9 Skills Every Community Manager Should Have | Experts’ RoundUp
As more companies and industries are moving towards the concept of having their own brand community, the number of job opportunities available for professionals with community-building skills also continue to grow.
Companies started looking for professionals who can use their skills to effectively deliver results to their community and also have the ability to tap into that community to collect feedback from the users.
While the job opportunities grow, so do the number of professionals who have community skills on their resumes and profiles. But being a quality community manager goes beyond having the knowledge and background to use social media networks.
Here we put down a bunch of essential skills every community manager should possess to improve the chances of success in the position, according to some community professionals who work within social media and community in today’s world and all of them are a part of a common group called Community Folks, a growing community of community builders/managers of India.
As you can see, we started this conversation on Community Folks Online Group about ‘Essential skills every community manager should possess’ and asked everyone in the community to share at least one skill from their personal experience.
On this thread, many community experts replied and a great discussion took place where everyone came out with the kind of skill they think is the essential one to become a quality community manger.
Below, we have curated them for you —
Learn to listen
Being a community manager, you have to be able to talk to people in a way that makes them comfortable with you, and at the same time, you have to listen to what they expect, what they want.
Replying to Paras’s question, Arbab Usmani [Co-Founder & CEO at Uppskill] said:
A community manager has the ability to listen and be calm in every situation.
On the same thread, Teja Bitra [Founder at Freelancing Mindset] replied:
‘Listening is not just hearing’. It is more about understanding what your members are saying and asking them the right questions at the right time to make them comfortable so that they can tell you more about them.
And sometimes, listening can be about observing the visible cues, expressions, change in postures and many more.
On sharing one of his personal experiences, Teja said — Listening skill alone has earned me many friendships for a lifetime and in meetups, this is what fuels my conversations.
Priya Sood [Head of Community at WOOP India] replied:
The most important skill that surely comes in handy for a community manager is people skills.
He/she should know talking, listening, understanding, empathizing and ensuring that everyone’s needs get fulfilled through a community.
Empathy fuels connection
If you’re not empathetic, you’re never going to be able to put yourself in those people’s shoes, which means you won’t be able to communicate a message to them.
Anuj Adhiya [VP of Growth at Jamber] when asked to tell one essential skill a community manager must-have, he replied:
A community manager must have empathy for all the members of the community. He/She needs to find out what their members want to accomplish by being a part of their community.
And for that, he/she has to care about their needs, their desires, their goals and do all they can to help them along with their path.
I believe ‘it is literally the core function of every community manager’.
Akash Shukla [Nanodegree Mentor & Independent Consultant at Udacity] replied:
Love, Attention, and Care are the things a community manager needs to be empathetic and understand their community members.
Mithun Shetty [Head of Community at 91springboard] replied:
One more trait he looks into a community manager apart from empathy is Curiosity. He thinks that a curious mind goes a long way in helping one learn and engage on diverse topics and people from diverse backgrounds.
On sharing his personal experience, he said that he generally tends to have free-flowing conversations with people that go beyond their CV and dig deeper into interesting things people say they’ve done to get a sense of how far their curiosity goes and takes them.
Vijetha Shastry [Executive Director at TiE Bangalore] also believes,
A community manager must have the patience and skill to absorb details and offer quality, well-articulated insights, and inputs to their audience.
Because sometimes showing care to people is very human.
Saira Sayani [Consultant at Outlook Responsible Tourism] replied:
He/She should be able to connect with their community, understand their needs, engage and support them wholeheartedly.
Along with this, he/she needs to be an empath and a good communicator to achieve everything within the community.
Having a positive attitude is so crucial because a community manager has to deal with many different personalities, backgrounds, and differences of opinion on every single day.
Amit Shekhar [Co-Founder & CEO at Afteracademy] replied:
A community manager must have the ability to create a positive environment around himself, take feedback from all the members and always try to work on received feedback.
Anshuman Dutta [Offshore Field Marketing Manager at Cognizant] replied:
This role is more to do with the attitude. As a community manager, it’s better you don’t judge people.
