As businesses continue to roll out enterprise social networks to help employees become more productive, communicate more effectively, and collaborate more efficiently, the need for community management is more vital than ever. Community Management is not just another task to delegate to an already overworked communications team or an intern–it requires specific characteristics to ensure your business community thrives. In honor of Community Manager Appreciation Day (we wish every day could be Community Manager Appreciation Day), here are our picks for key characteristics of top Community Managers:
1.Vision For The Future Of Work-
Community Managers see the big picture of the future of work, and they are able to translate this into creative strategies at their company. The best Community Managers have a vision of what the business will look like with an active, successful community. They are able to share their vision eloquently with different audiences and easily explain the benefits of an enterprise social community in terms for everyone to understand.
2. Ambition & Drive-
You would be hard-pressed to find any great Community Manger who does not have immense ambition and drive for the work that they do. Community Managers are the glue to the continuous discussions, knowledge sharing, and ongoing innovation happening at businesses today. They have the dedication to make working social a reality.
3. Experience With Technology-
It’s vital for Community Managers to know the tool they are helping manage inside and out. No matter what level of employees they are talking to, they need to be able to answer the most basic or questions around functionality all the way to use cases for executives. Certifications, classes, and conferences help Community Mangers stay up to date on trends and new tool updates.
4. Empower Others –
Though Community Managers should be visible throughout their online community, true adoption and therefore success comes from their ability to inspire and empower others. Communities are only strong if employees see them as a necessary place to ask, share, and engage. Community Managers must be able to give employees the confidence and motivation to use the tool.
5. Offline Communication Skills-
While Community Managers are masters of communication with people online in their communities, they also have strong in-person skills. They are able to articulate their plans in executive board meetings, walk through the technology one-on-one with teams, and meet potential advocates informally over coffee to get their buy-in.
6. Flexibility & Adaptability-
Like the technology used for enterprise social networks, Community Managers need to quickly adapt and change. The workforce is always changing to meet economic demands and client demands, and Community Managers need to be able to adjust their working style to embrace those changes to ensure their communities are evolving as well.
7. Problem Solving Skills –
Moving to a digital way of working and having an online community is no easy task. Community Managers have to deal with problems daily and solve them quickly because of the fast nature of social networks. Being able to creatively troubleshoot technology issues to convincing hesitant employees of the value of enterprise social is all part of the job.
8. Knowledgeable Of Organization-
Great communities start with great foundational understanding of how the business currently works and how enterprise social networks can be implemented to help those processes and functions. Community Managers must have a solid knowledge of the different business units and lines, leadership and managerial style, and current initiatives–and translate all those into the community structure.
9. Organization & Planning Skills-
Community building and management involves a lot of moving parts–from technology to user groups. Community Managers have to be well-organized to ensure that everything from analytics being measured, use cases created and tracked, advocates and sponsors supported, to everyday questions addressed are happening. Prioritizing needs in a community is a must.
10. Passion For Helping Others-
Community Managers are some of the most passionate employees we know–specifically passionate about helping their colleagues be successful in their roles. This passion is evident as they tirelessly work to re-engage inactive groups, motivate hesitant teams to try a new way of working, and steadily grow their communities.
11. Understanding Viewpoints Of Others / Relatability-
When implementing an enterprise social network, or simply trying to increase usage of an existing community, Community Managers must be able to understand the perspectives of many different stakeholders. They must be able to listen and understand the goals, concerns, and ideas of many different employees and quickly relate those back to enterprise social networks.
12. Branding Ability-
Community Managers need a clear understanding of the brand behind their enterprise social network. They must understand what the business is trying to accomplish with these social tools and, most importantly, how it connects to the mission and value of the company. In their everyday role, Community Managers live the brand.
13. Networking Abilities-
In addition to having great in-person communication skills, Community Managers have to know how to work a room–literally. They need to meet everyone they can in their communities, even if that means traveling to different office locations for face-to-face meetings. Having a vast network of contacts in the company ensures that Community Managers never have a shortage of participants or advocates for social tools.
14. Balanced Judgement-
Community Managers often have to deal with a lot of expectations, pressures, and demands from different stakeholders as enterprise social networks are implemented. The best Community Managers are able to step back, evaluate situations in context, and make the best recommendations for the overall community.
A critical part of being a successful Community Manager is the ability to, all too frequently, build a community from nothing. Most companies currently do not have the infrastructure or business processes to sustain a community. Community Managers therefore must work through countless business constraints to create an active community that employees want to join and participate in.
These are the top characteristics we think make Community Managers highly successful. We would love your insight too– what qualities have you seen make other Community Managers stand out? Share with us in the comments below.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Top 15 Characteristics For Community Managers In 2015
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