Expectations of a brand’s social media manager

A huge part of the equation is simply showing up and being timely with information.

When I see brands on social media, I have expectations.

I expect that if I tweet something to a brand, someone will respond. It doesn’t have to be within two minutes—I am overjoyed when it is—but I do expect a response.

Today, everything is done online, frequently through social media. I honestly don’t remember the last time I called a hotline or an 1-800 number and sat on hold for 10 minutes. Instead, I can Google a company or agency and find out everything I need within 90 seconds. The way people access information has changed; social media plays a big role.

I expect that brands will have an updated page where I can find the latest information. If I “like” a brand’s page, “follow” them, repin their pictures, or give them +1′s, it’s because a company is branding itself in a positive light.

If the well-represented brand has a product, I will buy it and tell people about it. If it does not have a product or service to buy, I will still talk positively about the brand. I dislike a social media presence that is careless and not updated. Social media is essential for brands and requires a designated staffer to keep the brand’s presence current. That person must be witty and precise, have excellent writing skills, and be convincing without resorting to the hard sell.

Community managers must post high-quality content in a timely manner. Because social media never sleeps, a community manager must continually watch for online conversations about the brand, monitoring positive and negative comments. Don’t delete the negative, though; respond in a positive way, reinforcing brand loyalty and appeasing the consumer.

The role of community manager is a high-stakes job with high rewards. One negative tweet or post can ruin a brand’s identity. It’s said that when a brand does something great, a person will tell a friend. When a brand does something bad, a person will tell everyone who will listen.

I encourage my staff to think strategically. Think of great content that keeps consumers coming back to the site. Think what we can do to stand out. Think how we can get more engagement on the site and develop a new revenue stream.

Most of all, I want them to think before they post anything.

Christopher Kerney is a digital media professional from the greater New York City area, as well as a proud Penn State alum. A version of this story originally appeared on the his blog.

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