There are books that change the way we perceive life, and there are books that change the way we approach our work. One of the reference books for everyone working in social communities management is The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success.(yes, this is a long name, for a great book). From today’s social media platforms understanding, to content strategy, planning, monitoring, evaluation for campaigns management and routine community coordination, almost everything is here, written and explained by Marty Weintraub & Lauren Litwinka (aimClear) with practical advice and relevant study-cases.
I’d say this book is the perfect resource for a social media community manager. Firstly, because it takes you through all the stages and happenings of your activity, between your job description and strategy, planning, creation, conversation, advertising and monitoring.
Secondly, because it has a wide collection of examples and well-known specialists’ practices from which you can learn The book features proven tactics and techniques for effective management and includes many field-tested tools and templates for your work.
And thirdly, but equally important, I think, that you’ll find this book very easy to read, even if you are not a big reader. ‘Cause it’s very well structured and has a quite honest and upfront language that explains loud and clears what works well and how it works. If you ask me, i would recommend The Complete Guide to people that have a little experience in the field, let’s say with intermediary to advanced community management background, rather than for internet marketing beginners. Only because it takes some experience to understand some of the social media processes, metrics and tools, and they don’t jseem abstract…but a laptop open to practice the advice from The guide should do the drill.
Let’s see what’s inside the 8 chapters
Chapter 1 – The Social Media Community Manager’s Role
The first chapter might be scary 🙂 don’t worry, it’s not that bad. If you’re committed to become a better social media manager and community advocate you’ll understand the importance of being aware of what you job really is about. Chapter one is about understanding that community management is about much more that tweeting, posting on Facebook or on the company blog. It is about understanding who is your target, what’s his behavior, how is your community living within the digital arena, what works organically and how advertising helps, what KPIs you should measure and how. This chapter is, in short, about the community manager’s mindset and stage. And it ands with a very good set of questions you should ask yourself.
Chapter 2 – Timeless Tenets of Non-Gratuitous Social Behavior
This second chapter shows how understanding your users and your brand is essential, and how you can develop good, strong social connections between a brand and it’s community of fans or followers. It talks about how the typology of your target will lead you to different types of engagement and about what “loving a brand” means. This section of the book is a great, great resource for engagement techniques & ideas and do’s and don’ts about conversation tactics, “thank you” gestures and rewards, third-party content, questions asking and answering, reviews, interviews, live coverage, sales that is non-salesy, journalism in a social media community, online and offline meets, spamming and even more.
Chapter 3 – Hit The Ground Running
This is another important chapter. You’ll find here all the steps you need to take when starting a social media community, from ideas, presentations and game plan and editorial strategy to management tools, budget, contexts of community activation and timeline. Briefly, this is the summary of the rest of your life in this job, from SOW (scope of work) to specific terminologies and channels that you’ll use on daily basis. Marty and Lauren give reviews of important platforms like Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Hootsuite, SocialEngage, Involver, Sprout Social or Buffer and explain how the word of social media management needs automation and standards. Towards the end, we also get access to the Galactic Guide of Social Media Channels: blogging, bookmarking, business, community, design, entertainment, health, information, music, news, photo, tech, video and travel social channels are explained with top sites mentioned with rankings and relevancies explained.
Chapter 4 – Content, Reputation, and Hardcore Listening Hacks
This chapter defines the importance of content: managing ideas and messages trough content you create, publishing content and what it says about your brand to the community, improving sharing and reading of your content and also listening to what we could call content-feedback: what comes back to you in reaction to your content or what’s around you that may affect your content – information that you needn’t miss. I’d say chapter 4 is particularly important because it gives you guidelines about gathering and creating content to be pushes successfully in feeds, no matter the specific environments that may exist at one certain time in your activity.
Chapter 5 – Finding Themed Conversations: The Superior CM’s Edge
Chapter 5 is a whole new level. It is about the importance of generating conversations and the importance of clever search. It brings up different approaches for general and niche conversations, the sharing effects and audicenes setting in communities and means of searches, from Google search to psychographic research Marty and the AimClear team are known for their over-the-top targeting antics and this chapter takes a peek behind the curtain, giving users something to think about when it comes to ways to target a customer, with examples.
Chapter 6 – Dominate with Paid Organic Amplification
Paid organic amplification is, from starters, an interesting twist: this section explains how advertising works and gives valuable guidance on how to make money spend for ads worth a lot more: by building advertising mechanisms that have amplifying potential, p2p potential social sharing components. Paid Organic it’s about getting subscribers that will and can come back to you again and again, like a glorified contacts lists on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and other channels.
Chapter 7 – Community Crisis Management
This is a chapter that we all hope we won’t need to know about, but definitely a must- read and maybe read again in crucial moments of a social media community’s life…because you will most probalby come across those, you know? There are important stages that need to be followed for an efficient crisis management, from pre-assesment (what we call riskc managament) to discovery, documentation and reactions. And important actions that are explained with clear study-cases, like having a crisis plan prepared in advance and a playbook ready for this, distinguishing a crisis from a conflict, removing content, banning users or damage control.
Chapter 8 – Measuring Success! State-of-the-Art Social Metrics
The last chapter in the book explains the importance of metrics and, even most relevant, the importance of understanding what metrics mean and what they show. It goes trough most popular analytics like the ones in Google Analytics, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and explains what a measuring tool should serve you – giving some suggestions of free and paid monitoring solutions.
The books ends with three useful appendixes that can easily stay posted on your desktop as daily reference for your job as a social media community manager (Social Media Community Manager Job Description, The Big List of Community Management Tools and Analytics and 72 Must-Follow Online Marketing Geniuses). The cool thing though about the ending is that is actually creates a load of space for a beginning: the beginning of the rest of your dynamic, amazing and hard life in social media, with extremely valuable know-how from two folks who know what’s up when it comes to social media. Have a great read!
See also: 10 Steps To Create Perfect Social Media Posts