Community Manager is a rather new job title, so what makes a good one?
I have worked in Social Media for the best part of two years. Before that I worked for an insurance company and before that I was a chef. How did I get into it? Purely by chance. I hated the job I was in, saw an ad looking for a Social Media Intern, knew what Facebook was and applied – two years later and here I am. And while I don’t profess to be some sort of social media genius, I do feel that I ‘get it’. Part of this however, is that along the way I’ve worked with some very good people who’ve taught me a lot, and from watching what they do and how they approach their work, I write what I think makes a good Community Manager.
Always look for the ‘next big thing’
A great Community Manger always has their feelers out, they’re always looking for something they can jump on to or hijack for their brand – the perfect example of this is Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark” tweet. To help with this, I’ve found that using an RSS aggregator like Feedly enables me to organise news that is specific to the brand category or even target audience interests so as that I can be atop of everything.
Take away: By knowing what is going on around you can be timely with your activity.
Have an understanding of the medium
Social Media allows for an open line of communication for brands and their followers. However, just because you’ve got yourself a Twitter or Facebook account doesn’t mean that you should start blasting your audience with promotional material. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite. A good community manager understands the medium, they understand what works and then create engaging content that is specific to that medium. By doing this your followers will love you and when you do have something to promote they’ll listen… heck if you’re lucky enough they might even share it.
Take away: Create engaging content that is specific to the medium you’re on. Make sure that this content addresses a need (a great example is Lowe’s on Vine) so as that you create trust from your audience.
Know how to have a conversation
If you’re ever interviewing someone for a community manager role and you can’t have a good chat with them, they’re probably not right for the job. An excellent Social Media Manager knows how to talk to people, they can quickly join a conversation, quickly respond to queries and provide a human element to the brand.
Take away: Join in conversations. If your fans are talking about you (good or bad) always reply and turn negative feedback into something positive.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of personality traits that Social Media/Community Manager should have (there are plenty of these online), it is three things that I believe they should be good at. I hope you enjoyed.