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 🙂 ).
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 😉 ).
- Speaker’s blog with a treasure of resources – The Brand Builder Blog