Most businesses today are busy chasing investments and struggle with an important piece of the growth puzzle that is building a group of loyal customers or users around their brand.
Putting together a community that trusts and are loyal to your product is the reason why we have over one billion users on Instagram and not on Hipstamatic and yet it has the same concept as Instagram and meant for Apple and Iphone users . The Community is the reason why a certain brand will resonate with many people and people will have no idea who the brand competitors are.
However one of the greatest mistakes that businesses make often, is that they neglect the very people who make up their ‘community’ who form an integral part of any business and focus on bringing in the new clients. Not that this is wrong, but well…
This therefore is where the role of the Community Manager comes to play. The role focuses on building and retaining communities. They help source new members or clients and retain the current clients. So often we would say they act like Brand ambassadors or just the heart of any coworking space.
At Nairobi Garage, for example, we have three community managers serving across our three locations. To best understand this role, we got in touch with one of them to help us understand what her day looks like and her responsibility.
“ Each day differs from the previous one but i ensure i am at the office as early as 8am or even before .My responsibility as a Community Manager is to ensure that clients get value from our community. I am expected to bring our members together. I take the time to talk to members, learn their names and more about their organizations and get to know them. I also get to connect them by ensuring they attend our own Community Events or other networking events that bring value to their businesses.” said Bridgit Nyagah Community Manager Nairobi Garage Westlands.
She also added that the role entails engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones. They are also focused on gauging sentiment around the brand, using social listening tools in order to monitor feedback and engagement.
They also manage, improve, and exploit relationships in the coworking space to keep a harmonious environment, create member-to-member and member-to-partner connections, and thus create a certain “vibe” so members keep coming back.
This role is best filled by an extrovert and hyper-networker that loves people and building relationships. The role also comes a fair share of its challenges and requires one to be autonomous, patient, adaptable, and innovative.
So what are some of the other roles played by of community managers?
Community management is not simply about championing the brand, but also about listening to valuable feedback from customers. By gaining a deeper understanding about an audience and what they want, brands have more chance of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.
Attract new users
It’s marketing’s job to bring new users to your door, but what happens once they open that door and walk in? By welcoming new users and making them feel at home, they’re more likely to stick with you and not one of your competitors and Community Managers are required that this is executed seamlessly.
Retain your existing users
As mentioned earlier most people spend time bringing in new users forgetting that yesterday’s users are already leaving because no one was around to nurture those relationships. It costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, so don’t overlook the value in focusing on retention. The more reasons why the Community Manager is important.
Strengthen brand loyalty
The Community Manager ensures that your audience get value from your service so that they keep coming back for more. A community manager creates programmes to foster a positive community environment and encourage fans to spread the good word to more people. For example at Nairobi Garage, the Community Managers execute and plan networking sessions for the members such as the Members Night, Game Nights etc. to ensure that members connect more outside the office setup. They also ensure the members attend Community events where they get value from the speakers in terms of business growth. Through such we are able to secure them as loyal users for a long time.
The ‘Crisis’ Manager
Companies mess up from time to time. If you upset your audience or your clients your community manager will be the first to hear about it directly from the source mostly because of the relationship they have built and they tend to handle these difficult situations and put out a PR fire before it spreads.
To deliver features your community loves, you need to listen to your users’ comments, ideas and criticisms so you can ensure they don’t cancel their subscription. Your community manager is listening and engaging with users all day, so they can prioritize what your users want and feed the feedback loop for your product development team.
Relationship building is at the core of community management. As much as Social Media has driven everything to be instant. Most people feel comfortable having someone they can talk to when they have issues and build a trust with them. The Community Managers help the brand with that. They ensure fast response in a friendly manner to clients hence ensuring that customers will feel valued, and in turn, place trust in a brand.
By creating a community brands can impact consumers on a more emotional and everyday level. This allows companies to become more than just a faceless brand and serve a purpose based on something other than its original product. In turn, this can lead to greater loyalty and long-term success.
Want to join our growing business network? Book a tour today at any of our branches and check out our amazing packages!