On November 19th, our community management class was able to listen in on another panel of community manager experts. This week’s panel consisted of Lea Marino from Cycle For Survival, Topher Ziobro of Google Local NYC, Jennifer Lopez from Moz, and Sahana Ullagaddi of Klout. Each individual was able to offer different pieces of advice to our class, especially ones who were looking to work as a community manager after graduation. While each panelist was able to add on or agree with what other panelists were saying, each person was able to contribute their own piece of advice based on their own experiences.
Jen Lopez encouraged the ability to plan ahead. Being able to hear information and quickly turn it into something meaningful is an incredible skill. Asking yourself questions like “Is this a big deal?” allows community managers to make things happen. Good community managers know what to do with information they’re given – quickly. If community managers don’t know the answer, they should know who does. Being able to think quickly and think on your feet is invaluable.
Lea Marino stressed the importance of empathy. Although it’s not necessarily something that can be taught, it’s important to know how to express empathy through digital channels. It’s not enough to through in an emoticon; it’s important to be able to understand what is being said behind those words and smiles. Connecting with people on a deeper level is important. It enhances your communication skills, which are so important to this field.
Sahanna Ullagaddi discussed the importance of wanting to learn. Many people don’t know what they want when they start working in the community management field, so being able to absorb lots of different types of information is important. Being able to hear information and then follow up can make you a great community manager. While learning, it’s also important to share what you think. Having your own voice can make you your own person, and an even better manager.
Topher Ziobro talked about the importance of energy. Your energy will allow you to take on challenges and express your excitement for something. Social channels need to be energetic throughout the day, and so do you. Projects may run late into the night, and you might have to too! It’s important to keep up that energy and remember that social media doesn’t necessarily end at 5pm everyday.
All of the different pieces of advice that the panelists contributed allowed each member of our class to think about what skills are necessary to be a community manger. Each community manager was able to contribute something different to the table, and all of their advice was incredibly valuable!
Do you have anything to add? Do you disagree with anything? Let us know in the comments below!