What Qualities to Look For When Hiring a Community Manager
Many employers do not know the definition of a “community manager,” let alone what qualities make a good one. Your community manager is the person who is the voice of your company on Facebook and Twitter. There are different roles and responsibilities that can go along with that depending on the client/agency/company, but a community manager is always the person who tweets for you, posts Facebook updates (and keeps the page up to date) and responds to consumers who talk with the brand on those platforms.
So, when you’re looking to hire someone to do this for your company, what qualities should you look for? Below are just some of the skills and traits to look for; they are the ones I think are overlooked most often.
Superb Writing Skills
Strong writing skills can compel your customers to interact with your brand on social media. Also, poor writing will reflect equally as poorly upon your organization and the perceived quality of your product or service.
There is always the chance that people will say something negative about your brand, product, or service on social media. It is very important that your community manager exercises good judgement when deciding how to handle those situations.
Strong Analytic Skills
Sometimes a community manager carries some of the reporting responsibilities. Even when they don’t they should the best person to go to when you want to know about trends you’re seeing on your social media accounts. You may learn things about your company through them if they have the ability to recognize and prove microtrends they’re seeing. For example, they should be able to recognize and tell you what kind of Facebook updates get the most engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.). This will help you tailor your social media message plan to optimize it for engagement and to better serve your customers.
A Positive Personality & Thick Skin
When engaging with customers on social media, it’s important that the tone of the messaging is always positive. When dissatisfied customers complain, or a crisis happens and there are a lot of negative comments, it’s important that the community manager does not take this feedback personally and has the proper tone in their messages so they do not add fuel to the fire.
Here are some questions I recommend you ask potential hires for a community manager position, as well as the ideal answer and what the question is meant to help you ascertain.
Q: What is the difference between their, there, and they’re?Â
A: Their is a possessive pronoun, as in “that is their car.” There is an indication of location, as in “the bathroom is over there.” They’re is a contraction of “they are,” as in “they are going to be happy if they win the lotto.”
I: On a basic level, if they can’t tell you the difference their writing skills are not up to snuff. If they answer but struggle their way through the response, that may indicate that they are not very eloquent. It is highly important for a community manager to communicate fluidly.
Q: What month and year did Twitter launch?
A: “I don’t know.”
I: Ask them a question that they likely won’t know the answer to, but one that will tempt them a bit to give you an answer. You need to be able to trust your community manager, and do not want them acting hastily just to deliver what they think you want from them. In social media, it’s okay to not know certain things and it is very dangerous to just take a guess without doing a little bit of dueÂ diligence. Even if that dueÂ diligenceÂ indicates that there is not a clear answer, you then can move forward knowing that you’re doing a trial-and-error experiment and there is some risk involved. If the community manager decides to skip that due diligence and keeps you in the dark, they are putting your company at risk without your consent.
Q: Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of pressure and how you handled it.
A: In their response, look for strategic thinking (i.e. prioritization).
I: Strategic thinking is crucial when managing several social platforms. It is also a key skill when developing a social media strategy and messaging plan, and the community manager should be part of that process as they have up-to-the-minute knowledge of what consumers are saying about the brand.