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Look who’s talking: 3 keys to a great community manager

You’re hearing a good deal about content lately, and for good reason. If you’re not supplying your social audience with engaging, relevant content on a regular basis there’s little point to even having an online community.



You’re hearing a good deal about content lately, and for good reason. If you’re not supplying your social audience with engaging, relevant content on a regular basis there’s little point to even having an online community. But something that’s often overlooked in the process is who’s posting your content and how they’re managing those communities.

A good community manager is equal parts actor, parent, and party host. They don’t just post and schedule content (at least not the good ones) — they incite conversations, recognize and reward loyalty, and create an inclusive experience that fans and followers look forward to returning to.

And so with that in mind, here are few questions to as when selecting a great community manager.

1. Can they act? Do they have the voice?

The best community managers embody the spirit and qualities of the brands they represent. They have to be relatable, knowledgeable and sound authentic. But what if your key audience is made up of moms in the 40’s or millennials fresh out of school? What then? Do you go out and hire someone in that age group to manage your social feeds? Great in theory, but not always achievable. So you’ll need someone who can accurately play the part and keep conversations feeling genuine. If your community manager knows their stuff, and is immersed in the brand, they should be able to act relatable no matter who your audience is.

Plus, conversations and attitudes can be different from channel to channel. Your community manager needs to be nimble and have the right tone and approach whether responding on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

2. Can they host a killer party?

Seth Godin sometimes equates social communities to parties — successful brands just happen to be throwing the best ones. That party analogy is pretty accurate when you break it down: a good party host anticipates their guest’s needs, keeps the music playing and is generally on top of things, keeping everyone happy. The same goes for your community manager; they should be quickly answering questions, responding to posts and facilitating a dialogue with just about every person that takes the time to post on your page.

3. Are they nurturing?

Of all the traits your community manager should have, this might be the toughest to find. I sometimes equate social media participation to a high school dance. People are nervous, no one wants to be first and you’re left with a lot of people mingling around the periphery and not doing much. It takes time before people feel comfortable, so having someone who can make them feel welcome and included is huge. That means instigating and nurturing the conversation where there might not be one. It also means keeping a watchful eye on the conversations and making sure everyone feels included (don’t feed the trolls).

Of course there are other keys to a successful community manager (big personality, general excitement for the brand) but these should kick start the search or help you gut-check whether you’re focused on the right things. Social feeds are high-touch areas where customers and fans get to interact with your brand, so selecting the right person to act as an ambassador is integral.

Social media management and community building are key services Ruckus offers. Give us a shout

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 09/04/2014

Financial services + social media

Financial services + social media

We take a look at how some financial institutions are achieving success through social media.

Hootsuite hosted an online session last week called Investing in Social: Wealth Management in the Social Era #finserve with Ben Cathers @bencathers from Hootsuite and Courtney Fischbach from global investment company @LeggMason.

The highlights included the challenges unique to financial services, a couple key social media stats for all businesses and a few more specific to wealth management, as well as an approach for social media activity.

5 top challenges for social business in finance

  1. Results: Linking social activity to business objectives
  • This has been a challenge that some firms have been able to overcome. ETF social content, for example, is something that has been rising for one of Hootsuite’s clients. They get 30-40 per cent more clicks than normal on this content and this has translated into a direct increase in ETF business.
  • Security: Compliance for pre-approval of outbound social marketing
    • For example, U.S. regulator (FINRA) requires pre-approval of content and considers any social posts advertising. Most financial services organizations post on social media 10-20 times more than they advertise. This creates a challenge unique to the industry.
  • Data: Taking social data and turning it into actionable data
    • How is your data shaping your five-year plan? Or is it?
  • Education: Regulated framework demands customized expertise and guidance
    • It is important to have subject matter experts on social media. They have to be well-versed in both the technical knowledge of the products but also understand how to communicate on social media, so that it’s not just about a hard sell.
  • Collaboration: Lack of alignment of online strategies across all departments
    • It’s important to not operate in silos. Departments must work together with integrated programs.

    Still with those challenges, the case for social media has never been greater.Businesses increasingly need social media

    • ¼ of all businesses will lose market position if they don’t adopt a social business (Gartner)
    • 20 per cent of businesses see more revenue and 60 per cent higher profit growth by adopting social media (McKinsey)

    Wealth management firms also have a great opportunity with social media

    • Nearly 70 per cent of affluent investors have reallocated investments based on info discovered on social media
    • 34 per cent of affluent investors are using social media for personal finance and investing
    • 40 per cent of financial advisors say that they have acquired new clients through Facebook, 25 per cent through LinkedIn and 21 per cent through Twitter
    • 41 per cent of high net worth individuals under age 40 cite social media as important for information, 36 per cent for engaging with wealth managers, and 34 per cent for executing transactions

    With that, it’s critical to allocate more resources into social media. Social media require 5 and 10 year plans, including budgeting for the human resources, education and the financial resources to bring it all together.

