By Mike Stiles on Oct 18, 2012
UPDATE 12/17/13: Oracle Community Manager of the Year Award
To learn more about the 2014 award program and to receive an official application, please email.
The Oracle Community Manager of the Year Award recognizes excellence in building online community.
In many ways, community managers are your organization's customer experience. They provide dedicated customer service on your social media channels. They protect your brand 24/7/365. And they engage in honest conversations with your prospects, users, advocates, and buyers -- the people who care most about your products and services.
If you're a community manager, this award is for you. We hope you'll nominate yourself, a close colleague, or a friend. Whether you manage a Facebook Page or another channel, and no matter if you call yourself a Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Brand Manager, or Marketing Manager (or something else entirely!), your voice and expertise are welcome here.
For as long as brand social has been around, there’s still an amazing disparity from company to company on the role of Community Manager.
At some brands, they are the lead social innovators. At others, the task has been relegated to interns who are at the company temporarily. Some have total autonomy and trust. Others must get chain-of-command permission each time they engage.
So what does a premiere “worth their weight in gold” Community Manager look like?
- More than anyone else in the building, they have the most intimate knowledge of who the customer is.
- They live on the front lines and are the first to detect problems and opportunities.
- They are sincere, raving fans of the brand themselves and are trusted advocates for the others.
- They’re fun to be around.
- They aren’t salespeople.
Give me one Community Manager who’s been at the job 6 months over 5 focus groups any day. Because not unlike in speed dating, they must immediately learn how to make a positive, lasting impression on fans so they’ll want to return and keep the relationship going. They’re informers and entertainers, with a true belief in the value of the brand’s proposition.
Internally, they live at the mercy of the resources allocated toward social. Many, whose managers don’t understand the time involved in properly curating a community, are tasked with 2 or 3 too many of them. 63% of CM’s will spend over 30 hours a week on one community.
They come to intuitively know the value of the relationships they’re building, even if they can’t always be shown in a bar graph to the C-suite. Many must communicate how the customer feels to executives that simply don’t seem to want to hear it. Some can get the answers fans want quickly, others are frustrated in their ability to respond within an impressive timeframe.
In short, in a corporate world coping with sweeping technological changes, amidst business school doublespeak, pie charts, decks, strat sessions and data points, the role of the Community Manager is the most…human. They are the true emotional connection to the real life customer.
Which is why we sought to find a way to recognize and honor who they are, what they do, and how well they have defined the position as social grows and integrates into the larger organization. Meet our 3 finalists for Community Manager of the Year.
Jeff Esposito with Vistaprint
Jeff manages and heads up content strategy for all social networks and blogs. He also crafts company-wide policies surrounding the social space. Vistaprint won the NEDMA Gold Award for Twitter Strategy in 2010 and 2011, and a Bronze in 2011 for Social Media Strategy. Prior to Vistaprint, Jeff was Media Relations Manager with the Long Island Ducks. He graduated from Seton Hall University with a BA in English and a minor in Classical Studies.
Stacey Acevero with Vocus
In addition to social management, Stacey blogs at Vocus on influential marketing and social media, and blogs at PRWeb on public relations and SEO. She’s been named one of the #Nifty50 Women in Tech on Twitter 2 years in a row, as well as included in the 15 up-and-coming PR pros to watch in 2012.
Carly Severn with the San Francisco Ballet
Carly drives engagement, widens the fanbase and generates digital content for America’s oldest professional ballet company. Managed properties include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and G+. Prior to joining the SF Ballet, Carly was Marketing & Press Coordinator at The Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, where she graduated with a degree in English.
We invite you to join us at the first annual Oracle Social Media Summit November 14 and 15 at the Wynn in Las Vegas where our finalists will be featured. Over 300 top brand marketers, agency executives, and social leaders & innovators will be exploring how social is transforming business. Space is limited and the information valuable, so get more info and get registered as soon as possible at the event site.