Community managers are under a lot of pressure to be perfect. You need to craft the perfect responses, develop the perfect strategy, and have perfect knowledge of the brand. Don’t be overwhelmed - this is achievable with some preparation. Let’s look at four threats to your community’s success, and how strategy and some initial groundwork will help you overcome and thrive.
Your brand’s success is driven by strong communication, and that extends beyond your community. It’s important to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the business which means open lines of communication with your colleagues. They’ll keep you in the loop on the latest company and product news as well as updates to goals and customer service initiatives.
An internal communication strategy is a great resource for bigger organizations where it may not be as simple as contacting Mike in Marketing. From the CEO to the customer support team, your colleagues are a wealth of resources just waiting to be tapped.
Not Preparing for Worst-Case Scenarios
Are you ready for a worst-case scenario? What will you do when a PR disaster arises? Or if you get sick unexpectedly? If you said “I don’t know” to any of these questions, then you’ve got some work to do!
Start by understanding your brand’s expectations. For PR problems, seek out the advice of C-level colleagues. They can offer direction on how you should respond and who to contact if a crisis occurs after-hours. Next, create a contingency plan with your manager so you don’t need to scramble when something pops up.
Because it will.
That’s just how life works! It’s especially important to have a plan in place in case you get sick. Provide standard training and keep a handbook of materials and information that will allow your fill-in to do the job adequately until you return. (You can even include that new internal communication strategy you created!)
Misreporting Your Metrics
Solid metrics give you the insights into your successes and failures, but not having a full understanding of the data can lead to frustration and prevent you from succeeding at the next stage.
Vanilla Forums integrate with your current CRM software and are also compatible with Google Analytics so you can track traffic. Of course, it’s up to you to ensure that you’ve developed strong reports that track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Vanilla Forums also has a handy-dandy ROI Calculator that allows you to see how much money you’re saving. You can enter information like Support Calls Per Month and Call Deflection Rate to dig into the dollars and cents. This information can also help you showcase the value of your role to management.
Focusing on the Short Game
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day. Fielding community member questions, digging into traffic data, and creating original content can be time consuming, but you must remember that these efforts support a bigger vision.
To keep on track, it’s critical that you step back and look at your organization’s overall goal and review how your current processes support those efforts. You may be a superstar at community engagement, but if your brand wants to push customer education then you need to develop strategy-based solutions to further these goals.
Asking questions, creating solutions, and exercising ingenuity in the face of adversity will solidify your value within the brand and make you a more effective community manager.