Savvy companies recognize the value of a strong community. Think of Nike and its community of runners, Nike+, and you’ll quickly understand that creating and fostering an online community around a product or brand is a powerful way to boost marketing efforts, gain valuable insight into consumers, increase revenue, improve consumer loyalty, and enhance customer service efforts. Companies now have the unprecedented opportunity to integrate their brand’s messaging into the everyday lives of their target audiences. But while supporting the growth of online communities should be at the top of every company’s priority list, all too often it falls by the wayside. That’s why brand strategy expert and digital marketer Lauren Perkins wrote The Community Manager’s Playbook (#CMplaybook on Twitter), a must-read guide for business and brand builders who need to strengthen their approach to online B2C community management and customer engagement. As Perkins explains, if companies want to create thriving online communities focused on their product or brand, they must do more than simply issue a few tweets a day, create (and then abandon) a Facebook page, and blog every once in a while. Instead, organizations of all sizes must treat community management as a central component of their overall marketing strategy. When they do, they will be rewarded handsomely with greater brand awareness, increased customer use and retention, lower acquisition costs, and a tribe of consumers who can’t wait to purchase their next product. Perkins not only teaches readers how to build an engaging community strategy from the ground up, but she also provides them with the tactical community management activities they need to acquire and retain customers, create compelling content, and track their results along the way. Distinctive in its comprehensive, step-by-step approach to creating online communities that are fully consistent with a company’s existing brand voice, The Community Manager’s Playbook: Explains how excellent community management provides a competitive advantage with a large impact on sales Provides an in-depth overview of brand and business alignment Teaches readers how to identify their community’s online target audience and influence their needs and wants Details the appropriate online channels through which content should be distributed Champions the use of an agile approach through repeated testing to maximize the return on every company investment Discusses the many diverse metrics that can be used to measure community scope Today, there is no brand strategy without a community strategy. Companies that are not developing communities are losing control of their brands and missing opportunities to optimize their marketing investments. With The Community Manager’s Playbook as their guide, however, marketing professionals and the companies and brands they represent will be equipped with the tools they need to manage their online marketing efforts, engage their core customers at every level, leverage community insights into the product development cycle, and ensure that their messaging is heard across all corners of the digital landscape.