Career Boosters: What is a community manager?
October 21, 2013 | Rachel Scott and Trina Boos | Comments
Career Boosters is a monthly e-panel discussion that scouts out leaders in the marketing, digital, communications and advertising space to provide their perspectives on industry topics related to career development, talent acquisition and hiring practices.
Today’s panel: Eli Singer is Founder and President at Entrinsic. Laura Muirhead is the Manager, Community Cultivation at Tribal Worldwide. Lisa Horvat is Vice-President, Storytelling and Digital Strategy at Strategic Storytellers.
Sum up the role of a community manager in one or two sentences
Eli Singer: In an ideal state, they are the advocate for your business within the community, and the advocate for your community within your business.
Laura Muirhead: A community manager represents the brand to its communities and the communities to the brand.
Lisa Horvat: First and foremost, a community manager should see themselves as an internal advocate for the customer. Otherwise, they have a similar role both externally and internally. They need to listen fiercely to the community and to what is going on within their organization. They need to encourage open lines of communications and contribution from both sides while facilitating everyone in breathing life into the brand experience.
• Community Management Fun & Games
Some of your favourite pre-screening questions when identifying community management talent are…?
Eli: We generally assign overnight writing tasks, both short-form and long-form in nature. I also like to find out which sites people enjoy using personally, which often demonstrates what types of content they’re most interested in.
Laura: What is your experience working with multiple internal and client stakeholders to achieve a singular purpose? Tell me about a time you almost hit ‘send’ when responding to a fan/follower but hesitated. What is your approach for mapping out a content plan? What inspires you?
Lisa: Tell me about a community member that has changed the way you think, work or live. Tell me about what it’s like meeting your community members in person. Recount an example that was invigorating. What’s the role of a community manager in this type of organization? How would you like to evolve that role? What do you need to be successful in this role?
Tips for individuals looking to move into a community management role?
Eli: Make sure you have a great writing portfolio and be intimately familiar with the key metrics across the major social media platforms. Go beyond the “like” and “share,” and have a point of view of what types of content drive performance.
Laura: Make sure you have the willpower, patience, and thick skin to do the job. You should also be innately fascinated with observing human behaviour and understand how society and culture influences how we communicate.
Lisa: We all have a community around us, start thinking about your community(ies) constantly and figuring out how what you are doing right now may or may not be relevant to them and what you could be doing that is. Help with communications and marketing for live community events. And practice the art of story sharing on- and offline.
What’s the one thing a community manager does that most people wouldn’t assume they do?
Eli: A good community manager will have false profiles across many networks so they have accounts to experiment and learn on.
Lisa: I think it is their strategic role and data-driven decision making that doesn’t seem obvious when they are doing their jobs seamlessly.
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