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Strategic insights
The Community Manager Disconnect

Written by on September 6, 2011

The social world is slowly maturing, and, as such, we are starting to see a disconnect between what people think they connect with, and what they actually connect with.

A simple example. Two months ago contacted a company about a problem I had and their community manager immediately responded in a very straightforward, useful and friendly way. I was very impressed by her. She was a perfect case for what it means to be community manager. She responded immediately. She was very helpful, very professional, and she followed up on me the next day.

Perfect.

There is just one problem. Today, almost two months later, they still have not solved the issue.

The problem is that this company works like so many others. The Community Manager is a subset of marketing and refers to the CMO. As such, the community manager is forced into a situation in which she has to deal with problems that she cannot solve, and she has no power or influence over the departments who can.

In most companies, there almost communication between departments about specific issues. Your organizational structure is forcing a disconnect.

When people connect with you on Facebook or Twitter they see your profile as representing the brand as a whole. Which means that they expect the brand as a whole to listen when they have a problem.

If you want to fix this disconnect, your first step is to move your community managers out of specific departments.

Your community manager is not someone who belongs in marketing. It is a person that links your customers to any department. It is a person who can report directly to any department head.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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