While community managers are a growing profession, what exactly does the job entail? And more importantly, will your company benefit from having one? Knowing the answers to both can help put you in a great position to grow your community or help you save money on a salary you never needed to pay.
Defining the Community Manager
While the community manager is still being defined as a profession, there are several key traits that are almost universal to the position. Some of them include:
- Communicative: a community manager is adept and comfortable with multiple information streams and multitasking them all.
- Social media prowess: without adept knowledge of how to track trends, analyze information, and quickly respond via Twitter, Facebook, Ning, and more, a community manager cannot succeed.
- Jack-of-all-trades: community management includes responsibilities in multiple fields, including PR, marketing, customer relations, social media, sales, analytics, and sometimes development.
- Initiative: the best ones tend to take the initiative to create new tools and networks for the brand, stay up late addressing user complaints, and thinking of new and creative ways to promote the brand to more people.
- Evangelist: simply put, they love the product like it was their own child.
Several major companies have community managers, including Ford, Rubbermaid, and Dell.
Do you Need to Hire One?
Do hire a community manager…
- If you have a large and active user base
- If you have a lot of customer support questions and feedback coming in every day
- If you want an online evangelist for your brand
- If you’re primarily a business-to-business operation
- If your community doesn’t require a lot of management or time
- If you don’t have the money