I loved being a Community Manager and with tomorrow (1/28) being Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD), I had to write about my experience in this career-changing, business-critical role. But oftentimes when I shared my title or talked about my role, my friends, family, etc. didn’t understand it. What is a Community Manager? Why is it important? Hence the birth of this blog post.
What is a Community Manager?
A Community Manager spearheads the creation and growth of an online community for a brand. The community can include customers, prospects, employees, influencers, competitors, and more. These community members live on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, blogs, forums, etc. and they’re talking about brands, industries and/or competition…for better or worse.
What is a Community and how can Community Managers help?
By using social media listening tools, brands will discover the conversations mentioned above and with community managers, brands can foster and grow the relationships of these online voices. Benefits include:
- Turn detractors (those who comment negatively about you) into advocates
- Deepen relationships with customers to keep them coming back
- Turn prospects into customers
- Drive web traffic
- Put a human voice/face on your brand
- Ensure someone is monitoring and responding to your social channels (i.e. your Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc.) around the clock
- Create content such as blog posts, ebooks, and webinars
How did I become a Community Manager?
I was hired as a Community Manager by Radian6 (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) back in 2011. Prior to that, I worked in agencies as an account executive. I was also a writer and blogger in my spare time. This prior agency experience lent itself perfectly to the Community Manager role. In fact, if you work in a service-provider role in the communications or marketing industry, you are one step closer to becoming a community manager. In addition, my writing skills were ideal for blogging and creating content for the brand. This content kept community members coming back for more and gave a reason to Tweet and share. Here are some Community Manager traits:
- Strong communication skills
- Organization, i.e. ability to manage multiple conversations/people at once
- Strong writing skills to create content
- Deep understanding of all social networks
- Event planning
- Understand the brand and its products/services to represent it well
- Be energetic, outgoing and responsive
How do I learn more about Community Management?
To learn more about Community Managers, check out this post by Jeremiah Owyang. It may be an older post, but it still rings true. I also printed this infographic and framed it on my office wall. Here are some ongoing resources I use:
- The Community Manager (follow them on Twitter and Facebook too)
- #cmgrchat Tweet chat on Wednesdays at 2pm EST
- Use and follow the #CMAD hashtag
I may not be a Community Manager anymore (now Manager of Content for Salesforce Marketing Cloud), but I still support and love this role. So, cheers to Community Manager Appreciation Day. Make sure to send a note to your fellow Community Managers. They’ll appreciate it! In the spirit of that, here’s a shout out to a few of my favorite Community Managers:
- Melanie Thompson (@melanieathomp)
- Trish Forant (@dayngr)
- Emily Cahill (@yelphartford)
- Julie Meredith (@julie_meredith)
- Nathan Freitas (@natespeak)
- Jason Cassidy (@jasoncassidy23)
- Anna Eschenburg (@aeschenburg)
Community Manager Appreciation Day was created by Jeremiah Owyang in 2010. The goal is to thank community managers via Tweets, blog posts, and in-person meet ups, for their hard work creating, building and growing their brands’ social media community.