6 Skills Every Community Manager Should Have
Online communities have become a great way for companies to engage with their customers, stockholders and others involved in their industries. When businesses develop online communities, the owners often don’t handle the day-to-day community development and management tasks. They often hire or appoint some one to serve as the community manager. This person often becomes the ambassador or face of an online community. To hold this type of responsibility, community managers have to have backgrounds and traits that make them good fits for the position.
Community managers need to be able to talk with the media, community users, their supervisors and stockholders about different aspects of online communities. They may engage users within the community one day. Another day, they may talk with people outside the community about the company brands. They also might have to be disciplinarians who enforce the rules of online spaces. The ability to think critically, emphasize with others and act rationally and fairly in tough situations can really help an online community manager.
A community manager position can be more than an eight-hour-a-day job. To be able to handle all of reports, digital files, meetings and deadlines that are part of running an online community, community members need to be able to deep everything ordered. If they already are able to work independently and develop their own or work within existing organizing schemes, they will have a better chance of being successful as managers.
Community managers are often called upon to take an in-depth look at the success of the communities they help to build. They may need to gather quantitative data such as user statistics or qualitative data on members’ experiences. Knowing how to collect this information and put it in a report form is essential for community managers. Having the knowledge and ability to analyze statistics and feedback can allow a community manager to be able to better respond to users’ needs and desires.
Building an online community requires some knowledge of web design, SEO practices, marketing techniques and social media incorporation. Although community managers often have some help from web designers, they usually hold some responsibility in coming up with logos, designs and written content used for promotion and engagement of people within online communities. A community member who has the ability to shoot and edit video or photos and write creative content has a better chance to building a dynamic online community geared towards a specific demographic.
Time Management Skills
Community managers have to be able to split their time between different tasks, especially if they are managing multiple online communities. They need to be able to prioritize when they are on deadline. During deadlines, they still have to be able to make time to start conversations on online forums, handle conflict between users, bring in new community members, promote the brand and do other everyday tasks involved with online communities.
While it is important for community managers to have experience in the industries in which the online communities fall, not everything will be in their areas of expertise. They need to continually learn new skills and adapt to changes that occur within companies and industries. They also have to be ready for emerging technologies. Community managers today need to be versed in using social media and mobile technologies because many Internet users communicate with each other and gather information using both.