The ideal community management team consists of learners and practitioners who are passionate about all aspects of the many roles they make up.
When it comes to building a community management team, we all begin with the same dreamy notions: a tidy employee spreadsheet and correlating assembly of offices dedicated to your community management dream team, comfortably housed within that shiny, well-established social media department that the client roster has totally accounted for. I think I see little Keurig machines stationed at every corner, with bagels and muffins and other tasty accoutrements.
But in most cases, it starts with some poor sap, chained to a laptop in some dark basement of self-loathing, methodically scrolling through TweetDeck and sending panicked Red Bull-fueled e-mails to the account director upon viewing a torrent of troll-induced hate rapidly populating the Facebook page. Not that I would know, or anything.
The path of a community manager may start out a little shaky, but after putting in those long hours and accepting that your audience is growing faster than you can handle, it's time for you to assemble the right people around you to help create content, communicate, and plan for growth.
While everyone's framework varies, here are some core roles that come with every community management team:
With these team members at the core, it's necessary to grow a strong relationship with the following roles and departments:
With all this said, the ideal community management team consists of members who are hybrids — learners and practitioners who are passionate (and disturbingly obsessive) about all aspects of the aforementioned roles. Find the trustworthy few who are willing to take on more than what any job title entails.
For those currently working within a community management team, I'd love to hear: what makes it work? What skill sets do you look for? What new roles have developed?
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Caroline Chen serves in a hybrid role at Publicis Groupe futures practice Denuo, tackling copywriting, design, strategy, and community management for its host of clients, which include AstraZeneca, General Mills, P&G, and Taco Bell.
Her responsibility as the agency's resident community manager is to help create content and manage customer relationships for clients' social communities. Working closely with SVP Dan Buczaczer, Caroline co-leads Denuo's newest practice, Continuous Content. This unit offers a more comprehensive service for clients needing a social strategy and surfaces creative ideas that helps them engage audiences for the long term.
Prior to launching Continuous Content, Caroline honed her social and community expertise while working on some of Denuo's largest social media efforts, including running the social strategy and Facebook and Twitter communication efforts during the redbox Thanks a Billion campaign – a promotion which celebrated the company's billionth rental and provided redbox customers with prizes and a chance to win free rentals. She also helped with the creation and launch of Tablespoon.com's Facebook recipe-sharing app Foodlife and helped design the identity for Taco Bell Truck - a popular user-generated Denuo program that launched in 2008 and continues to make stops across the country to hand out free Taco Bell food, based on social media recommendations from fans.
Before joining Denuo, Caroline had been art director at Chicago-based advertising and branding agency Point B Communications. Prior, she served as an interactive designer at film and TV boutique Mad Monkey and as a copywriter and designer for full service advertising, marketing, and interactive agency Robin Shepherd Group. She has received a number of American Advertising Federation ADDY awards – recognizing creative excellence in the art of advertising – for her work on radio spots, billboards, interactive design, and more.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Florida in 2004.
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