Digital media experts explain what a community manager is and what skills you need to become one
The term ‘community manager’ is widely known, as this profession has gained popularity over the last few years. However, there are still a few among us who do not know precisely what a community manager does for a brand or what steps to take to become one.
To help us understand the job of a community manager, we spoke with three digital media professionals from Neo Ogilvy España. Ana Marín (@anamarinen)–senior creative strategist, Núria Mañé (@nuriacomunica)–communications consultant and social media strategist, and Foncho Ramírez (@cholutions)–search marketing and social media director, tell us about their experience.
What is the role of a community manager?
A community manager is considered the eyes and ears of a brand in the digital context. He or she is in charge of managing the online aspect of a brand, a company, a project, and even a personal brand. Their roles are several and varied. Núria Mañé highlights the following tasks as most relevant, among others: analyzing trends, competitors, and benchmarks; paying attention and monitoring the internet; planning and implementing strategies; creating content and reports. Ana Marín adds to this list the highly important job of dealing with queries and complaints, finding branding opportunities, and improving service.
For Foncho Ramírez, the main role of a community manager is curating the content generated daily in the media so that it is relevant to the brand and the audience. Communication between the community manager and the audience must be open and direct, ultimately aimed at optimizing sales.
What basic tools must a community manager master?
As logic dictates, a community manager must be familiar with the language and the use of the internet and be comfortable within the digital realm. If you set out to be a professional in this field, you should be able to work with monitoring software and analyzers; you should know basic design and content-creation tools, as well as those used in social media management.
"Specific tools need to be used in any case, depending on the requirements and the budget of a client or company. Tools come free or at a charge, but the former can be very unreliable. Ultimately, the best tool is the individual, so, although the tools help you execute the job, my advice is not to depend on those entirely," argues Núria Mañé.
What do you have to know to be a community manager?
Besides being knowledgeable and prepared–which also help–you have to keep up to date, as social media platforms are continually changing. To be a good community manager, you need excellent communication skills, a lot of intuition and empathy towards your audience.
The three experts agree that it is essential to know the sector of the brand for which you'll be working. "The more passionate you are about a field, the better the results and interaction you will have with your audience," notes Ramirez.
"I've always spent a lot of time on social media. After creating channels with good reputations and visibility, I was hired by an international agency a few years ago," Ana Marín tells us when asked about her own experience.
What qualities must a community manager have?
In addition to excellent writing skills and impeccable spelling, you must stand out for your team spirit and for being attentive towards clients, claims Foncho Ramírez. As for Núria Mañé, she mentions that being proactive, curious, communicative, analytical, reflective, creative, empathetic, willing to learn, having a vision and mediation skills, are only some of a long list of essential qualities that help you stand out as a community manager.