What You Need to Be a Community Manager

A role is continuing to emerge in organizations that are maturing in their use of social media.  The role of a community manager is becoming critical for organizations desiring to find success.

What is a Community Manager?

Simply put, a community manager connects communities and brands. Jeremiah Owyang has written a number of posts on the subject and was even instrumental in establishing a worldwide community manager appreciation day.  In 2007, Jeremiah described four tenets of the community manager:

  1. Community advocate
  2. Brand evangelist
  3. Savvy online communicator
  4. Help shape future products/services

This is an exciting career which will only continue to grow.  As organizations look to fill these roles, what should they be looking for in a community manager?

Required Attributes

For almost a year now I have been in a new role.  I am the Web & Social Media Strategist at Lethridge College.  As part of the role, I am to act as a community manager.

In the last few weeks, I’ve made an observation of two attributes that are critical to be a successful community manager.

Dedication
Social media tools do not power down at 4:30pm or close during the weekend. Your audiences do not stop caring then. Nor do they stop having problems then.  In fact, it’s likely that evenings and weekends may be the best time to reach them. This appears to be the case for fans of Lethbridge College. For the past few weeks I have attempted to engage our Facebook fans in the evening and weekends, resulting in engagement 5-10 times higher than weekday content.

While it may not always be required to put time in after hours or unusual times, if you hope to achieve success, you must be willing to have conversations with your audiences on their terms.

Passion
This dedication is so strong because of the passion I have.  Passion not only for Lethbridge College, but for social media.  I firmly believe in the power of social media and love connecting with others and helping people.  Lethbridge College also demonstrates these values by “enabling learners to achieve their educational and career goals.”

The passion I have towards social media and Lethbridge College drive me to continually look for ways to excel at the role of community manager, even if it is outside the typical work day.

While these are not all that is required to be a successful community manager, they are the most important.  Writing, web measurement, marketing, etc. are skills that can be learned.  It is very difficult to learn dedication and passion if they do not previously exist.

When looking to fill the role of community manager, look for someone with passion and dedication.