Search for the term “Community Manager” on any online job board, and you’ll likely find tens of thousands of positions that need to be filled. But if you’re the one doing the hiring, how can you make sure you find a community manager worth his or her salt? Is there a standard set of must-have skills for every prospective employee who wants to manage your social media presence?
We asked Marjorie R. Asturias, president of social media and content marketing agency Blue Volcano Media, what she looks for when hiring community managers for her company. Her answers may surprise you! Either way, they’ll be instructive — and that’s whether you’re looking for a job as a community manager or looking to hire one for your organization.
The Surprising Skills That Are Most Important
There is a significant difference between writing for yourself and writing on behalf of a brand. When representing dozens of different brands simultaneously, there is no room for error. Marjorie says her team’s attention to detail “means ensuring that every tweet, post, and comment is perfect and perfectly timed since we are representing our clients’ hard-earned brand to an audience of potentially thousands, if not millions of people.” The devil they say, is in the details!
Advice for Prospective Community Managers
Ms. Asturias also provided some advice for would-be community managers looking for work in this field. “Brush up on your writing skills. That means perfecting your spelling, grammar, syntax, and style. If you have to go back to community college to take a few courses or hire a writing tutor to help you out, do it!”
She says it “goes without saying, but if you want a job in social media, you must ‘do’ social media, and invest at least a few hours a day in building your networks, writing blog posts and promoting them via social media.” Asturias says it’s also good strategy for prospective community managers to keep up on the social media industry by reading and subscribing to relevant blogs. “Read the best social media blogs religiously. You’ll get a good feel for current trends and how businesses are using social media successfully — or not!”
On a more technical note, Asturias advises that community managers in waiting should focus their attentions on learning the ins-and-outs of the “big give networks” that dominate the industry: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Managers should also experiment with different social media tools. That’s a big asset for any prospective employer, according to Marjorie.
Finally, she advises that everyone these days should have a website. “It makes it easier for a hiring manager to learn all about you and your background without having to hunt down every single social media account and published article that you have.”
What else should a company consider when hiring a community manager? Do you have any advice for people looking for work in this field? Let us know in the comments below.