It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It takes two to tango is an idiomatic and well-worn expression in the United States. Often spoken when describing personal relationships, it is also used to describe peer or business relationships. As brands have jumped on the social web express, how many have signed contracts with or hired web community managers and assumed that these individuals or outsourced providers can take the ball and run with it, without support?

We’ve learned at Chalkboarder that some clients are a “bear” to fully collaborate with. It seems no matter how many times a week we seek raw content from these clients, it’s damn difficult to get collaboration. The reasons are varied, of course. Some clients are simply so busy managing day-to-day operations that social community management and content production is a big after-thought.

Other clients have assumed that, since they have a community manager, that’s all they need.

I’ve spoken with other social web managers who’ve experienced this as well. One, a mentor and friend, recently told me one of her clients cut short the relationship, stating that they were going to do it on their own. My friend described to me how the former client had, in her estimation, only used her minimally, despite repeated requests for raw content and collaboration.

If you’ve hired a web community manager, are you giving them all the tools and ingredients they need to do outstanding work for you? Take a look at this – don’t assume that just because you hired a manager that the social media show is a wrap. Hiring a web community manager without providing collaboration and raw content is a lot like a restaurant hiring a talented chef into a well equipped kitchen, but then not supplying food ingredients for them to work with.

If you truly desire to take advantage of the social web, you have to provide good quality raw content to your community manager. Better yet – flood them with good raw content. They’ll generate wildly distinctive and effective dialogues, build communities and drive sales if you do.

I’m curious how many other web community managers struggle with this?

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2 Comments to “It Takes Two”

  1. Seldon,

    I do agree with your statement, that a Community Manager has responsibility to build community that will help to provide content. What I am positing is that the Community Manager can’t do it without resources being provided by the firm/client. For example, if the social media strategy is mostly to drive marketing/sales – the firm/client has to provide raw material for the Community Manager to work with, such as special offers, imagery, etc.

  2. I feel it’s part of the Community Manager job description to work to build a community that will help provide that content. And create that content to pull in new community managers. It’s a cycle that starts with the Community Manager working with the community to contribute.

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