Welcome to the latest “Social Media from the Frontline”. This time, we hear from Sarah who is Community Manager at Google Places (London). If you fancy getting involved in our next Frontline drop us a tweet @mycleveragency.
NAME: Sarah Drinkwater
ROLE: Community Manager for Google Places London
I’ve been at Google since November 2011, working across social media, editorial content and offline/online events and promotions to engage Google Places users and help them rate and review their favourite places in London. Before that, I ran Qype’s UK community team and worked as a community manager for Nokia and, before that, I was a journalist for everywhere from The Guardian to Glamour.
Essentially, community managers are the middle man between the product or service and those who use it – it’s a brilliantly varied job. On any given day, I could be planning a fun event, chatting about bars on social media or interviewing site users for our blog. I love meeting and working with new people and, in terms of my particular job, I love supporting indie businesses, whether that’s working on an event so other Londoners can discover them, or just featuring them online.
My most inspiring sites and companies change all the time but, right now, I’m loving Pinterest – check out my friend Eamon’s boardofagencyrhymingslang – and my all-time favourite agency Poke, who I think produce brilliant creative work.
I’m not mad on people who label themselves ‘gurus’, ‘early adopters’ or ‘ninjas’, but hopefully this is dying out as the industry matures.
For wannabe community managers or social media managers: start a blog because that will help you learn how to write, edit and promote yourself, plus a little HTML goes a long way! I’d advise brands to be graceful; remember your next potential customer will see how you treat your current customers online. Respond to feedback whether it’s good or bad, and you won’t go far wrong.
Making predictions about the Next Big Thing ties in a bit too strongly with my ‘early adopter’ answer for my liking, so I guess I’ll just say this: in such a saturated social media landscape, I think we’re going to see more networks, or networks within sites, defined by interest in the future. Whether that’s around comic books or finding somewhere to go for craft beer, I don’t know…