5 Things You Should Look For in a Community Manager

In honor of Community Manager Day, I thought it would fun and worthwhile to share some tips with employers looking for the perfect community manager for their business.


The community manager role is more relevant now than ever, and the numbers show it. In a joint research report released by Booz and Co. and Buddy Media, titled Campaigns to Capabilities, brand marketers said that hiring full-time employees is the number one investment they are making in social media. Furthermore, 63% of all social media teams have dedicated community managers, and 59% of social media teams plan to hire full-time community managers in the near future.


So, if you are one of the many companies looking for a community manager, what are the qualities any candidate absolutely must have? Here are the top five things to look for in a community manager:

Guest author Michael Jaindl is chief client officer for Buddy Media. He has over seven years managing and building technology products for the largest companies in the world. Prior to Buddy Media, MJ worked at NBC and GE.

1. A strong writing background, preferably in journalism or PR.

There are a couple of reasons why this is so important. Though it may seem obvious, proper grammar and spelling errors are inexcusable for corporate social media accounts. Additionally, those with journalism and PR backgrounds have an understanding of what content is newsworthy and likely to be shared, as well as an ability to relay information in an engaging yet concise manner.

2. The ability to analyze and optimize (quickly). Creating content and responding to people is an integral part of the job, but community managers must be able to look at data to determine what is working and what is not. If certain types of content are resonating, whether it is due to the publishing schedule, substance or style, community managers should be able to effectively optimize accordingly. Conversely, if engagement is down, community managers must be able to move quickly in a new direction without hesitation.

3. A constant connection to the social world. Community managers cannot limit themselves to working a 9-5 day, Monday through Friday, because communities are real time and don’t care when you’re in the office. Community managers need to establish guidelines to have specific team members active on call around the clock, or as much as possible.

While there are times when communities might be less active, an important comment or question from a fan published on Saturday morning simply cannot be left for Monday morning. Community managers need to commit to checking social networks in the evening and on weekends. The best community managers will embrace the opportunity to provide value to your brand outside normal work hours.

4. An insatiable appetite for your industry. Community managers need to be interested and passionate about more than just your company. Great community managers are tuned into the industry’s top news sources and thought leaders and are constantly looking for links, videos and news to provide to their communities. Community managers who are excited about the overall industry, and not just their own brand, can effectively communicate that passion to their fans and followers.

5. Short-term and long-term thinker. Community managers often think about the day-to-day of creating updates and responding to people online. Being able to work in the moment and quickly read and react to conversations online is a crucial part of the job.

But equally as important is the ability to look at the big picture and to work toward long-term goals and objectives. Effective community managers can think “big picture” in order to use community management as a way to reach business objectives. Whether the goal is to relieve pressure on customer service call centers or to reach certain engagement or web traffic benchmarks, the best community management candidates can put together long-term strategies and then work daily to reach those goals.

Photo by jynmeyer

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