A few years ago, a young woman came on my radar. Her name: Samantha Ogborn. At the time, Samantha was working for a small agency in Chicago. She was just starting her career–but you could tell there was potential there. A little over a year ago, Samantha took a job at Walgreens. And since, she’s been doing great work for the retail/pharmacy giant.
Let’s get a glimpse into what Samantha’s world is like managing online communities for Walgreens.
What pages do you community manage specifically? How long have you been doing that? How many (if any) people assist you in this role?
I strategize and create engaging content around Walgreens’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. I’ve been doing this for a year now. While I work on our social media team, I am the sole owner of this portion of our social media development.
Structure-wise, how does your role fit into the org chart at your company?
My role as well as our social team falls within the Digital Marketing and Emerging Media team, which then falls under the larger strategy portion of our business for the eCommerce division.
What’s the biggest consistent challenge in managing your page(s)?
The amount of customer inquiries we receive on a daily basis can be intimidating. Luckily, we’ve trained our customer service team to read and respond to customer concerns in real time, which has been helpful. It’s also been a unique and fun challenge to streamline our content under one voice and ensure that all of our messaging has an equal opportunity to be successful with our fans. Successful loosely meaning we see engagement or some kind of action taken.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in community management in the last year?
Overall I think any community manager has to be able to roll with the industry punches and stay proactive. Facebook changes its algorithm all of the time, for example. You can’t come into work every day expecting that the same kind of content you’re coming up with is going to be a success. In the last year alone, I’ve watched my execution evolve in its consistency, language, and format. What used to be a simple status update is now much more intricate and necessitates strategic thinking. You have to be comfortable being a chameleon in this role. It’s also a false assumption to think the customer isn’t intelligent. Our social customers get the space and challenge me every day to keep up with how we interact as a brand. This is what I love about my job.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a community manager?
There are many rewards to being a community manager! One of them is nearly instantaneous results. I work best when I can fly by the seat of my pants, which doesn’t necessarily jive with traditional media planning or messaging. I enjoy coming up with an idea, working quickly to execute, and sitting back and watching the performance, all within the same day. I also enjoy our customers’ honest feedback, always. I have no hesitation asking our community for their thoughts; they have no qualms about being honest and open. I can deliver feedback to any of my colleagues right away, and that is incredibly satisfying. Lastly, now that I’ve been the community manager for a year, I’ve come to recognize many familiar faces on each of our social platforms. It’s fantastic to see that our consistency has resulted in longevity and loyalty.