MIMA – Community Management

Though marketers seem to be talking about community management for a few years, there are some changes in these conversations. Interesting – community management is now discussed seriously (good), but there is no dramatic distinction between b-to-c and b-to-b yet in the conversations (can be better ūüôā ¬†).

As a b-to-b marketer, I see a very strong difference: in most cases a communicator who loves the product can be probably trained for b-to-c community management, but in b-to-b, the goal is to find an expert who wants (and can) communicate.

The speaker, Olivier Blanchard, gave a fun presentation on the topic at a wonderful campus of General Mills.  Some of points that I found interesting:

  • There are still companies who perceive social media as “something we need to do” because everybody does… However, the reasonable approach of finding a way to benefit the business with this¬†tactic starting to take hold.
  • ¬†The industry is starting to talk about a “community manager job” – this is very good.
  • The community manager should be a “chief communications officer in training” – if the person does not fit this characteristic, he/she may not be the right person. Though I am questioning this though now for b-to-b… In some areas, the company would want to attract certain niche inhabited by narrow-focused¬†experts. In this case the community manager would have to be the expert, or the community manager would not be perceived as credible… ¬†In this case, would this expert need to be a “chief communications officer in training?” ¬†Probably not…
  • A new tool similar to Radian 6 that should be familiar to community managers is Spiral 16 ( I have not heard about it – what a shame ūüėČ ¬†).
  • Speaker’s blog with a treasure of resources – The Brand Builder Blog