How to start a career in community management
You must have heard words like community lunch , community dinner and so many other words associated with the word community.
But have you ever heard the word community management?
And even if you have heard it you must be certainly unaware that there is a full fledged career in community management.
Community is a group of people having a common interest. So you may also be wondering that it’s generally the duty of politicians or religious leaders who are responsible for managing the common interest of communities.
Are you going to do politics or religious preaching to manage community?
Well curious right.
You should be.
But this community is different form what you are thinking .
There is a virtual community also which needs to be managed.
I know rather than answering your queries I have flooded you with enough questions.
So let’s dive deeper to know about first community management and then understand how to build a career in this domain.
What is community management?
Man is a social animal who likes to live in group of people or community.
As I have already discussed that community is a group of people having common interest.
But there is another community which is build online .This community is spread all over the internet from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
Also the online community consists of most of your target audience as this is a digital era so you find a large pool of consumers online.
Since, you have clearly understood the term community so you must be thinking community management is simply managing a company.
But trust me its lot more than managing a company .
It is a multifunctional which include focus on driving engagement, interacting with fans and followers, and helping current fans solve problems.
It acts like bridge between marketing and customer service thereby helping in nurturing communities.
According to Forrester Research, Inc“an online community is an interactive group of people joined together by a common interest. It’s also one of the most powerful tools a marketer can deploy for customer retention, word of mouth, and customer insight.”
Also, community management is a part of social media marketing.
But it is often considered as same .
Social media marketing v/s community management:
Community management: Community management is mainly responsible for customer services.
It includes active listening, which helps in engaging with your followers to understand their expectations regarding your services.
Since , now customers rely on social media for brands for instance “ nearly 70 percent of consumers have said that they have used social media for issues to do with customer service on at least one occasion.”
Also, community management devotes toward content strategy because the job of community management is to solve the queries of their followers.
Social media management: As I have already discussed community management is mainly focused on how to engage your audience.
On the other hand social media management strategy aims at distributing your content across social platforms to get organic traffic.
It is responsible for various tasks such as post updates/distributes content ,run contests, listen for brand mentions, monitor analytics and generate report and track traffic conversions.
Now you must have understood that both are not interchangeable since they each fulfill unique, but core, functions across the organization.
Why community management is important?
“Brands need to hire community managers because they’re the tone, voice, and human element behind your brand.” -Krystal Wu, Social Media Community Manager, HubSpot.
This quote must have given you a little insight about the importance of community management.
But don’t worry I’ll give you proper reasons to explain its importance.
Social media has transformed the relationship between individuals and organizations which is why the community management role is now so vital.
Furthermore, internal and external communities generate an average of 6,469% ROI for organizations.
Sounds great right.
Customer care: You must have heard that content in the king.
But content can’t interact with your users if they have any further doubts.
Customer will post a comment and they are always looking for quick results. Thus this is where community management comes to your rescue.
Because a brand with effective management will quickly resolve the concerns of its consumer.
This is where community management helps you outshine.
Engagement: Well community management is directly proportional to engagement.
You must have heard this popular phrase telling is selling.
So, if you are actively interacting with your customers they will naturally trust your brand as they will feel involved .
Thus it helps in engaging.
Building the personality of brand: Before I begin let me give you some statistics of what happens every minute on internet.
- Over 3.5 billion google searches are conducted
- Every minute on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.
- Worldwide over 100 million messages are sent every minute via SMS and in-app messages!
So where do you stand?
You want users to remember you this is where community management helps you.
Because it helps you build one-on-one and one-to-many relationships between audience members and your brand.
It Will Lead to Sales (Or Web Traffic): Customers feel frustrated when their doubts are left unanswered.
So, the news about any brand spreads quickly via communities.
Thus, if you wish to get the same success community management will surely be at your service.
Career in community management:
Till now you must have developed inclination towards community management.
So, before you embark on this domain lets understand what different career paths are there in community management.
Community management is an umbrella which contains three sub niches such as
- Community manager
- Community strategist
- Director of community
Community manager: A community manager is responsible for building and managing a company’s or brand’s online communities.
He also monitors with the help of analytical tools what opinion do people have about your brand.
Thus engages with customers with the help of social media and give timely reply to their queries to build trust.
Also a community manager must stay up to date with technology.
Expected Salary: 426,813/yr ( Source-Glassdoor)
Skills of a community manager:
Since community manager acts as a communicating channel between organization and customer it’s not a bed of roses.
You need to be multitasker to manage the organization as well as customers.
Here are few skills that a community manager must possess:
- Communication skills
- Ability to interpret website traffic and online customer engagement metrics
- Knowledge of online marketing and marketing channels
- Knowledge about social media management
- Writing skills etc.
These are only a few skills but still there are ample of skills which you develop when you step in the shoes of a community manager.
Community strategist: The community strategist defines objectives, analyze metrics and come up with the overall strategy.
A community strategist has the decision making power.
Salary: The average salary for “community strategist” ranges from approximately 19,651 per month for Content Strategist to 22,361 per month for Social Media Strategist.(Source- indeed)
- Familirity with social media trends
- curiosity and willingness to try new tools and platforms
- decision making power
- time management
- Analytical skills to track changes in social media statistics, find causes for rises/plummets and change strategy accordingly
A strategist works closely with the manager to contribute towards the overall success of an organization.
Community director: A community director is responsible for developing the community strategy, advocating for the community, developing community policies and guidelines.
Well it seems like a director is a multi-talented person.
It is indeed true.
So a community director must have all the skills of manager and strategist as both manager and strategist work under the guidance of director.
Salary:3,15,754 per year (source-glassdoor)
Tools to look out:
Community management is not as simple as only managing an online community.
It is a cumbersome task.
You may sometimes face a condition called social media meltdown.
Now what’s that?
It is a state of being in whence any marketing official can find their community manager sobbing uncontrollably in the fetal position on the conference room floor.
But with the help of few tools you may avoid these circumstances.
These tools are:
- For organizing- Google Drive,Trello
- For Analytics:Brand24, Google Analytics
- Other: Rebrandly, Grammarly, TweetDeck, Pablo by Buffer Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck.
- Community Websites :Quora, Reddit, Slack, Ask Product Hunt
I know that list is endless and there are endless options in market but these are few I would like to share to ease your work.
But you are always free to look for other tools.
Blogs to read for effective community management:
In this digital era it is very crucial to stay updated.
Blogs are an easy way to be well informed.
These are few examples of blogs which are published regularly therby helping you in widening your horizon of knowledge.