Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Free Essential Resources for Community Managers

Preparing community guidelines, a playbook and templates, as well as reporting are just some of the required tasks for community managers. You see lots of articles about the importance of having them in place, but not the actual samples and templates. Therefore, I have put together some of the excellent resources and templates that you can use and customize based on your specific needs. They're available for download - all for free!

It’s a collection of the best free resources for Social Media Managers to help build a community, keep members engaged and the day-to-day toolkit such as social media content calendar template, social media sizing cheat sheet and reporting template and community guidelines.
1. Social Media Sizing Sheet
Optimizing your company or brand's social media profiles include having the right size of photos. LunaMetrics has put together the updated social media sizing sheet for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 
2. Social Media Publishing Template [EXCEL]
Hubspot has provided an excellent template for Social Media Publishing Schedule for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. It's on Excel format which makes it ready for use when planning for your social media editorial calendar. 
3. Mobile, Advisory Council, Lecture Series, Crowdsourcing, Info Sheet
HootSuite put together a very helpful collection of community management resources during the Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD).
It includes resources for Mobile Community Management. This one is especially helpful: Info Sheets 
4. Community Management Playbook
Yammer has released a neat Community Management Playbook which includes a clear and simple definition of a Community, tangible benefits and potential risks of managing and mismanaging your community, strategic goals, and roles of a community manager, specific strategies to implement and daily recommended actions to grow and engage with the community.  
5. Social Media Guidelines Template [WORD]
Blue Wire Media has provided a downloadable and customizable Social Media Guidelines Template for community managers working in organizations and needed to establish an internal policy for the company. To be able to download, you would need to supply basic information such as your name, email and the name of the organization you work with.  
6. Facebook Community Guidelines
To set the tonality and how your community members would behave in your Facebook community, it's essential to establish the House Rules or the Facebook Community Guidelines. Social Fresh has compiled a list of brands that provide good examples.
7. Social Media Reporting Templates
Measuring the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) help community managers gauge whether the social media and digital strategies being implemented are working or not. 
You may also generate free social media analytics report with the help of Simply Measured. Their free Facebook Fan Page Report (Note: Free only for fan pages with less than 250,000 fans) and Content Analysis are pretty helpful in getting you started with preparing simple reports.  
 8. Social Media Tactical Plan
Building your community requires more than just listening and engagement. It's essential to create an overarching social media strategy or tactical plan on how you can build and grow the community.Marketo has provided a simple downloadable Social Media Tactical plan detailing which platforms you should be using and which specific strategies would work based on standard best practices.  
9. Sample Blogger Outreach Letters
Blogger outreach or connecting with the influential voices that your target market or community listen to is one of the most important tasks for every Community Manager. Here are a couple of examples and actual letters on how to pitch to bloggers (without pissing them off).
10. Free Press Release Submission Sites
While most companies have their own PR department to handle the press releases, sometimes smaller organizations require their Community Managers to wear several hats. Avangate has put together a list of 50 websites that you can submit your press releases for free. 
Those are just some of the essential templates and samples that I've found helpful when I started with community management and even on a day-to-day basis. Share with us in the comments below as to what are some of your practical resources!

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