Tools for community managers can be broadly classified into three categories:
- Content Management tools
- Project Management tools
- Analytics Tools
As the size of the communities has grown and a community manager has to manage multiple platforms, more and more tools are available.
There are few good tools such as HootSuite and Buffer for content, Basecamp/Trello/Slack for project management and Radian 6s for analytics. In fact it has come to a state where one needs a tool to be able to manage the multiple tools to be used for the community management.
Personally, I prefer tools which make me do less and not more. Most of the tools make you push more and more content, send multiple communications to the team and download data dumps from the platforms.
As most of us are aware that a perfect execution is 80 percent planning and 20 percent execution. Similarly it’s more important to know the more relevant information and not the most amount of information. Following is a wish list for an ideal tool for the community managers:
- A community manager is a ninja undertaking research, moderation, planning, project management, goal management, content writing and real time collaboration. So, a tool has to be there which helps her do all of the above in a better manner.
- Secondly, the tool has to put the community manager in the centre of the universe and not on the sidelines. Currently all the tools think of community managers as robots, who will simply carry out the function embedded in the tool.
- Lastly the tool should act as a personal digital assistant for the community managers, which adapts and learns as the manager goes about using it. Again, this is not happening now. It’s not far when machine learning, natural language processing and artificial intelligence will be used to build the ultimate tool for the community managers.
I have been managing communities for the past 7 years. And, two years ago I went about developing one such tool. I released the tool last year and hope to collaborate with the community managers from around the world to make the most useful tool for them.
Which tools do you rely on in your day to day community management tasks?
Editor’s Note: Abhishek Rai was a panelist for this year’s Community Manager Appreciation Day panel on Community Manager Tools Live from #CMADfi.
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