Zoom into the Role of a Community Manager

Due to the increase-use of social media and how the latter has transformed the way messages are conceived and spread, companies nowadays are obliged to listen to their customers. It’s in this context that community management emerged to offer a new meaning to the enterprise-clients relations.

Be it public, private or an association, small or large, all organizations can embrace community management in their strategy to ensure the flow of conversations in a mutually beneficial way both internally and externally.

Eric Mangé, a sales expert who reinvented himself into a community manager, says that Community Management practices have proven that not only they humanize organizations, but they also – if well-integrated within the overall strategy – can yield considerable revenues. On one hand, community managers are the human face of the organizations. On the other hand, they are field monitors who keep a pulse on how the public perceive and interact with their organization. They measure, evaluate, and accordingly generate recommendations and actions for improvement.

Eric highlights that a Community Manager can be a change agent within his/her company. He shares his own story: when he first joined the Lacroix Defense, the company had no social media presence and its main touch-point with its customers and prospects was through trade shows and similar events. It was Eric’s challenge to transform the mindset of the organization and convince his boss of the benefits of communicating via social media and he launched the company’s Twitter account and LinkedIn page.

Community Management is a polyvalent job that demands various sets of skills:

Technical Skills: A CM should be computer savvy and be au courant with the fast changing digital landscape. S/he should be familiar with different social media platforms and Knowledgeable about web content management software tools. Other desirable skills include basics of photography and videography and acquaintance with design tools.

Conceptual Skills: A good CM is someone who has a sense of synthesis and excellent analytical skills. S/he should be data driven and have the ability to utilize data to make informed decisions. Moreover, a successful CM is responsive and agile; s/he has the potential to exercise good judgment and take swift actions.

Interpersonal skills: A CM should be a socially dynamic person, friendly and comfortable interacting with people. It is very essential for a CM to be a good listener and demonstrate empathy. A CM should also possess strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and have excellent organization skills and be able to juggle multiple tasks and work effectively under stress.

In addition to the above, Eric Mangé particularly highlights that a Community Manager should always be on the go and have a whetted appetite for new technologies; s/he should master the “art of curiosity” and not be afraid to try new things. Eric also underlines the importance of knowing how to write for the web as opposed to writing for print.

For those interested in becoming community managers, they should understand that “motivation alone is not enough, passion is key!” says Eric. It is also important to be diplomatic and be able to control one’s emotions. A CM should be ready to welcome the beauty and handle the beast of the social media wild world.

Eric encourages every person interested in becoming a CM to start putting their ideas into practice, for example: start a blog to improve their writing skills, create and animate discussion forums, manage a Facebook fan page…etc.

To conclude, here is a list of blogs a CM should follow to keep up with ongoing trends:

In addition, the following Twitter and Facebook pages are great sources for job opportunities:

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Special thanks to Mr. Eric Mangé (Project Manager: CRM/Digital Marketing & Online Services at Lacroix Defense) for his valuable input. 
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