Being a community manager is such an easy job, right? All you have to do is stare at Twitter and Facebook all day while you post pictures of cats. Easy-peasy!
If that’s what you think being a community manager involves, you are in for a very rude awakening. As anyone with a Twitter account can relate to, it’s not easy to grow your popularity online. Social media is an overwhelmingly crowded space, and trying to make your brand’s voice stand out as a trusted authority in your field is very challenging.
There are plenty of how-tos and best practices out there about how to reach and engage your audience on social, but I’m not going to bother with that here. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the top community managers out there who are doing a kickass job of fostering an engaged online community.
*DISCLAIMER* There are so many great community managers out there and handpicking 6 of them was an incredibly difficult process. This list consists of individuals that I or my colleagues at Uberflip have noticed doing a great job and have ongoingly engaged us on behalf of their brands. This list is definitely incomplete — please share community managers that you think are doing a great job so they can get the recognition that they deserve! Additionally, to narrow the scope of this article, I'm going to focus primarily on these brands' Twitter strategies.
Where she kicks ass: Moz
Why she kicks ass: Though not the only person contributing to Moz's online community, Jennifer is the marketing team's Director of Community. In addition to guiding Moz's social team, she's not afraid to roll up her sleeves and answer questions on Facebook or send tweets from Moz's Twitter account.
One thing that really stands out about Moz's strategy is their excellent use of visuals. For example, while scrolling through my Twitter feed, this tweet really caught my eye:
This clean and simple image commands your attention with an arrow that directs your eyes towards the deal that is being offered. Here's another great image, this one attempting to drive signups for the upcoming MozCon conference:
The registration gauge lets you know just how close the conference is to being sold out, and it creates a sense of urgency to quit stalling and order your ticket. Kudos, Jennifer (and the rest of the Moz social team) for continuously commanding my attention on social!
Where he kicks ass: Cap'n Crunch
Why he kicks ass: I love my morning bowl of cereal, but I never thought that I'd ever say I'm friends with my cereal. Thanks to Andrew Cunningham, however, nearly 35,000 people can say that they are. As Cap'n Crunch's community manager, Andrew personifies the beloved cartoon captain and interacts with the cereal's growing fan base. In fact, a quick scroll through the Cap'n's Twitter feed predominantly shows messages directed at members of the community.
In the video below, Andrew explains the importance of contributing to a conversation only when it makes sense to do so. Don't just spam your audience with content; listen to what people are saying and find a meaningful way to jump in (even if you're a cartoon character representing a cereal).
Where he kicks ass: Kapost
Why he kicks ass: Many marketers are guilty of sharing a piece of content by tweeting out its title and a link (I definitely fall into that category as well). This can sometimes work — especially if the title is compelling — but often it is not enough. Remember, content found on social is surrounded by a sea of other content. After enough scrolling, tweets starting with "10 tactics..." or "How to..." seem to all blur together and get ignored.
At Kapost, Andrew does a great job of not just tweeting titles but elaborating on what can be found inside each blog post. Take a look at the following examples:
Note how instead of simply tweeting a headline, Andrew uses alternate ways to promote Kapost's content. Whether it's with a stat (marketers love numbers!), a quote from the author, or describing the problem and solution in more detail, kickass community managers share content by making it more conversational to their communities.
Where she kicks ass: Marketo
Why she kicks ass: When you're a leader in the marketing automation space and speaking to an audience of over 84,000 followers, the pressure is that much greater for your content to be of the highest quality. This, however, doesn't mean that all of your content needs to be related specifically to your field; remember, you're building a community of people, and people have many different interests.
Liz does a great job of not just appealing to the Marketo community's interest in marketing automation, but to whatever else they might be interested in as well. For example, take a look at the following tweets:
These posts have absolutely nothing to do with marketing automation — and that's perfectly fine! If Marketo were to only post content about one specific topic, followers might learn to tune out its posts if they're not interested in that topic at the moment. By mixing up Marketo's content and opening up the range of appeal from business to entertainment, you never really know what you're going to get from a Marketo post. This makes followers more likely to pay attention — and share!
Where she kicks ass: KwinMedia
Why she kicks ass: If you don't know who Cammi Pham is, you're not Twittering right (that's right, I just said that). At the time of this writing, she has amassed nearly 76,000 followers on her personal Twitter account! So, I think it's safe to say that she knows a thing or two about building an online community — and that's exactly what she helps clients with at KwinMedia, her digital marketing and social media agency.
By following Cammi on Twitter, you can really get to know her as a person based solely on the content that she posts. Take a look at the following examples:
Her tweets really run the gamut, but give you a real complete picture of who she is, what she does and what she's interested in. Plus, it's not all just fluff — she provides valuable professional insight as well. This balance of fun and professionalism is an example of what all community managers should strive for, whether for their own communities or the ones they are managing for their companies.
Where she kicks ass: Wishpond
Why she kicks ass: As the title Community Manager implies, it's important for brands to build and support a community of individuals that are interested in your company. It's a long-term strategy that develops a relationship over time. As a result, it's not necessary for every single message from your brand to be a link to a piece of content on your website; after all, what kind of community can form based on one person only sharing links?
At Wishpond, Cara Tarbaj has shown that she understands the importance of providing value to the marketing campaign software's audience, even if this does not involve directly promoting Wishpond's services. Take a look at these tweets:
Are you going to head over to Wishpond's pricing page or upgrade your account after reading these tweets? Probably not — and that's fine! Again, building a community is all about providing value. It's content like this that helps Wishpond become a valued part of a person's social networks and, down the line, be at the front of their minds when it's time to choose a marketing campaign solution.
Know any kickass community managers that didn't make the list? Give them a shout out in the comments below!