We continue with our series of interviews with Social Media professionals with today’s guest Laura Ferra Van Thienen. Laura holds a degree in Public Relations and now Works as a Community Manager and content manager with KWAWU. She also develops social media training courses at Inmarkelearning.
You can follow Laura Ferrera at:
- Tell us about the projects you are working on at the moment.
Right now I manage content and am Community Manager at Kwawu. I also do consultancy work in online marketing y Community Management.
- Which social networks is your company active in? In your experience, which do you consider the most productive and why?
My company is presently on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and G+. In my experience, both personal and professional, I think the most productive network is Twitter, due to the immediacy of interaction with your followers, the personal attention and the feedback, which is so important on the 2.0 path we are on right now.
- In the last few years, we have seen a boom in the role of community manager. Do you think that just anyone can perform this role?
Not just anyone can be a Community Manager. I think that to be successful in this profession you should have studied a relevant degree in communication, journalism or public relations and have complimented that with some training in community management. Communication skills are very important, as is empathy and not all professionals have these. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t professionals from other fields who can communicate well, just that there fewer of them.
- How would you define the profile of a good Community Manager?
The key skills you need to have are people skills, empathy and communication skills. You must be able to use measurement tools to inform your client or company as to the progress being made on their social networks. You must also have a good knowledge of marketing because, at the end of the day, you are “selling” your company or product through social networks.
- Do you think the role of Community Manager will still be around in 4-5 years?
I’m sure it will continue but as a constantly evolving profession. I’m sure it will not be the same as it is today.
- What are the tools that you consider essential to carrying out and measuring an effective social media strategy?
I think every Community Manager must use the tool that they feel is best adapted to the information needs of their client. In my case, I use Hootsuite, Klout, SocialBro and commun.it.
- Do you think that coupon and offer tools are productive and interesting for companies?
It Depends on the marketing strategy, and also on whether the product being offered is worthwhile, provides a service to the client and encourages some feedback from the follower.
- How do you think the issue of negative comments or crisis situations should be addressed in social networks?
Negative comments are one thing and a crisis is something very different. Anyway, whatever the case, the community manager must always have the humility to apologize if they have made an error and mediate between the company and client.
- Do you consider that companies in Spain are more aware than other Europeans of the benefits social networking can bring?
They are still long way off, the awareness just isn’t there yet, many still don’t let their employees use social media, and a lot of bosses and directors don’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts. If they knew the benefits of social media, many company presidents would have their own blog to explain in person what their company sells or does
- Finally, have you tried HiSocial? And if so, what did you think?
From what I have seen it’s a very intuitive tool, I haven’t used it, but I’m sure I will soon as it looks very easy to use.
Thanks very much Laura for your sharing your views about Social Media today!!!