Community management positions are routinely extended to recent graduates and “social media natives,” meaning those who routinely use various social media tools for personal or professional use. Christie Fidura poses an intriguing question..If community managers are recent graduates (and therefore new to the company or brand), do they understand how the business runs? What the community goals and values are? Community managers are responsible for creating a sense of community among the various divisions within the company and to “sell” the vision of community to each user, helping them understand and value the community. To do so, the community manager must understand each department, its needs and challenges and what it will value from its community, a difficult task for someone with little or no business experience.
Customer Support, PR, Social, Marketing, Product Development… each of them should understand the goals and objectives for having a Community, which will ensure their focus on it, and increase the overall value which can be obtained from the Community.
Engaging each of these departments will ensure that everyone is involved in building a valuable community that works for them, and having them on board can do wonders for the culture and community. Getting your colleagues on board will not only make your job easier, but also they will understand the value of community building. Before Community Managers can evangelize for their company or product they need to be experts, which means research across the organization and building a community to share with users.
As soon-to-be graduates look for jobs in community management positions, many will ask what they can do to be successful starting and throughout their career? Mashable put together a list of tips for being a successful Community Manger:
- Be a Genuine Advocate for Your Product or Brand. Research and put in the time in the beginning to understand the company and product. The best community managers are ones that are passionate about what they represent. Being genuine and authentic cannot be understated in community management. (It’s also hard to fake!)
- Empathize with Users. Loving the company is one thing, but understanding users is another. Community managers will often need to address “users’ pain points” and respond to complaints. This takes a great deal of understanding and communication skills.
- Build Your Communication Skills. Not only to execute Point #2, communication skills are also a prerequisite to engaging users and communicating effectively.
- Create Your Own Blog. Before you get hired as a community manager, blogging can set you apart by demonstrating your voice and knowledge on creating a brand.
- Build Up Your Skill Set. It will come as no surprise that community managers will wear multiple hats during their tenure and having other skills like web design, some coding and SEO can help when you take on various projects.
- Go Further Than Digital. Engaging the community is more than just communicating via social media. Reach out to your community, meet with people in your industry, build relationships. In an ever-changing industry, keeping up with other professionals and learning from one other will benefit you and your company.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn as you begin (or revamp) your Community Management career!