At Vanilla Forums we work with a lot of great Community Managers who are the leaders in their industry. We've noticed that the most important characteristic an amazing community manager must have is passion. A passion not only for the brand that they represent, but also for the community that they interact with.
Being a community manager requires someone who loves people, not afraid of problem-solving and able to keep a smile through the rough times. As a hiring manager, you are looking for a blend of both analytical and soft skills.
Also, look for signs whether the candidate is outgoing and social. Do they remember people's birthdays? Are they always organizing parties for people? These clues indicate someone who loves people.
It would be easy to conclude that the role of a community manager is limited to posting on forums or tweeting all day. Well, that is not entirely accurate.
As a community manager, you are more of an ambassador for the brand:
- You are given the responsibility of getting through to the market that is yet to discover your brand.
- You create your content and actively introduce your product to the masses.
- You analyze data from your community and gather feedback from customers.
- You then find ways to help your community -- both customers and employees to get the information they need and to grow your brand respectively.
When hiring for a community manager position, we've listed a few questions that you can ask to identify the best candidate.
What features on a community platform or tools would you need to effectively do your job?
Answering this question would identify those who actually have experience versus those who see the job merely as a social media career. To effectively know the benefits and weaknesses of a platform or tool shows they understand the job.
How would you define a ‘Community Manager’?
Sometimes this role is confused with being a ‘Social Media Manager’. It is imperative that the candidate you are about to hire has a clear understanding of what their potential job entails. A good answer clearly explains the various requirements of this job description.
So a great community manager needs to have a good grasp on business strategies and objectives, but not get so caught up in the numbers that they forget that community members are people and that a successful community only happens when members are happy.
What are the top metrics that you need to measure success of our community?
This question identifies the CMs' who understand the business aspects of community management and how to tie the social aspects of the job to hard numbers. Ultimately, upper management wants to know if the ROI of their community is worth it, and the candidate should be able to easily communicate business value.
What obstacles did you run into when building the community and how did you overcome them?
You want to uncover how much experience your candidate has. Due to the dynamic nature of online communities, an experienced Community Manager will have faced all kinds of challenges throughout their career. This question will not only uncover the CM's ability to solve problems but also to deal with customer-facing issues with empathy and tact.
The role of a community a manager is certainly important. As the brand ambassador, the role they play can make or break a company's relationship with loyal customers.
It is very important that you take your time in choosing the right candidate for the job. This is a crucial hire for your company!