Because people come in all sizes, shapes, background as well as perspective. He/she can try to accommodate views by trying to understand the perspective of members like what made them act, say or react in that particular situation. It’s like when you don’t judge you don’t create biases. When you don’t create biases you don’t take sides and that’s when you take a community forward with a more holistic approach.
Always A Motivator
Successfully motivating others is an important skill. By this, you can point out to your potential members in the community.
Amit Pandey [Delegate at MIT India Initiative] replied:
He/She must have the ability to motivate members and maintain good equality between them.
Milan Singh Thakur [Specialist at HSBC] replied:
He/She has to stick with their goal. Because there will always be demotivators around but it is the gut feeling and inspiration that has to be very strong to keep him/her motivated and dedicated towards their goal.
Anshumaan Vishnu [Founder & CEO at Dropout Dudes] replied:
The person must be always ready to take honest feedback and work on them regularly. He/she should be able to increase the internal motivation of the people around them.
Gurmandeep Singh Bedi [Software Engineer at Qualcomm] replied:
He/she must have the ability to create an environment where everybody from the community feels connected and become able to express one’s opinion freely.
At the same time, he/she should be engaging, motivating and a torchbearer too to inspire others in the community towards a valuable goal.
Be Everyone’s Go-to person
Relationship building is at the core of community management. Unlike the days before social media, where one-to-one contact between a customer and a brand was rare or required speaking on the telephone, it is now an instant and expected part of customer service after a community manager thing has come.
Everything from fast response times to a friendly manner means members will feel valued, and in turn, place trust and become reliable in a brand because of a community manager.
Chitra HL [Senior Community Analyst at Sprinklr] replied:
A community manager should know how to connect with people and be a go-to person who can get all the answers for their community members.
Show Your Creative Side
If you are the person in your organization who does community management and understands the community at its best. So it falls on your shoulders to be able to understand its feel and tell the stories that will help captivate and engage them by being more creative.
Utkarsh Singh Bhardwaj [Growth Person at GetToWork] replied:
Being creative is one of the essential skills of a community manager.
By this, he not only means something out of the blue but being creative in all aspects.
For example — inviting members in a creative way, collecting their feedback in a creative way, listening and analyzing to come up with some creative engagement programs and much more.
Abhinaya Bharadhwaj [Founder at Hunar House] replied:
Creativity, Collaboration, and Connectivity with people. These three things can really help a community manager to reach many places.
Keep Hustle Mode ON
Hustling is a must thing if you want to build a community of great people around you. Keep it on until you find your tribe.
Deepak Sahoo [PhD student at IIT Madras] replied:
Social Hustle is an essential skill for a community manager. Its an ability to reach out and coordinate with a large number of members, and at the same time he/she has to be an active node of information exchange within the community.
Mind Every Single Thing
Sanketh YS [Project Coordinator at Polyconcept] replied:
To link things is one of the skills a community manager must-have.
It’s all about remembering, trying to recall and very important is memory power.
On sharing his past experiences, he explained this skill with one good example:
I met A and talk about various things.
Then, I met B and speak about varied topics.
After a while, I met D and exchange some ideas.
Now whenever required, I should be able to form a circle with these three situations A, B and D just to connect with their requirements or interests and to make this work with hundreds of people out there.
Stay Attentive For Your People
Riya Dutta [Community Manager at 91springboard] replied:
For the community managers, it’s important to be attentive and keep your ears & eyes open all the time. To be aware of the needs of the members in the community, so that he/she will be able to help them out.
It’s like the ability to put yourself in other’s shoes i.e. the people you are interacting with.
Asha Chaudhry [Founder & Community Builder at Kids Book Cafe] replied:
A community manager must have the ability to identify potential power users, brand ambassadors, the city leads, mini community managers and empower them, give them properties to own, be responsible for, create a purpose for them. So they feel like it’s truly their community and thus ensuring the community is inclusive.
He should know how to celebrate people, reward them, and acknowledge them. Because she believes,
A rockstar community manager is the People’s Champion.
I hope you’re able to take learnings from here & apply it to yourself. And before anything, be a Community Builders at heart. It matters the most.
Are we missing any important point here? It’s a community-driven blog, if you have anything similar from your community-building experience, do add your thoughts in the comment section and it will be updated here.