Now that we have gone over some useful tips on how to get started with content marketing and what to avoid in your email campaigns, we should take a closer look at the importance of community management and social media, as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
I would like to start off by trying to clearly define each concept, with a warning that, although they are often overlapping, these terms involve slightly different purposes and tasks. Let’s dive into the major differences, to understand why these two activities work best when merged.
What’s the deal with community management?
It’s quite understandable why community management often gets confused with social media marketing, as it is meant to plan and develop the brand by constantly bringing in new members to the community. So you could interpret this as using social media as a means of community management.
A community manager is promoting the brand, not only by starting a variety of discussions around the company, but also by encouraging both active and inactive members of the community to interact with each other. In short, the community manager is a persona that publicly supports the brand by interacting with both connoisseurs and potential clients unfamiliar with the company.
So then, what’s social media marketing?
Social media marketing is great to increase visibility and reach in an informal environment, by showing your organization’s human side. In contrast with the community manager, the social media manager is not identifiable, as all content appears to have been published by the brand and not the brand ambassador. On social media we engage with an existing community that knows the brand, while the community manager also shares the traits of a business developer.
We have been using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to promote social content and news about our company, as well as videos, cool tech news from the industry, and funny team pictures. We decided to stick with these 4 channels as they are the most relevant for our B2B strategy. For example, after carefully analyzing all available channels based on industry and target, we felt Pinterest was not something that would help us in the long run.
Through our social medial channels, we share a mix of valuable content worth-reading for our audience, and always adapt it based on the specifics of each channel we use. Ultimately, we are only trying to help our audience through our lessons learned.
The optimal way to use social media marketing pretty much depends on what your goals are: do you want to create brand awareness and generate engagement or do you want to sell and get leads from your efforts?
What Should You Keep in Mind?
To sum up, here are the most important tips to take with you:
- Community management and social media work great together, but they are not the same thing.
- The community manager is more like a brand ambassador.
- Decide if social media is truly relevant for your business and then carefully choose your channels based on your industry and target.
- Social media marketing is great for brand awareness and engagement. In terms of ROI, it is important to set your measurement matrix in advance, and keep on analyzing results and optimizing your campaigns.
We’d love to hear feedback from you – how do you integrate community management and social media marketing into your overall strategy?