Community Management: Is it strategic or a Role?
Most companies that hire a community manager do so to entrust them with tactical functions such as generating conversations or answering doubts from community members on the Internet. This is what makes community management a role. This is logical since people on the Internet every day become more demanding and have learned that making their claims in a group and openly, get more results than fighting the battle alone against brands.
The daily activities in which the community manager is involved mean that we do not see the management of communities as something strategic and even more if the managers of the companies only see the social issue as a role that must be fulfilled by the community manager. In this scenario, it is impossible to see community management as a systematized discipline that is part of the overall management of the company.
In order to consider this discipline as strategic, the management members of the companies must be involved with the competitive advantages that community management provides when it is perceived as strategic. In this sense, the strategic tasks to be addressed would be:
- Social management of company processes.
- Integration of business processes with activities in the community.
- Talent management supported by the community.
- Brand development through interactions in the community.
- Improvement of products and services based on learning in the community.
On the other hand, whenever the community manager is hired just to deal with people in the online community, the tasks will always be tactical and not strategic. For example:
- Generate conversations
- Promote participation.
- Customer Support.
- Management and creation of contents.
- Create relationships
- Management of incidents and complaints.
Every time we are asked if we consider community management to be strategic, we always answer yes, but then we find that the activities of our community manager are only tactical. We must reflect and understand that there are greater advantages including community management within the overall management of the company’s processes.