    That means that the following four areas need to be integrated into plans and acted upon.

    4 steps to social media success

    1. Social ROI: determinewhat will be measured to uncover insights from aggregated social data to determine how that is having an impact on your bottom line
    2. Internal collaboration: improve efficiency and collaboration across teams, departments and geographies
    3. Security and compliance: mitigate risk from internal and external threats by planning for them
    4. Monitor and engage: filter through the noise using custom streams and targeted searches through a social media monitoring tool (like Hootsuite) to offer regular reports and to become more responsive to the environment

    Additional resources

    Hootsuite University is offered as part of the Certificate in Digital Strategy & Communications Management at the University of Toronto where Diane Bégin teaches.

    Beyond Slogans – 5 Ways to Un-Suck Your Content

    5 simple tips on how to create quality content no matter what your budget.

    On Nov 25th I was lucky enough to be a speaker at Toronto’s Centennial College for their 7th Annual Talk is Cheap event.

    The night was full of amazing speakers and really great insights and so the fact that I was able to present was just the icing on the cake. Below are the slides I walked through explaining no matter what your budget for social content is, there are some fundamentals to creating content your audience will love.

    Posted by
    Gary Edgar
    on 26/11/2014

    Has Google finally found their niche in social networking

    It’s no secret that Google has spent the last few years trying to position its network, Google+, as the preferred social platform. With their new +PostAd product, have they finally found their way in?

    It’s no secret that Google has spent the last few years trying to position its network, Google+, as the preferred social platform. Despite their pushing, it’s safe to say they haven’t quite hit the mark on that goal.

    It looks like they went back to one of their strongholds: online marketing, which they revolutionized with Google Adwords. In December 2013, Google announced they will be offering brands a new way to engage their audiences on their brand pages with +Post Ads. In a nutshell, companies will be able to use already-produced content posted on their brand page as advertisements on the Google Display Network (includes approximately 2 million sites).

    Toyota reaches new customers with +Post ads and Google

    WTR – What The ruckus on Instagram

    Trying to figure out whether your brand should be on Instagram? Curious about who’s doing it well and what it takes to have a successful Instagram account?

    We’re back at it with our second instalment of the WTR (what the ruckus) series featuring this handy guide to Instagram. If you’ve wondered whether your brand should have an Instagram account or what level of effort it takes to run one – look no further. We’ve got stats, who’s doing it well and of course, our recommendation on whether Instagram is right for you.

    Check it out

    Posted by
    Gary Edgar
    on 20/01/2015

    Weekly digital marketing update.

    Check out our round up of all the great campaigns, links and notable reads this week.


    – Facebook continues to actively combat “advertising” language on the platform and reiterating that you now have to “pay to play” in order to be effective. 

    DigiDay dives deeper into the new model the social media platform has in mind for brands. 

    YouTube is starting it’s own brand and advertising revolution by revamping how we think and approach branded content.


    – Top Shop takes over London fashion week in the UK with an innovative approach to tie social #trends to purchasing decisions.

    WWF joins the fitness app game, but with a fun twist for a good cause. 

    – If you think about it, when our phone is on the table and we are not using it, it’s just another ad space to utilize for marketers. Someone is catching on.

    – IKEA continues it’s history of successful campaigns, this time helping you put together a perfect collection of emoticons and stay in the middle of every conversation. 


    – Katie Boland (@KathrynBoland) appeared on CBC’s Metro Morning to promote @PodCampToronto. See you there this weekend. 

    – Speaking of @PodCampToronto, we will be launching our Snapchat account at the event, covering workshops, impressions and other interesting events. Be sure to follow us at: “ruckusdigital“.

    – Our WTR series continues to give you a five minute inside look into the world of social media platforms. This time, we break down Pinterest for brands

    Posted by
    Serge Leshchuk
    on 21/02/2015

    This week’s ruckus-makers (Feb 9 – Feb 13)

    This week’s ruckus-makers (Feb 9 – Feb 13)

    Check out our round up of all the great campaigns, links and notable reads this week.


