What is a community?
In its basic sense, a community is a group of like-minded people having a common interest.
Community with respect to business and internet is a group of people who have a common interest and have a common goal which in-turn helps them learn, collaborate and grow together.
According to community managers, a community is a group of like-minded people who come together to achieve a certain task. In the process, they interact and learn from each other says Mohammed Rafy, who started https://communitymanagerjobs.co where he curates all the jobs around the world relating to community management. While Rajesh M who handles the community at TalkaDoc feels that community is all about bringing people together and fostering relationships.
Community means different things for different people, but in the end, everyone would agree that a community is as strong as its people.
To understand what exactly a community manager does, I have listed a few points about this right now roles and responsibilities to skills a community manager should possess.
What does a great community manager do?
1. Check the community many times a day
2. Focus on increasing his influencer and build brands/communities
3. They understand your brand voice: Personal channel would be different than the brand channel
4. Needs to be personally passionate about your vertical
5. Should be able to post on all social channels which are native to that social channel. Diff approach to diff channels
6. Should be able to engage the whole community at once.
Where should a community manager’s focus be?
1. Growth: Growth is one of the main focus points of a community manager. Every action that a CM takes should directly or indirectly affect growth. This is a goal that is measurable hence you can be judged based on this.
2. Engagement: Engaging the audience is one of the most difficult task anyone could take up. Not everyone would initially be ready to discuss things and share things. The CM has to proactively ask people for their opinion and interact with them to make the audience active.
3. Listening: Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online. By doing so, you get to know what the customers want and you will be able to build a strategy and relay the same to other teams that work with you.
4. Improvement: So you have your growth, engagement and listening strategy in place? Next, you need to focus on improvement plans. A community needs to constantly improve and change to grow. Since you already have a growth measurement in place, you can track if your improvements are working or not.
I’m new to community management, how do I start with no experience in it?
A good start would be to search looking out for jobs as a junior community manager in companies which offer them. Community manager jobs would be prevalent in places where there are a lot of interactions with people in general. These days even MNCs have a community manager’s position open. Here are a few tips:
- Help someone else build their community: Get your hands dirty and help someone else build their community. This would give you an idea of what goes into building a community. Make yourself useful to as many people as possible.
- Attend meetups by other community folks: Connect with the right set of people and attend their meetups. These would help you network with other managers and learn from there. There is a good chance, one of them might help you land a job.
- Blog: Blog as much as you can. Consider your audience as your future employers and write. Focus on writing on topics which is helpful in your area of interest i.e social media, community, SEO and copyrighting. Even though you don’t have any experience, you can use the blog to showcase how much knowledge you have about community management.
Tools used by a community manager
1. Buffer/Hootsuite/Sprout Social: Depending on which one you can afford, invest in a social media management tool. They help you schedule content across multiple social media channels. My personal suggestion would be Sprout Social since you can use it as a listening tool as well.
2. Google Analytics: GA helps you analyze website traffic data, which helps you understand where exactly is all your traffic coming from and helps you prioritize the source. This data should help you improve your ad campaigns.
3. Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck works two ways, in case you were not able to afford Sprout Social, Tweetdeck is a good alternative for competitor tracking on Twitter.
4. Similar Web: This would help you keep a check on traffic sources of your competition. You can also check on the behavioural patterns of people visiting these sites and come up with a marketing plan for the same.
Community management is a great space to be in. You can get to own what you do and you have the freedom to take your own decisions. Community Management is one of the most underrated gems in the ecosystem and come into prominence recently.
If you think I have missed out on anything, please do let me know and I would add it to this.