The title “Community Manager” is popping up all over the place. So you may be asking ... what is a "Community Manager" exactly? In my opinion, this is just another title for a "Marketing Director" and really encompasses many of the same functions. The bottom line is managing a community, be it online or offline. Here are some signs that you can be confident your community manager knows what they are doing:
1. They don’t view social media as a one size fits all solution: Just because a social media platform is available doesn’t mean it should be leveraged by your mortgage company. Knowing when and how to use a particular platform requires you to take many factors into account. Here are just a few:
►Who’s the target audience?
►What’s the demographic makeup of the target audience?
►What’s the likelihood your target prospect will be there?
►What’s your goal for being there? Is it to drive awareness, new originations, build your network, refer to another platform, drive newsletter subscriptions, etc.?
►How new is the platform? Does it have real staying power, or is it just another “shiny lure”?
►What other platform does it compete with? For example, Google+ and Facebook tend to be viewed as competitive with each other.
2. They believe success should be measured by ROI: Return on investment (ROI) is always the bottom line. It’s up to your Community Manager to figure out how to work the platform to drive an ROI. This is an art form. I understand that community management has a lot of “warm and fuzzy” attached to it, but everything should be tied to your business goals.
3. They know how to define a successful campaign: Before your Community Manager begins a campaign, goals are defined and benchmarks along the way are set.
4. They know how to drive online actions offline, offline actions online: Community management for mortgage companies can’t be completely online ... you must drive an offline action. For example, generating an inbound phone call, attending an event, educational seminar, etc.
5. They are creative: The best Community Managers are creative thinkers. They are not shy about pulling out all the stops and testing new ideas, in a well-thought-out way to hit their goals. Of course, there’s always plenty of failure along the way, but failing is part of success, is it not?
6. They don’t have “shiny lure” syndrome: Social media moves fast and it’s real easy to get sucked in by the latest thing. Let me give you a couple great examples ... Pinterest and Google+! Both are legitimate platforms. Each has their limitations, pros and cons. For a mortgage company, would it make sense to be an early adopter of either of these? A case could be made, but if you have nothing going on online you need to set your priorities and those priorities certainly don’t start with Google+ or Pinterest.
7. They do not have a defensive online persona: Your Community Manager needs to be a level headed professional at all times. If you recognize they seem defensive offline, this will likely bleed into their online interactions as well. There are times that some troll will post their rants about your company, people or the industry on your Facebook wall. Your corporate image and brand will be affected by how these situations are handled. Diplomacy and a cool head are key.
8. They think community management is a 9 to 5 deal: Community management happens 24/7. People won’t stop posting on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. at 5:00 p.m. Most “crises” will happen after 5:00 p.m., so your community manager needs to be ready to move in swiftly and efficiently to put out any possible fires.
So, I hope this helps you evaluate new hires for the Community Management or marketing position you wish to fill ... or even evaluate whoever currently fills that position for you. If you take a look at each of these, it really all boils down to common sense.
Patrick H. Seroka is president and chief executive officer of Seroka, the only Certified Brand Strategists in North America specializing in the mortgage industry. With Seroka, you'll experience unique, second-to-none client service and benefit from compelling marketing communications. Plus, we guarantee your growth. For more information, call (262) 523-3740 or e-mail email@example.com.