24/7, they always value precious time spent with family and friends.

As they are very keen on making a very good time management plan, they easily manage to go to movie premieres, concerts or to have a daily gym appointment. Don’t be surprised, though, if you see them taking a short break in the middle of their exercise and checking the latest tweets on the account they are in charge with.

Besides, they’re also keen on going out to various kinds of events. You never know who you can meet there, they say..and they’re always open to making new acquaintances. If someone invites them to do something, then they usually go. Why turn down a chance to get out there with people?

You will never get bored when you are around such a person…

As a Social Community Manager you rarely really know what is expecting you each new day. So, this job is definitely not one for a slow thinker and do-er, or just lazy one. And if you want to hire someone for this job, be careful to find a very dynamic, enthusiastic, resourceful person and a good communicator, if you want your page to look something like this.

Or maybe I’m just wrong, what do you think?

7 thoughts on “Does a social community manager have a social life?

  1. luefkens

    Mihaela
    Thanks for the shout out! Your post is right on the money. My plan for Vienna is to mute the BlackBerry and concentrate on real life interaction with all of you!

    Reply
    1. Mihaela

      Luckily there are this kind of events, so that we can have real life conversations as well :)…some really inspiring ones

      Reply
  2. Eric

    Good one Mihaela !
    It depends on what kind of “social life” we are talking about. Within one day in social networks I really have a social life, talking may be with more people I would do in a whole month irl. But it is not the same kind of relationship. May be it is a matter of quality vs. quantity ?

    Reply
    1. Mihaela

      The social life on social networks is definitely intense. And you sure have good quality interactions online as well. The matter is how much time this leaves for offline interaction and not only for business/work related stuff, but also personal life…and how prepared are people in this field to cope with both 🙂

      Reply
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