    – Twitter and Google got together recently and now your tweets can be found using the world’s most popular search engine. Digiday breaks down what this means for you


    – To promote the final season of Mad Men, AMC is making a play for show superfans and user generated content. And it actually looks like a lot of fun. See it here.

    – The U.S. Navy recognized that they market to a very select target audience when creating this content. Gamifying your content is always a great way to engage an audience, making them an active participant. 

    – Sticking to the theme of engaging content, Air France ran this fantastic contest on mobile to promote it’s new seating options in Asia. 

    Posted by
    Serge Leshchuk
    on 14/02/2015

    Join the growing team at ruckus!

    We’re hiring! Wanna make a ruckus with us?

    Are you tired of terrible social media content that seems to speak to no one at all? Ever thought “I could totally do better”? Well here’s your chance to prove it. At ruckus, we help brands tell a better story through social and digital media. Our dedicated teams are built for today’s evolved story telling – digital natives with big creative ideas that work in the real-time world of social media. And here’s your chance to be a part of that team.

    As the social media landscape matures, brands and clients are looking for more detailed and results-driven digital activations. The social media world has evolved beyond channels like Facebook and Twitter – it’s now what you’re saying not just where you’re saying it. This is the rationale behind ruckus: to work with brands to find their stories and develop them into rich, engaging content across owned and paid channels.

    What’s the gig:

    ruckus is looking for a Social Strategist to join our growing team. Reporting to the Director, Digital Strategy this position will combine amazing creativity with storytelling, analytics measurement and community management. You will develop content and social strategies backed up with research and insights, not happenstance. The role collaborates closely with the firm’s lines of business and practices.

    How you can help us grow:

    • You’re a digital native. You understand more than how the channels work, but also how brands can use them as a successful marketing tool.
    • You also recognize and appreciate the need to be timely and strategic with social engagement, knowing when to jump into a conversation and when to sit it out.
    • You understand the pace, tools, venues, conferences and platforms available to develop and share our points of view, creating engagement and relationships with our target audience.
    • You can take your readers on a journey through creative narratives that explain business value in a simple way. You have killer instincts when it comes to integrating both digital and tangible assets to unfold these stories. Whether you are crafting for a client, business or creative audience, your stories engage and dazzle.
    • You think big and your colleagues/client’s will love collaborating with you. You are able to work across a diverse group of peers, practitioners and executive leaders to capture and translate ideas into practice.
    • Developing content for the right industry is part of your DNA – you know how to construct and share stories in a way that grabs industry influencer’s attention. Keeping your fingers on the pulse of the marketplace energizes you as you think about how to syndicate the firm’s thought leadership.
    • You’re excited to grow a business from the ground up.
    • You will work seamlessly with our PR partner APEX to coordinate communications and extend reach.

    What you bring to the table:

    • Can translate the expertise of multiple disciplines (e.g. human factors, brand, product, service design, business strategy, engineering, etc.) into client and marketplace relevance.
    • Fluency in digital, web and emerging technology.
    • Strong writing and copy editing skills, grounded in a marketing context. When applying, please include examples of work that showcase your creative and business writing and digital portfolio.
    • Strong presentation skills and desire to sell through your big ideas to clients.
    • Well versed in the language and needs of a robust marketing organization (agency experience an asset).
    • Strong creative mind-set with a passion for design, innovation and technology; share original and new ideas.
    • A fundamental knowledge of paid social and digital tools (Facebook and Twitter ad platforms).
    • Communicate exceptionally through words, pictures and stories and sell an idea/concept into a client
    • Bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of experience in a marketing, publishing and writing function.
    • Understand the mechanics of communication and public relations.
    • Ability to thrive in and manage ambiguity; curious, emphatic and energetic.

    Not required but really helpful:

    • Intimate knowledge and use of social channels (all of them)
    • Google Ad Words and SEO/SEM
    • Analytics and Metrics (Google, Sysomos, etc.)
    • Knowledge of Photoshop, In Design, Adobe suite of products
    • HTML and CSS
    • Video production skills

    Send a resume and info on your ruckus-making habits to: gary@ruckusdigital.ca

    This week’s ruckus makers (May 11 – 15)

    This week’s ruckus makers (May 11 – 15)

    Check out our round up of all the great campaigns, links and notable reads this week.


    • AdWeek made a useful list of all digital stats from the last month you need to be aware off. 
    • While more of a traditional media event, the ESPN vs. Bill Simmons conflict brings the debate of utility vs. content into the forefront. 


    • Not a surprise that brands got involved with Cinco De Mayo on social media, however, not all of them got it right. Here is an example of someone who did: