12 Most Telling Warning Signs that Your Community Manager is Clueless
Community manager is a relatively new job title. The title has evolved to encompass a large array of job functions, titles and levels of experience. Although there are plenty of nuances and exceptions, the real meat of the job is managing a community — be it online and/or offline — for a company, brand or organization.
As the title pops up on more and more places, you find plenty of intelligent community managers — as well as a few bad apples who have no business managing a community. This post will highlight 12 warning signs that your community manager doesn’t know what they are doing.
1. They view social media as a one-size fits all solution
Social media is just one tool in a community manager’s arsenal of tools. It may work in some cases. It may not be appropriate in others. Knowing when to use it and what site(s) to use is an art form.
For instance, Facebook may be the 600 pound guerilla for social media marketing. But, not every “community” belongs there. For instance, if you are a community manager for a bail bondsman or divorce lawyer, a Facebook page may not be the best place to find or grow your community. Who honestly wants to publicly “like” that you are going through a divorce or had to bail themselves out of jail? Probably not many.
2. They think ROI is really overrated
I get it. Community management can be warm and fuzzy. We talk about building engagement and getting people on board with our brand. However, everything that you do should be measured and be at the very least loosely tied to your business’s goals.
3. They think success can be bought
No amount of money can trump hard work, when it comes to community management. And actually most things in life for that matter. Building and growing a community of active brand evangelists takes a lot of work. Just throwing money at all kinds of shiny cool things without a concrete strategy behind it isn’t doing you any good.
4. They are opposed to new ideas and experimenting
Experimentation and innovation will do wonders to drive your community to new heights. Of course, you may fail from time to time. Actually you will make missteps and fail. Guaranteed. But it’s what you do after those missteps that makes all the difference in the world.
5. They have never written a case study
Community management is/should be part of your overall business strategy. With that, you are probably expected to write case studies and create analytics reports with targeted metrics.
6. They don’t know how to define a “successful campaign”
This ties with the last point. Before you even write a case study or begin a campaign, you have to define your goals. Set up benchmarks along the way to track your progress.
7. They don’t know how to drive online actions offline. And vice versa
Contrary to what some perceive, community management rarely happens totally online. You have to know how to convert online chatter and buzz into some kind of offline action (like buying a product, attending an event, creating thought leadership, etc.). And vice versa.
8. They aren’t creative
The best community managers are very creative individuals. They have a million ideas. They aren’t shy about pulling out all the stops when needed.
9. They bring new meaning to the shiny object syndrome
Social media moves at a million miles an hour. It’s super easy to get fixated on the “next big thing.” It’s important to stay educated and learn about new tools and sites. But you also need to step back and ask yourself, “what would this new site or tool fulfill for my community?” or “is my community on here?” If you can’t come up with answers for these two questions, it may not be a great resource for you.
10. Critical thinking is not their forté
Critical thinking may be one of the most underrated skills. Being able to make connections and see how things are interwoven together is a very, very valuable skill to have. Not just for community managers, but for every professional as a whole.
11. They lash out at the community and are overly defensive
This should be a no brainer. You should be engaging, outgoing and likeable. When a troll starts posting rants on your Facebook wall, you should deal with it like a mature professional. This does NOT include stepping down to their level, starting a duel and being an asshole or just really overly defensive. Even if you are 100% sure that you are right, it’s your job as a community manager to be diplomatic and handle every situation like a level headed professional. After all, it’s not just your reputation on the line, but the brand’s overall image.
12. They think community management starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
Community management is a 24/7 affair. Your community doesn’t stop posting on Facebook, tweeting, commenting on blogs, etc at 5 p.m. when you go home. In fact most “crises” are going to happen after hours. You must be prepared to get to work and put out fires swiftly and efficiently even when you aren’t sitting at your desk.
What are some additional warning signs that your community manager may not be the right fit?
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Featured image courtesy of Pulpolux !!! via Creative Commons.