The VPM Blog

6 Characteristics You Need in a Community Manager

Posted by Eric Callaghan on Sep 17, 2015 10:02:06 AM

As a community manager, you can get pulled in several different directions every hour. As the small gear that will keep your marketing engine running, they need to be: monitoring social media accounts, editing the latest blog post, collaborating on internal projects, looking over your analytics and gulping down coffee every second they get a chance to breathe. It's not for the faint of heart, which is why we preach these six characteristics you need in a community manager (as written by one).

 Characteristics You Need in a Community Manager

1. Organization

As mentioned, your community manager is going to have multiple responsibilities. Some of these include scheduling and assigning blog posts for the coming months, publishing those blogs, and drafting social media posts to coincide with them, sometimes for the next month.

What I'm saying is, you'll probably want someone with great organizational skills for the job. They have to be able to build content calendars, campaign calendars and social posting calendars. As the authority on publishing content, it's essential that they stick to the calendar so everything flows smoothly.  One missed blog post or one misfired tweet can come back to haunt you in a big way down the road. See, we told you, not for the faint of heart. 


2. Balance

Your ideal candidate for the role needs to be able to balance their workload. Again, they have a hand in the Earth, sky and everything in between for your business. Things will come up almost every day that they didn't plan on working on. They have to be able to stick to their checklist while also taking on any new tasks that come their way.

This involves working on multiple things each day, and being able to successfully complete everything that is asked of them. It requires balance, NOT multitasking. In the words of Parks and Rec's Ron Swanson, "Don't half--ass two things. Whole ass one thing." They must task out their day, spend an hour or half hour on just one thing and then switch to something else. They should not divide their attention as it will overwhelm them and decrease their and your performance.


3. Leadership

They must plan out content calendars and assign them to different team members to ensure everyone is doing their part. They run the show as far as posting online. Inevitably though, something will go wrong and a deadline will be missed which requires even more leadership skills. Firstly, to make sure that it doesn't happen they must enphasize how important the deadlines are to the inner workings of the business. Secondly, leadership will be needed to pick up the slack to fill the gaps for a missed deadline. 


4. Self-Management

Self management is defined as 'the taking of responsibility for one's own behavior and well-being." How does that relate to the role you ask? Because Community Managers are responsible for a lot, and if they can't handle it from a mental point of view, things can crash and burn fast. They must be sure of themselves and their plan, as well as know when to ask questions or make changes. They must be humble and confident all at once and know when to step in and lead and when to ask questions.


5. Self-Monitoring

Self monitoring is the ability to regulate behavior based on different social situations. Remember how we said that leadership is important? Well it's also good to take the backseat sometimes and let someone else take the reins. If they draft a campaign idea that includes video content but then try to go over the head of the videographer, it's going to be a mess. It's important to take a step back and let other members lead. You want them to speak up when they have to but they aren't always going to be running the show.

Likewise, when things are going smoothly with the content calendar, they should compliment their team members and tell them what a good job they're doing. If it's not going well, they must be more stern in order to push the team member into meeting their deadlines. It's all about feeling out the situation and basing a reaction on that. If your community manager can do this, you'll be in good shape.


6. Decisiveness

While many aspects of the role are determined in conjunction with the rest of the marketing team, many things still boil down to a game-time decision. At the end of the day, when a deadline is missed and something needs to fill a posting slot, or a hash tag relevant to your industry starts trending, you're going to have to decide how to handle it.

Not always, but a lot of the time, something is better than nothing. If someone misses a blog post then you need to decide what to do before it's too late. Post a blog that's been sitting in the draft folder or recycle a popular old one. Likewise, don't just add any hash tag you see to broaden your reach, decide if it's relevant to your industry and what you want to say as a brand. 


There you have it, six characteristics for your next hire that will guide you to success. Many people still don't see the benefits of having a community manger, and many more need further guidance in the field to be truly successful. Take a look at VPM Academy below to further your knowledge of the role so that your brand can grow.

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Topics: community manager

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