Business Development Acumen for Online Community Managers - dummies

Business Development Acumen for Online Community Managers

By Deborah Ng

In a way, the online community manager is the most important person in the company. Without you and your input and data, the other teams don’t know how to serve your customers and community members properly. Even though you’re not officially part of the business development department, you’re the one person that this department can’t manage effectively without.

Because you’re receiving feedback from your community on a regular basis, you’re best equipped to tell the business development how the people who use your products and services feel about them. If any aspect of what your brand creates isn’t working, you’re the one who hears about it. Also, it’s up to you to offer surveys to collect information from customers and community members.

Because you spend so much time talking to your members, you know things that the rest of your team may not:

  • The median age of your community: After conversing with members over time, you find out how old they are.

  • The location of your members: You find out where members live and whether more of them live in one area than in other areas.

  • Their hobbies and interests: Community chats often go off topic, and this is okay, because you want to find out about your members’ interests — the things they like to do during their down time.

  • Careers: You know what some of your members do for a living.

  • Income: Unless you come out and ask, you won’t know for sure, but some indicators let you know the income levels of your members. If they talk about their in-ground swimming pools and country-club memberships, it’s a good guess that they’re upper-income. If they talk about clipping coupons, saving money, and not being able to afford certain services, your members are in a lower- or middle-income bracket.

This information may seem to be unrelated to your brand, but it’s really very important. Without knowing some of the deeper personal details about your community, you won’t be able to reach them on a deeper level. Knowing how they roll means that your brand can create the products and services they’ll respond to best at prices that they can afford.