by Michael O'Neill
February 15th, 2013

Here’s what the job of a community manager should be:

- Managing social media assets
- Monitoring conversations/posts/tweets
- Engaging with the community
- Providing a voice/face/contact for the community
- Providing expertise and counsel about utilising social/digital channels

Here’s what the job of a community manager shouldn’t be:

- Primary content creator

Yet many brands have their community managers providing most — if not all — of the content on their social channels. No doubt community managers should be contributors of content, but they should not be controlling the channels.

Can you imagine a situation where one person inside a brand controlled all advertising? Or one person determined what the company news was and wrote all of the press releases? Of course not. Those are established channels with built-in structures and organisation firmly in place.

Yet too many brands continue to rely heavily on community managers to provide most of the content for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media channels.

As a result, many brands continue to treat social channels as real-time bulletin boards. Posting everything from links to blog posts and press releases to inquiring their fans about their rooting interests in the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards. And when they do use video or imagery it is produced by amateurs using iPhones or other mobile devices.

Think about it. When is the last time you settled down to watch a crude, unedited video of a marketing manager at a trade show discussing his companies new product?

Bulletin board content pieced together by already overworked community managers is not a content strategy. Nor is it this type of content effective in the long-term for building brand equity, increasing customer loyalty or getting people engaged.

Content should be at the center of marketing. It needs to be produced by professionals that understand how to tell stories. It should be dynamic and multifaceted and, of course, be engaging. Social media should be among the channels where content is being distributed. But great content should be used through all of a brand’s channels: advertising, public relations, media relations, internal communications and at events.

The most successful brands tell stories.

To tell great stories you have to stop relying on your community managers to produce your content.

George F. Snell III is senior vice-president, digital & social communications, at Weber Shandwick Boston. This article first appeared on his blog High Talk

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