Online Community Managers Provide Feedback between Members and the Brand - dummies

Online Community Managers Provide Feedback between Members and the Brand

By Deborah Ng

The online community manager serves as a bridge between the brand and its customers. This role involves communication, relating information from the brand to the customer and from the customer to the brand.

Feedback to the online community

Customers have a vested interested in their favorite brands. They spend money on products or services and even provide word-of-mouth marketing. They don’t like to be left in the dark. Community managers keep them apprised of news and updates through a variety of channels:

  • Blogs

  • Social networks

  • Newsletters

  • Webinars

  • Commercials

  • Marketing campaigns

  • Meetups, tweetups, and conferences

  • Responses to customer inquiries

  • Surveys and questionnaires

Most customers and community members don’t require a whole lot. If you want them to join your community and show loyalty to your brand, you have to bring them news first.

They’ll feel betrayed if they read about product launches in the newspaper or see you on TV talking about what’s coming next. They want to be the first to know, so offer tidbits now and then to make them feel special and valuable.

Feedback to the brand

A community manager is a brand’s most important tool — not because you tweet product information and distribute coupon codes, but because you can provide your team valuable feedback. The brand has to recognize that the community manager knows more about their customers than anyone else.

It can be argued that the community manager is the most important person on the team because you know so much about your community’s habits and needs.

Part of advocating for customers is to make sure that the brand is listening. It’s up to the community manager to make sure that they take notice by hosting regular team meetings, distributing weekly or monthly reports, and sharing analysis of traffic stats and data.

The community manager’s responsibility to both the brand and customer also means he has to monitor all his channels closely to make sure campaigns are working and the community is happy. If campaigns aren’t going as planned or if negativity is in the atmosphere, the community manager has a duty to report this right away, in writing to ensure that there’s no mistake, so things don’t escalate out of control.