The role of a community manager is crucial to the success of a company’s online initiatives.
The community manager is the voice and personality of a brand and requires quick thinking and attention to detail. They are there to field questions, offer quirky commentary, solve problems and highlight what the company is working on.
The community manager has to strike a delicate balance between being accessible and interesting and still meeting the company’s strategic corporate objectives.
This is hard online, which is why experienced community managers are hard to come by. Often brands and organizations have trouble with community managers because the people representing them sometimes enjoy the spotlight and begin to promote their own personal branding objectives rather than the company’s. Setting your objectives and making it clear from the get go is very important.
Ensure that your community manager knows and understands what is required, don’t leave it all up to them to figure out because they may not have the complete picture unless you tell them. The more information you can provide to your community manager, the better. Have a social policy in place too and make sure that anyone representing your brand is doing so in a professional manner while being a positive voice for the organization.
Here are 5 important traits that we believe an excellent community manager must possess in order to represent your company successfully:
It’s important that your CM has a personality. Someone who is socially capable of communicating with all sorts of people and who is witty, friendly, interesting and fun – but also someone who is intelligent and a great conversationalist. You don’t just want to hire the loudmouth who has 20,000 Twitter followers. That person may hurt more than help. Ideally you want someone who listens as well as they speak.
Your CM should have the ability to speak on behalf of the company without huge lags in communication while they get approval. Your strategy will fall down if you don’t properly equip your CM to address the needs of the public. Allow your CM to make decisions on the fly and set those parameters in advance. If your community manager has to seek approval before every response, they will not get much respect and won’t be able to respond in a timely manner.
You want your CM to be empathetic towards others and not just care about their own self-interests. A CM who is selfless is far more likely to make a large impact than one who is only interested in PR. You want your CM to care deeply about worthy causes, community, collaboration and relationships.
The connector is a rare breed, but great community managers have this in spades. They see the connections between people and take the initiative to make introductions and pass on information on behalf of others. This is an important trait for your CM to possess because they build extensive networks, strong partnerships and lasting allies. Connectors strengthen communities.
Creativity is so important and appreciated in the clutter of online content. It is increasingly difficult to get your messages heard and acknowledged. If your CM has a creative personality it will make for engaging content and bring energy and vibrancy to your brand. A creative CM can add tremendous value by attracting a lot of attention, eyeballs and conversation to your content, which ultimately drives engagement.
If you wish to add any other important traits community managers should have please do so in our comment area.
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