Now, I don’t 100% disagree with him that not all community managers are suited to create content. But it’s such a gross generalization.
To tell great stories you have to stop having your community managers produce your content.
Some CEO’s can’t create content either, and they let their marketing person do it for them. Is that content the real reflection of the brand and it’s value? Right. Not always.
Let me take you waaay back in my own history to when I was a chef. I wore a lot of hats and worked my way from night baker to executive chef. If you’ve worked in the restaurant business you know that very often it’s the sous chef or someone on the line who creates the menu on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes the best dish on the menu came from the rank and file. They’re the ones who are deep in the trenches. They know what the clientele likes, they know what’s freshest. They have the freedom to play with the ingredients while the executive chef is in the office chasing spreadsheets.
How does that relate to community managers and whether or not they should be creating content?
I’m getting there. I work with a talented team of community managers and I know many more through speaking, conferences and social media. The one indisputable thing I can say about community managers is; they’re a diverse group. Some are great conversation wranglers, shit-disturbers even. Some are analytical thinkers and know how to extract ROI from a stone. Others do everything from moderating forums and Facebook pages, Twitter engagement and influencer outreach to creating e-books and blogging for the company. Many have a passion for the topic of conversation central to the brand they manage. Others are generalists and know more about creating memes than they do about the core values of the brands they represent. Some have advanced degrees in business while others are self taught. Are there some robotic drones? Yep. There are in every job aren’t there?
Big brands have a tendency to think community management is a rank and file position. Fer god’s sake, really? That just shows how little respect they have for the community. Yes, community moderation is a skill set that may not jive with writing white papers, e-books and deep thoughtful content but it doesn’t mean community managers aren’t capable of it. After managing a community, digging out answers to questions from the engineers, marketing and the CEO don’t you think your community manager knows about your brand? A good community manager is thinking strategically about how to deliver content that reaches the right people and inspires them to learn more.
I work with many mid-size companies who don’t have the luxury of hiring a person for every position. Often the community manager is also creating blog posts, e-books and re-writing the content on the corporate website to better reach the market. They are an integral part of the team. A smart CXO at least talks to the community manager to discover what content needs to be created to suit the market. They’re the ones with their finger on the pulse.
Community managers? What say you?
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