The Tweet that started it all.
I loved being a Community Manager and with today (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?
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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.