Content CreationDigital Marketing

How to Hire a Community Manager

By April 30, 2014 No Comments

44.9% of B2B companies plan to grow their content teams within the next year. And with more staff dedicated to the art and science of content marketing, the sheer volume of content produced will likely increase, too.

But what good is a mountain of great, customer-focused content if no one sees it?

Content production is one part of the content marketing equation, but without promotion, your content will remain unseen. This is where your community manager steps in.

We realize that not all companies are familiar with the community manager role. In fact, the community manager position is notorious for filling varied roles and responsibilities at different organizations.

So to clear the air, we’ve done the leg work and put together…

The 5 Qualities Every Community Manager Needs to Have (Regardless of Industry or Niche)

If you’ve got the community manager role covered but are looking for other content roles, the complete hiring guide for content marketing positions can also be downloaded here.

1. Plugged into People

An effective community manager understands who the appropriate audience is and speaks their language. This is important because not only does an effective community manager excel at delivery of information to the right audience, but they are adept at collecting feedback to help your company craft its story in a more powerful way.

The ability to put themselves into the collective shoes (or clogs, or boots, or heels) of your audience is essential to creating interest in and loyalty to your brand.

This means your favorite candidate must know how to truly listen, connect with your customer base, and understand the mood and meaning behind a suite of communication styles.

2. Tech-Wizard

Your community manager should be fast-paced, curious, and excited about digital communication platforms. This means they’re not only wizards in the big three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) but equally proficient in a panoply of other platforms (Radian6, Buffer, Sprout Social, TweetDeck, HootSuite, Feedly, Boxer, Evernote…you get the picture). And more importantly, a good community manager is virtually always “connected,” checking in on company social profiles often and around the clock. 

As Jason Miller of LinkedIn says, take a look at your candidate’s social media profiles. A quick glance will tell you how proficient they are on various platforms. If their LinkedIn profile has a picture of them at a dance club, cocktail in hand, they might not understand the interests, priorities, and demeanor of your brand’s culture.

3. Tuned into Content

Successful community managers understand your audience. They also understand how the various social media platforms differ—the demographics, interests, and focuses of a typical user. The best community managers tailor content to specific platforms, and hone in on topics that make target audiences sit forward, lean in, and take action.

4. Hooked on Metrics

When your team rolls out new content, it’s important to understand how that content makes its way through the online universe and into the minds of customers, brand ambassadors, and professionals in your space. This means establishing tracking, analytics, and benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of the content you create, and of it’s impact on your audience.

A successful community manager is hooked on numbers—and on crushing past numbers. This person can add kindling to social media platforms and reignite users’ interests.

5. Team Player

Good community managers are team players. They recognize their work is not a platform for their own personality, but is an important link in a chain from strategy to creation to delivery and measurement. For each of these pieces to be effective, their must be constant communication and collaboration.

You can get an idea for how well your candidate fits the bill by the language they use when talking about past professional or personal successes.

  • Do they accurately reveal the contribution of others or are they going to great lengths to take credit for the success of group endeavors they’ve been involved with?
  • Do they downplay or acknowledge the role of past co-workers or friends in their success?

If you can find someone who can serve up most of what we’ve described above, you’re well on your way. If you need a little extra help, we’ve put together a best-in-class eBook about hiring for your content marketing team.

Oh and here’s an awesome infographic by the folks at socialfresh.com.

Tim Nickles

About Tim Nickles

Tim Nickles is a Boulder local who enjoys reading and writing as well as the occasional foray into the outdoors to find or break his limits.