The connection between brands & people
Community management is one of the most important elements in the relationship between a brand and its community: it’s the activity that creates connections and facilitates the exchange of ideas.
A few days ago Jeremiah Owyang published some interim analysis on the topic. It clearly shows the importance of cooperation between a brand and their agency when developing community management activity. Jeremiah broke down community management into four kinds of activity:
- Brand representation
- Member response
- Moderation, curation, analytics
We think it’s useful to look at the collaboration between agency and brand in managing its community as a “brand ecosystem”.
The importance of cooperation
In our experience, agencies have a very important role in all of the facets of community management. They have the experience, skills and expertise that that brands don’t usually have internally. The agency can often help to coo-ordinate the activities of the different departments who feed into community management (both from a tactical and strategic point of view): communication, marketing, CRM, customer care, PR, R&D, HR.
Community management activity has several components:
- Strategy: the definition of an overall strategy to achieve business and communications objectives;
- Creativity: the development of creative ideas that ignite conversation;
- Brand voice: how the brand’s attributes are expressed through a personality and tone of voice;
- Editorial planning: the development of an editorial plan that the defines the basis for the ongoing conversation;
- Content: the content creation process itself, both in terms of conversational updates as well as bigger set-pieces
- Interaction: the responsive element of community management, whether answering people’s questions or just engaging in conversation
- Analytics: the ongoing analysis of the effectiveness of the above, constantly feeding back into all facets of activity
Relationships with people
There are various needs that encourage people to interact with brands through a conversation: entertainment, conversation, participation, support, purchase, knowledge and socialization. The relationship can be individual (one-to-one) or public, with interactions dedicated to communities of interest.
What do you think? Have we got it right?