By Shannon DiGregorio Abram, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable.
To celebrate the launch of our first ever community manager salary survey we’re going to spend July and August focused on community management as a career. Whether you are just getting starting in the community management field or have been actively practicing community management for years we have something for you.
Recently we’ve been thinking more about what it takes to be a great community manager. Certainly you have to love people – but what else makes or breaks a successful community professional? In the SOCM 2014 we highlighted the many (MANY) roles and responsibilities that a typical community manger is tasked with. With everything from creating content and monitoring community activity to managing and recommending technology there is a wide array of skills that a community manager needs to have, but is there one special trait that a hiring manager looks for when filling a community role?
I threw the question out to TheCR team, TheCR Network and to our Twitter friends and wanted to share their responses with you.
First I asked the other members of TheCR team to weigh in. We’re a small but diverse group, some are currently community managers, or were in a past life. Other have participated in the hiring of community professionals. Here’s what they had to say:
Jillian Bejtlich: The ability to communicate in a variety of scenarios and tones. The same person needs to have the ability to be awesome, humorous, authoritative, potentially harsh, and empathetic.
Maggie Tunning: I have a few in mind but going to go with empathy – to be able to understand, respond to, delight, etc members. Not sure if it always plays out this way, but empathy may also help them be adaptable/flexible.
Rachel Happe: Diplomacy (and the even temper that goes with it). If you over-react, under-react or get into fights it’s just going to be a disaster.
Next, I opened up the question to TheCR Network. Two long-term community professionals weighed in with different, but excellent responses. The first shared this list of skills – it’s hard to narrow it down to just one!
- Teaching , especially online
- Writing or general communication
- Business strategist — big picture
- Event organization
- Ability to manage up and down the organization
And the second provided this great insight:
“As I am developing various skills the one I find hardest to share with others as the roles grow and expand is finding the voice we want to present to our community. So finding that ability in someone to be the voice or continue as the voice would be an asset.”
Finally, I asked our Twitter friends and received many awesome responses. Here are some of my favorites:
Do you hire community managers? Is there a special skill or trait that we missed? Are you a community manager and want to weigh in? We’d love to hear from you!