2013: Year of the Community Manager

By Rindaanne Riccio In previous years, we have seen some major slip ups in Social Media. It seems like we have seen it all before: a rude tweet sent out or a Facebook status not meant to be posted. No matter how bad the situation seems to be, we can all agree on one thing; careless community management needs to stop.

As a Community Manager, the first thing you are taught is everything you post, in a matter of seconds can be seen by millions and screen shotted by anyone. You should handle each person and brand with care because you never know the consequence of one bad judgement call. Let’s review some of the bad from 2012 to make sure that we can have a year free of brand embarrassment and/or damage control.

1. K-Mart’s Not So Smart Move

During K-Mart's Twitter chat about children’s toys, the unfortunate events of the #Newtown school shooting had occurred. Of course, K-Mart had no idea such a tragedy would occur during their chat. The retailer could have handled things with more respect and care. As a Community Manager and the voice of your brand’s page, here is where common sense should come into play. Sending out a tweet using your twitter chat hashtag shows you are self promoting and then continuing the chat shows you were insincere in your sympathetic tweet. Immediately ending the chat would have been in their best interest. The tweet (seen below) they sent out after the backlash, should have been the first one they posted. It is so much better to be safe than sorry! In situations like these, it is best to be respectful and most importantly, timing is everything. You do not want to be too quick to express condolences but you also want to let your fan base know you are aware of what is going on and you do sincerely care about the events that have occurred.

2. A Toyota Camry Negative Effect

Toyota created a series of accounts @CamryEffect, @CamryEffect1,@CamryEffect2, @CamryEffect3, @CamryEffect4, and @CamryEffect5 to promote their new giveaway. However, they were spamming more so than promoting.

Let me just start off by saying that as someone who adores Twitter and tweets on behalf of a brand, spamming is one of the WORST things you can do as a brand. Promoting and spamming are not the same thing. The beauty of being a CM is you are not a robot which means you can have actual conversations with your audience, thus building brand credibility and brand loyalty. You can find that when you start to actively reach out to your audience in a personal way, the response is more positive because they feel you took the time to “talk with them” and not at them.

3. Montana’s Facebook Swap

This is a careless mistake that could have been prevented if the person had just looked up at their computer screen. Facebook allows you to use your brand as your own page so that as the manager, you can better navigate your platform. Mistakes like these are avoidable by simply double checking before posting.

No one is perfect and clearly, everyone makes mistakes but to use a quote from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” For a community manager, this means you should always be on guard when managing your pages and pay close attention to details. A brand reputation can take months to build and seconds to destroy so I say let’s learn from these mistakes and have a successful year filled with focused and dedicated community managers. This will create happier fans thus creating happier brands.


What other tips do you think are important when managing a brand’s social media platform? 

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