Rick Barron
Rick Barron 4 December 2019

10 Common Traits of Top Community Managers

As more companies and more industries buy into the benefits of social media and community development, the number of job opportunities available for professionals with community-building skills also continue to grow.

Companies are looking for professionals who can blend their skills to effectively deliver updates to a community, but also have the ability to tap into that community to collect feedback for a company to use for improving its product or delivering its message.

Indeed, working in the social space can be a lot of fun, but it’s very different from maintaining your own personal profiles. Staying on top of trends means regularly checking in on popular hashtags, identifying the trends, content, and accounts that will support your brand’s community-building efforts.

But being a quality community manager goes beyond having the knowledge and background to use social media networks. Here are ten qualities a community manager should possess to improve the chances of success in the position, according to professionals who work within social media and community today.

1. Strong communication skills.

First and foremost, the person who is acting as a representative of the brand should have strong people skills. The community manager, in many ways, is the face of a brand, and this person must be able to effectively communicate the message to the audience. Whether it be the short form or long form, you have to be able to write. Blog posts, guest articles, emails, proposals, social content, you have to be able to craft your ideas and messages to fit any medium.

2. Developing and maintaining brand voice.

Check out some of the brand pages you already follow on social media (if you don’t follow any, this is a good time to start!). Scroll through their feeds and take note of the type of posts they publish, and how they phrase them.

Some brands are more energetic than others. Some post only about their own products, while others post about advances in their respective fields. Are they interacting with other people and brands, or do they keep to themselves?

Every brand, just like every person, has its own voice. As a community manager, part of your job will be to find the brand’s voice and be consistent in your posts. Refer to current marketing materials such as emails, newsletters, and blogs to help define the brand’s voice on social media.

3. Keeping audience top of mind.

We all want to connect with current customers and forge new relationships, right? But what if your social media strategy is sabotaging your efforts?

When brands only post product-specific information or corporate announcements, they are missing out on potential engagements. Just think about the last time you watched TV, were you more interested in the actual program, or in the commercials (the Super Bowl notwithstanding)? On social media, company news and product releases are the commercials. Focus on creating more interactive programming.

To do this, think about your customers and what they’re interested in. What are they likely to react to? How can you be seen as a trusted resource without coming across as boring? It will take some research and testing to find the right formula, but it will be worth it in the end.

4. Organisational skills.

The job consists of managing multiple platforms, tracking feedback and then sharing this information with your employers. This job can be challenging, but remaining organized can help you stay on top of your responsibilities. The community manager has to be able to multitask, and that means staying organised. It's a very fast-paced job and there are a lot of things thrown at you at once, and you need to stay on top of it.

5. Staying cool, even in a crisis. 

No matter what industry you represent, crises are always a possibility [of course they are]. Restaurant brands may be confronted with food quality and service issues; retailers may have to answer for defective products and recalls, and public enterprises are at the mercy of anybody reading the latest headlines.

While crises aren’t a daily occurrence, community managers need to be ready to respond to issues as they arise. One of the most damaging things a brand manager can do is respond negatively to criticism. On the other hand, ignoring the problem altogether is another big misstep.

When an issue arises, social media managers should step back, take a deep breath, and craft a response that is calm, collected, and somewhat quick. It isn’t easy by any means, but it’s necessary for social media success.

6. Knowing when to escalate.

While social media managers will need to learn how to respond to negativity on their own, there are times when situations must be escalated.

For example, if a customer or prospect is asking a product-related question that you don’t know the answer to, it’s best to loop in someone who does. If a quality issue is at play, you’ll want to alert whatever teams can best address that issue. Hint: Learn the key stakeholders and those who can respond in a timely manner. In short, know your team so as to help you from getting an ulcer spinning your wheels.

Ultimately, you want to not only respond to problems but solve them, too. This will often mean working with different teams within the organisation to make sure everyone is on the same page.

7. Empathy.

To engage a community in a discussion about a marketing brand, a community manager must know the type of people who make up the audience. You're dealing with a lot of different personalities. If you're not empathetic, you're never going to be able to put yourself in those people's shoes, which means you won't be able to communicate a message to them.

Being able to demonstrate empathy is important because a community manager must be able to effectively converse with the audience. This person should see the brand from the perspective of a fan or consumer.

8. Be Data-Minded.

In each industry, the way a community manager handles social and site analytics may differ, but it's critical in knowing how and where to execute your efforts that the community manager is well versed about how communities are responding to engagement and can determine what efforts are working and not working. There’s a saying, "If you can't measure it, you aren't doing it right”. Build tracking links, looking at your website and social media traffic, measure your reach and impressions. Have a goal and reach it.

9. Commitment.

There is no end of the workday for community managers. When news breaks, whether the organisation you represent is on the giving or receiving end, a community manager has to be available to the audience. Take note: When you're a community manager, you're on 24/7…this is not check-in at 9 a.m. and out at 5 p.m. If you think this, you’re in the wrong job!  Good or bad, something huge can happen at any time, and when it does, social media is the first place it hits. You are technically the face of the brand, so you have to deal with it.

10. Passion for the brand.

In many ways, the community manager is the eyes and ears of a business or organisation. But they’re also responsible for being ‘the voice’ of the company, and the audience wants to interact with someone who loves the brand as much as they do. For a community manager who just goes through the motions, he or she is not going to be successful and the company will ultimately suffer.

Having a genuine passion is really important as a community manager. You are the representative of that brand. You have to eat, sleep and breathe the brand.

About the author:

Hi, my name is Rick and I thank you for reading this article!

I explore to learn new stuff every day and here I will share all my experiences and thoughts with you.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. :)

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