How to Become a Social Media Community Manager

How to Become a Social Media Community Manager

Updated August 2, 2020
Reading Time: 5 minutes

New Year. New Skills. New You!

We are excited about what 2020 has to offer, are you?

As a social media manager, you might feel as if you are wearing a lot of hats already. We get it! Why would you want to learn yet another skill, wear yet another hat? The reason to learn more and eventually offer community management to your clients is that online conversations have been shifting for some time now. Less is being said in public forums, more is being said in small groups, in Direct Messages, and in personal meeting rooms. Therefore, learning how to manage these communities and offering this service is a smart way to keep up with a growing demand for community managers. The number of community management jobs posted online is steadily increasing.

If you as a social media manager are ready to explore a new career in community management, or if you are ready to expand services to include community management to current and potential clients, we invite you to keep reading.

In this article, we are going to look at what it takes to become a social media community manager. 

Leading a Digital Community

A community manager is in charge of the day to day operations of an online community.

Online community management differs from social media management in that there is more ‘cheerleading and engaging’ and less ‘content creating and scheduling’.

It is similar to social media management as you still will need to create a content and growth strategy, as well as great content to keep the conversations within your communities flowing.

What skillset does it take to lead a digital community?

Let’s dive in! 

Customer Service Mindset

First and foremost; if you do not have a customer service mindset, community management is not for you!

As the face of the brand, the up-front-and-personal and visible member of the marketing team within your online community, customer service is the #1 skill you need. A service-oriented mindset is expected of all community managers on the frontline of all communication. 

The primary goal of community management is to retain current clients, and not just keep them happy but to help the community members evolve from being new customers to voluntary brand ambassadors! 

As the social media community manager, you are creating super fans!

Community Manager Tasks

There are many social networks to build communities on and more social platforms embracing communities every day. What platform you pick depends on your client as well as where their audience hangs out!

On Facebook, you can establish and manage Facebook Groups. Other online communities include LinkedIn Groups, Instagram Groups, Pinterest Group Boards, as well as task management sites like Slack channels. Online educational tools like Thinkific are launching ‘communities’ inside their own platform. 

Whatever platform you will be managing, here are (some) community management tasks you may be asked to perform.

  • Accepting people into the community
  • Moderating the community 
  • Having meaningful conversations with community members
  • Removing spam(mers)
  • Posting reminders of upcoming events
  • Posting to create engagement in the community
  • Answering membership inquiries
  • Participating in a weekly call, live video, webinar or hangout
  • Answering questions within the community
  • Creating content
  • Strategizing with the team to grow the community
  • Surprising members with gifts, attention and special treatment!
  • Connecting members where appropriate
  • Creating a list of FAQs
  • Setting up learning units
  • Removing inactive members
  • Reporting about community growth and insights
  • Managing volunteer moderators
  • Supporting the social media manager and marketing team

While this is not a complete list, these are tasks community managers we know have been asked to perform.

Community Manager’s Job Description

When looking at actual job descriptions on job sites, we came across some of the following requirements for a community manager's job.

  • Managing and supporting programs that generate engagement with passionate community members
  • Listening, responding to, delighting, and earning the community’s trust every day
  • Keeping a pulse on trending and hot topics in the community and identifying areas of opportunity to grow engagement at scale
  • Working with cross-functional teams to connect the right internal experts with community members as needed
  • Maintaining engagement and communications across community programs
  • Resolving community support cases in a timely manner
  • Supporting webinars and quarterly calls with community members
  • Developing innovative campaigns to gain broad company participation in community programs
  • Participating in the Community Management network to stay fresh and relevant
  • Working with the program manager to measure, analyze, track & report on engagement metrics
  • Attend Community Group Meetings and Conferences to support and engage with community members

We don't know about you, but this sounds like a lot of fun!

How To Find a Social Media Community Management Job

Look for job opportunities titled ‘community manager' and ‘social media community manager' when searching on Indeed, LinkedIn and elsewhere online.

Next, put the word out and start with your current clients. If you see an opportunity for them to grow their brand with their own online community, pitch it! You might just be able to add it on as an additional service.

Last but not least, tell your connections, friends, and network!

Community Manager Job Expectations

What exactly is a community manager and what does he or she do? After reading the skills needed, the task included, and the full job description, we want to leave you with this fun way of looking at community management in case you need to convince someone to hire you, stat!

Community managers are the:

  • Glue that keeps your community together. Without a community manager, your community would quickly (re)turn to become a forum.
  • Peacekeepers and the referees for your online audience. Without a community manager squabbles, disputes and disagreements could spiral out of control.
  • Cheerleaders of your brand. Without a community manager, daily enthusiastic conversations about your brand might be nonexistent!
  • Educators of your brand's consumers. Without a community manager, questions would go unanswered and confusion about products and services would follow.
  • Entertainers of the bored customer. Without a community manager, who would be there to chat within the middle of the night when a customer can't sleep or has a pressing question?
  • Voice of reason for the downtrodden. Without a community manager, negativity and passive aggression could rule your community.
  • Judge and jury of member-shared content. Without a community manager, spam would litter your online property.
  • Kickass ninjas to fight off the internet trolls. Without a community manager, who would fight for what's right and just and keep the trolls at bay?
  • Catalyst to community growth. Without a community manager, who would be your brand ambassador and welcome and invite new people in?
become a social media manager

Long Term Commitment to The Community

Community managers need time to get to know the community they manage. Community management, like social media management, is a long-term game so to speak.

If you are interested in becoming a community manager, you need to be sure to stick around; communities thrive or shrivel up, live or die by the hand of a great of bad community manager!

We encourage you to take a look at social media community management as a way to expand your social media management offering to your current and potential clients. Let us know how you make this work; we'd love to know if you've made the leap!

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