Review: The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide

By Greg Finn

Undoubtedly, one of the thought leaders in the social marketing space is AimClear. When we found out that Marty WeintraubLauren Litwinka from AimClear were writing a book , "The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide," we had to get a few copies to see what gems were inside. Turns out there were quite a few.

I'm not a big reader of books (I prefer the audio versions) but I read though this book from start to finish -- which says a lot. The book is very unique and gives different takes than the usual social media articles and coverage.

"The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide"  by Weintraub and Litwinka cover the essential strategies, not just the stuff that makes the CM job look glamorous and sexy. We've broken the book down by chapter to show just what you'll find inside.

Chapter 1 – The Social Media Community Manager’s Role

I've got a feeling that most non-motivated Community Managers will likely put the book down after reading Chapter one. Weintraub & Litwinka do an amazing job of breaking down just what the hell goes in to the makeup of a community manager. It’s downright scary just how many roles have to be played -- and not-a-one is missed in this summary. Getting into social ads/targeting and referencing paid organic in the first chapter is a ballsy move, but sets the stage. Community Managers are responsible for much more than tweeting/updating – don’t believe me? Just read Chapter 1.

The chapter ends with an excellent set of questions around marketing plans and has nearly five pages of questions that every CM should ask. The book is worth the cost for these five pages alone.

Chapter 2 – Timeless Tenets of Non-Gratuitous Social Behavior

Chapter2Who doesn’t love a chapter that starts off with an old Marty-from-the-hair-band-days picture? Well, my only complaint is that it wasn’t larger. The chapter helps to show that you must relate to users on a brand level and that they have to be the brand. The “know me, love me” theme really hits the nail on the head and is an essential read for anyone you are trusting your brand to.

The chapter moves to engagement techniques (or Conversation Seeding) along with real world examples of each tactic. The coverage was thorough, only missing one tactic that I immediately thought of – the comedy tactic that works well for many brands. The chapter finishes strong with the very helpful section of the 13 annoying behaviors to avoid.

Chapter 3 – Hit The Ground Running

I’m considering getting the first 8.5 pages of this chapter tattooed across my back to save me time and money when explaining everything that a client needs when embarking on a social campaign. The book breaks down everything that you’ll need to accomplish and helps to set a budget and game plan for each. Again, you’d be happy paying $30 for those 10 pages alone.

The chapter then goes into some quick profile management tools (7 in total) then works into the “Galactic Guide to Social Media Channels.” This includes 45 pages that cover all social sites under the sun. It should be noted that these are very high-level looks at the social sites, not all-inclusive guides.

Chapter 4 – Content, Reputation, And Hardcore Listening Hacks

It’s decided. Right underneath my Chapter 3 tattoo, I’m going to get a Chapter 4 tattoo, particularly the quote.

“Above all, the most important thing to do in online marketing is driving traffic to sites you own for conversion and/or subscription.” The pages on this topic are extremely valuable for new marketers that may not have been as seasoned in the ever-changing “coming-and-going” environment of social.

The chapter then goes on to offer some slick monitoring tricks users can do with feeds, along with a handful of other listening hacks. I’d wager that everyone who reads the book would find some nugget of listening information to use that they hadn't previously (mine was just how damn crazy you can get with Outlook and that you can pull in an RSS feed from a Facebook fan page).

Chapter 5 - Finding Themed Conversations: The Superior CM's Edge

Chapter5Brain hasn't exploded from your head yet? Well Chapter 5 may do it. It starts off with content sharing and gets into Marty’s mind-blowing psychographics. At marketing conferences, Marty and the AimClear gang are known for their over-the-top targeting antics and this chapter takes a peek behind the curtain, giving users something to think about when it comes to ways to target a customer. A handful of secret weapons are also revealed with executable examples for each.

Chapter 6 - Dominate with Paid Organic Amplification

This  section isn't covered (or spoken about) enough. Nor is this covered in any other community manager book I’ve ever picked up. I remember back in 2011 when Marty came up to me, overly excited with a new discovery.

He stated:

“Paid Organic! It’s about getting subscribers – a glorified email list.”

Well, Marty, I’m glad that I listened to you – and you were right. I went on to later cover this in depth when it came true. No other book broaches this important subject, but all books should.

Chapter 7 - Community Crisis Management

Chapter7I bought an extra copy of this book and gave it to a client – just for Chapter 7. Crisis management usually ends in ... well ... a crisis by the marketing team. Sage advice is delivered here, from pre-planning to initial discovery to sound documentation. This topic is a must for all brands, and the chapter does a great job prepping for catastrophe. Hopefully this is a chapter you’ll never need, but read it anyway.

Chapter 8 - Measuring Success! State-of-the-Art Social Metrics

The last chapter in the book gets into some ways and tools users can use to measure success. A good mix of paid/organic, as well a free/paid tools are listed. This section is a bit light, but tries to get as much accomplished (in as little a budget) as possible.


Piggybacking off of Chapter 1, Appendix A shows a sample Community Manager Job description (for the real world). Appendix B runs through seven pages of tools. Lastly, Appendix C plays off the “vanity baiting” seeding technique taught in Chapter 2 and displays 72 must-follow marketers. Congrats on practicing what you preach guys!



Overall, if I had to sum this book up in one word it would be: important. Weintraub and Litwinka truly uncover critical items that aren't sexy, but make money and protect brands. I found the lack of buzzwords/self-importance refreshing. This is the book you buy if you are looking to make money, not the book you buy if you want to feel good about your place in social media. Each and every strategy is broken down with specific tactics and actionable items that everyone can apply to their social media campaigns ... today. Overall, this is a great read and must-own book for brands.

The Book is Best Suited For:

Intermediate/Advanced to Advanced Community Managers

The Book is Not Suited For:

Internet Marketing Beginners

We'd strongly recommend this book which can be purchased by heading over to Amazon.

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By Greg Finn

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Meet the Author

Head of Performance & Innovation / Partner

Greg Finn

Greg is the Head of Performance and Innovation for Cypress North's digital marketing team and one of the founders of our agency. In 2010, he and Matt Mombrea started Cypress North in Buffalo. Greg oversaw the opening of our second office in 2022, located in his hometown of Rochester.

As Head of Performance and Innovation, Greg co-manages our digital marketing department and works closely with our team to ensure all our clients achieve the best possible results. He is always looking for ways to test new digital marketing techniques and technology, and oversees all teaching and training efforts to ensure our agency stays ahead of the curve.

Greg is also a co-host of our weekly Marketing O'Clock podcast, where he and the team provide updates, insights, and hot takes on the latest SEO, PPC, and social media marketing news. In addition to weekly news shows, Greg hosts our Marketing O'Torial digital marketing tutorials and often co-hosts bonus Marketing O'Talk episodes that bring together panels of digital marketing experts.

With nearly two decades of experience, Greg is a known and trusted voice in the digital marketing community. He’s a contributor for Search Engine Land, a member of the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) programming team, and has been a featured speaker at some of the largest search engine conferences, including SMX, eSummit, and Pubcon. 

When he’s not working or staying updated on the latest trends, Greg enjoys watching his kids play sports and coaching their soccer team. He’s been named the runner-up “Greg of the Year” on Marketing O’Clock’s annual Clockscars Awards four years in a row. While the coveted award has evaded him for many years, Keanu Reeves has not. Greg once saw him at Gabriel's Gate tavern in Buffalo (and noted he was very tall.)