Community managers are the heart of most brand communities. They're expected to facilitate increased sales, customer retention, and overall business growth, whilst also working to cultivate and enhance relationships with consumers. Community management skills are wide ranging: getting to know real customers and using that information to enhance brand personas and target new prospects are just the tip of the ice berg.
So, what does it take to be a good community manager? The skillset is complex and requires someone with not only strong communication and strategy skills, but technical and analytical abilities too.
6 Tips to Improve your Community Management Skills
1. Communication is Key
One of the most crucial community management skills to have is a strong ability to communicate. Being able to understand the ebb and flow of a conversation and knowing the right time to inject some humor, or to moderate will make or break a person in this role. You need more than proper grammar; you need to know how to effectively represent your brand and your customers in any situation.
2. Keep Calm Under Pressure
Customer-facing roles can be tough. There are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong, and sometimes, unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens. When you become a community manager, you must learn the art of keeping calm in the face of criticism and pressure.
Whether you’re having technical issues or assisting an unruly customer, you should remain level-headed and respectful. If you need to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and determine the next steps – do it. Remember: You’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing your company!
3. Plan Your Activity
Organization and planning are critical to a community manager’s success. Everything from the content you post to the contests you run should be organized in a detailed calendar. There are a number of websites that can help you plot out your content schedule, but a simple excel sheet should do the trick.
Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but having a detailed calendar will keep you on track to achieve your goals. From product releases to seasonal posts, you should always know what’s coming down the content pipeline. Create a daily, weekly, and monthly checklist to make sure you’re staying on the right track.
4. Monitor and Track Social Metrics
Traditional ROI metrics can be tracked through user clicks and conversions. While you may not be able to accurately determine how many community members made purchases based on your content, you can gain knowledge about your customer’s habits, build brand awareness, and improve overall experience by monitoring social metrics.
What content is your community receptive to? What content falls flat? How are users interacting on a highly engaged forum? How can you leverage this information to build your brand? These are key things to ask yourself in order to improve.
5. Commitment to Community Building
There is no place for complacency in community management. Just because you ran a successful contest in August, doesn’t mean you can slack off in September. Dedication, passion, and consistent performance are critical to success. If you don’t get excited about the community you manage, why would the users?
6. Be Flexible
This job isn’t your typical 9 to 5. Users are interacting on community forums at all hours of the day. A great community manager should be available during the off-hours, especially if your brand has a big product release or announcement that will increase user interest. This isn’t a problem for the tech savvy who can pull out their phone and engage with the community while on the go.