Why Community Managers Are Needed.

If you have a group online, if you are trying to bring a community online, if you’re a brand trying to get followers through social media, then you need a community manager. It doesn’t matter how big you are, how many followers you have, or if you have someone who is happy to sit on Facebook and Twitter all day in the office, the field is so very complex that it isn’t a job that can be done annexed to another position. It is a role that requires specific attention to specific detail. These are the reasons why.

Reason One:

Would you allow a plumber to perform heart surgery on you?

Probably not. Or, if you would, you deserve all you get. Seriously. Unless, of course, they’re connected to a medical adviser on the telephone and you’re in a remote area, you’re probably not going to achieve a high degree of success. The same goes for community management. While it might have some similarities to marketing or advertising or branding, it’s just not the same. It requires a specific set of talents and skills that are very select and, unless someone is prepared to give the time to developing those skills, they’re not likely to just wake up one day and have them.

Reason Two:

Would you want someone not dedicated to an specific field to be a professional in that field?

In an ever changing arena, it is important to have someone who is prepared to sit down and watch trends, watch hash tags, watch what the community is doing and keep an eye on nastier elements. If you don’t, things will run away from you. This has happened time and time again in communities offline, as well as online. The mentality that your community isn’t so big as to need a community manager is a retroactively dangerous one. If community guidelines, communications strategies and crisis action plans are not in place from the very beginning, you are asking for an incoming storm to take you down.

Reason Three:

If someone is happy to tow the company line, will they stand up and tell you you’re wrong?

A community manager is your link to the outside world in such a way that no one else within your business can be. Retail staff, if that’s your field, don’t normally hear a lot about the way people are disgruntled or, if they do, once they leave the store, they no longer care. Online, a bad review, a criticising tweet is out there forever. You can’t take that down. You need someone who will stand up, tell you what people are saying and have the digital balls to tell everyone what is what. If the person dealing with your online community or customer base doesn’t have the hutzpah to take a situation in hand, then you are ruined online, and that is lost money.

That is just three darned good reasons why community managers should be one of the most prized employees on your team. They are you connection to the world online and offline. A good community manager will keep your brand strong online, which is where it matters most.

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Social Media and Your Dream Job.

"Dream job" by ~hro

Use social media to aim for the stars – image: http://bit.ly/18CZQ43

We spend so much time on social networking sites, but have you used them as tools in the search for your dream job? Here are four tips to get those connections working towards your dream job.

1. Facebook.

Facebook logoMany businesses have referral systems for staffing, meaning existing staff know about openings before jobs are advertised. Letting your Facebook friends know you’re searching for a new job is one of the best ways to score an interview. With almost 40% of new US hires coming from staff referrals, you need to work those friends lists.

2. LinkedIn.

LinkedIn logoLinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network,” yet many fail to keep their details current. A study by the annual ASX200 Social Media Report, social recruiting is on the rise in Australia, and LinkedIn is the number one site for checking applicants. Make sure you keep your profile fresh and your contact details current.

3. Pinterest.

Pinterest logoIf you’re a creative, you need to be using Pinterest as a portfolio. It isn’t just for cooking and crafts. Creatives in all fields are using Pinterest to showcase their work and funnel traffic back into their websites. Make sure to use appropriate tagging and keep any work you say is your work separate from that of other people.

4. Twitter.

Twitter logoIf you’re in marketing or communications, you should be on Twitter. Short “tweets” show that you get your meaning across quickly. Make your interactions meaningful, or they’ll be lost in the feed. Applying for a position? Follow the company and the executives. It’s the best way of finding out what’s new with the business and preparing for the interview.

Do you have any tips for using social media in the search for a dream job? Share your ideas with others in the comments below.

References:

Facebook.com (2013). http://www.facebook.com/

Jobvite.com. (2013). Recruiting Data Employment Statistics. http://recruiting.jobvite.com/resources/recruiting-data-employment-statistics-by-jobvite-index/

Linkedin.com. (2013). http://www.linkedin.com/

Linkedin.com, (2013). What is LinkedIn? http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=what_is_linkedin

Pinterest.com. (2013). http://pinterest.com/

Smith, Paul. (2013). LinkedIn tops Australian corporate social media, but YouTube on the Rise. http://www.afr.com/p/technology/linkedin_tops_australian_corporate_6zA5xqSFcMhu2zYTXccr3H

Twitter.com. (2013). http://www.twitter.com/

Twitter.com. (2013). Twitter Help Center. https://support.twitter.com/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary#t

Walbridge, Andrew. (2013). Design Ideas. http://pinterest.com/awalbridge/design-ideas/

We Are The Media.

ImageSo, if you’ve been living under a rock, we’re having an election. I know that it’s tiring, and I for one am completely over the nonsense. This is the first election where I have taken part, having been a conscientious objector to compulsory voting up until now. My decision to enrol to vote is, however, a topic for another day’s post.

What I do want to discuss today is the “media blackout period” we are supposed to experience in the last few days before the actual voting day.

What is a “Media blackout period”?

Under Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), election advertising in the electronic media is subject to a ‘blackout’ from midnight on the Wednesday before polling day to the end of polling on the Saturday. This three-day blackout effectively provides a “cooling off” period in the lead up to polling day, during which political parties, candidates and others are no longer able to purchase time on television and radio to broadcast political advertising. (AEC, 2013)

Apparently, this doesn’t cover the Web, where election hype and discussion is still going crazy. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the Liberals had an “interesting” time of releasing an Internet policy that apparently wasn’t quite right first time

It’s a pretty special set of circumstances that would lead to a completely incorrect policy being released online, unbeknownst to the main politician supposedly responsible for the area the policy covers. But I digress.

The time has come for those who conduct political discussion online to understand one very simple premise:

We Are The Media.

It’s really that simple.

The media blackout is there to give voters a “cooling down period” from the financially-supported party campaigns. Political parties are not being held accountable for their actions online, and this is a worry. Political discussion between voters is not covered by this blackout, and nor should it be.

It seems to me that this is just another instance of governmental guidelines not being kept in synch with what is happening in the real world, away from the hallowed halls of parliament.