Strategists First, Community Managers Second

I came across this awesome image while wandering the Internet the other day, and right away I was nodding and laughing. “Yep, that pretty much sums it up,” was my thought. Behold, the inner workings of the minds of folks like me, revealed!

The discovery of this kick-ass (and scarily accurate) infographic came on the heels of a conversation I’d just had with The Cypher’s Agency’s Bearer Of All WOM Knowledge, Jocelyn, about the title “community manager” and if it can be synonymous with what we do as word-of-mouth marketers. Finding this illustration just cemented what she and I had concluded: yes and no.

There’s no question that in any given day, our Push-n-Pull team serves as concierges, traffic cops, and yes, even pinatas for our clients’ customers online. We are always at the ready to smash spam and crush trolls to keep communities positive and unpolluted. And there’s certainly a customer service aspect to what we do – we pride ourselves on using online platforms to solve problems for our clients’ customers, or connecting them to someone else who can. But we are way more than Web 2.0 robots sweeping up and spitting out announcements online.

Building, monitoring and engaging an online community to share your message with is vital and does require playing the many parts shown in that awesome graphic. But we are strategists first, managers second. Why we are doing what we do always factors in to how we engage in and shape conversations online. The work we do is much more than just crowd control – its always driving toward the overarching marketing goals for our clients.

When I first started out, I marveled at how cool it was that little ol’ me got to sit in on planning meetings. I had expected to be handed my social media tasks and shuffle along to do my social media work. Now, I understand the serious value of our agency’s approach. Bringing in the digital marketing minds from the beginning means that the “community management” we’re doing will be in a facet of an integrated marketing plan.

13 responses to “Strategists First, Community Managers Second”

  1. Social Fulcrum says:

    This is awesome. It highlights why integrating these people into an organization is such a headache (pardon the lame pun). Everything in organizations is segmented, with processes established that are the antithesis of this quick, collaborative, cross-team approach to marketing/pr/customer service/sales/seo/etc. Another reason to hire an agency to handle that headache for you, eh?

  2. Jocelyn Rimbey says:

    I love this image, and am glad you based a blog post off of it. I think its hard to describe to people exactly what is that people like us do, and you’ve put it so simply here. We are just like any other marketers, only our mediums are different and new, and people are still trying to formulate just what that entails.nnGreat post!

  3. Jocelyn Rimbey says:

    I love this image, and am glad you based a blog post off of it. I think its hard to describe to people exactly what is that people like us do, and you’ve put it so simply here. We are just like any other marketers, only our mediums are different and new, and people are still trying to formulate just what that entails.

    Great post!