20 years ago, a business could run perfectly well with a venue, a computer or two to keep records, and a telephone connection to the outside world, with no mention of a social media community manager.
Needless to say, things have changed. Now, a modern organisation needs a website, mobile app, webisode video series, and an active blog full of useful and entertaining articles. To top it all off, it’s also a good idea to have a strong presence on social media platforms.
How else will you connect with the millions of online consumers who are potentially ready to become your audience and customer base?
Of course, managing your social media interactions with the online communities across several platforms will require a single unifying mind and, quite possibly, an entire customer support team.
What you need is a social media community manager. The challenge is finding one that can fit the bill.
Being a great community manager is a lot like being a superhero.
You’re often expected to be everywhere at once, simultaneously entertaining the masses, finding new interesting content, and putting out fires with unhappy customers who bring their troubles to your public platform.
Contrary to popular belief, a social media community manager is not just there to promote a product or brand, a great manager goes out to where the people are and builds an entire online community of interested customers and curious individuals who want to find out more about your industry, company, and what the social media community has to offer.
If your candidate can spin plates, answer bat-signals, and soothe ruffled feathers all at the same time, you’re on the right track to finding a stupendous community manager but let’s look into the real traits of the greats.
Social Media Community Manager – An Expansive Personality
A social media community manager isn’t just someone who tweets in the name of the company. In fact, they’re often using their own name and face as a company representative instead.
Their job is to reach out to thousands of people in their most comfortable and casual online environments and build relationships with them and the company itself. This requires something beyond friendliness.
A great community manager is ready to become personal friends with every single one of the thousands of people in their social media community and to bring on-board even more community members all the time.A good social media manager wants to build relationships with the online community, and is interested in each user! | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet
An Interest in the Opinions of All People
Another major role of a social media community manager is to ask for, insight, and get really interested in the opinions of your online community members. This can involve posting fun questions, creating surveys, or simply sparking interesting discussions on the company page.
Once the discussion or answers to questions start rolling in, their job isn’t done yet.
A great community manager also sticks around to give their friendly and helpful responses and to fuel the fire of community interaction on the topics they have provided. This creates active, constantly engaging interest and support for the brand and makes the community feel involved, listened to, and valued.
A Friendly Attitude
Even if a candidate really loves spending time with thousands of people online, if their attitude is sour no one will be able to detect the joy.
A fantastic community manager can make everyone they talk to or who even sees their public messages feel that warm fuzzy sensation of potential friendship. Ideally, every member of your online community will feel as though the community manager is their own personal friend, there to listen to and help them at any time.
The friendlier the manager’s attitude is, the more friends they can make for the company and brand as well.
Creative Content Generation
Of course, something that many on the outside don’t realize is that a community manager isn’t just limited to dealing with people. In social media, the community manager is also responsible for writing, finding, and commissioning incredibly interesting and creative content.
This can be news stories, business behind-the-scenes information, or even artistic photos of things that relate to your industry.
The content they post could become the next discussion topic or simply engage the community in the current goings-on with your company. The more creative they are, the more people will want to come back and read your content.
An Eye for Trends
Another important part of any social media management job is keeping an eye on trends. In Twitter especially, nothing matters more than knowing which hashtags to use today, the emotional and issue climate of the platform, and which causes the majority of social media users are worked up about.
On the flip-side, viral videos and memes also make powerful trend content for your social media marketing campaigns and will draw a lot more attention even than well-written industry insights.An important part of any social media management job is keeping an eye on trends. | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet
Empathy and Tact
Not every member of your online community is always going to be happy and you can gain massive credibility as a compassionate brand when your community manager is sensitive to the troubles of the community.
When someone loses a relative, a pet, or a job, or just has a very bad day, they may well log into social media in order to share their sadness with the world.
Your community manager should one of the first to reach out and offer tactful condolences to show that they and the company are not just about the buying habits but also the happiness and wellbeing of your community.
Passion for the Project
No matter how good your candidates are at being a wrangling people through social media, one of the most powerful forces for a good community manager is passion.
You want someone who deeply understands and loves the industry at hand. This way, everything they say about the company and the work done there will be positive, supportive, and refreshingly well-informed.
In fact, the best social media community managers are involved in the industry somehow in their own way and can, therefore, write some very interesting and persuasive content to share with the community
Resilience in the Face of Trolling and Abuse
Most of your community members will be friendly and supportive but there are always a few trolls and truly mean people out on the internet. As a representative for a company, social media community managers are often considered sitting ducks for people who like to target someone online and make them break down, cry, or admit fault for having done nothing wrong. From abusive customers looking to hurt someone in the company to your average social media troll, a great community manager needs to comfortably let insults and irrelevant complaints roll off their shoulders while remaining fun and pleasant for everyone else.
Talent and Delegation
As you may know, there are a great many aspects to becoming a successful social media community manager but no one said that a single person has to do it all. If your community manager is talented at wrangling online people and running discussions but isn’t a deft hand at content creation or doesn’t have enough in-depth knowledge of the industry yet, suggest that they delegate some of work to others whose talents balance your own.
Community management can absolutely be a team effort and some of the more successful social media marketing campaigns have involved teams who split up the community management duties.
The Ability to Automate Smoothly
Automation of messages and content sharing is a major part of today’s social media management tasks because, quite frankly, keeping up with a full stack of social media platforms is a big task even for an entire inbound marketing and customer service team. A good community manager will be able to adapt to the automation software available and begin gathering collections of content to post at pre-determined times in order to keep your social media feeds lively while other work gets accomplished.
The key to talented social media automation is to make it seem like it isn’t automated at all. This means including a dynamic variety of content and even making pre-scheduled posts send at slightly off-times like 3:04 in the afternoon instead of 3:00 exactly.
An Understanding of Business Grammar
The one hard rule about any use of social media in the name of a company is that grammar is a must.
Chat-speak and slang can be used for comedic effect every now and then but, officially, the community manager needs to represent the company in a professional manner.
This means keeping your chat-speak to joke-levels only, staying mostly away from emoticons, and remembering to mind your Ps, Qs, and punctuation when writing posts.
Tech Savvy on Multiple Platforms
Finally, there is a lot more than one platform for social media. Whether your company prefers Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, all of the above or these and more, your community manager will need to be prepared to handle messages and conversations happening on all fronts.
This is the number one reason why community managers usually end up splitting up the job and delegating effectively to ensure that the community of every social media platform gets the attention they deserve. For more great social media community management tips and tricks, contact us today!