Tag Archive for Community Management

You’ve Got the Power, Now What? How to Harness Your Influence as a Community Manager

Image citation

“Flat-Pack This. Ikea unfolds its potential in China and Israel..” Industry Leaders Magazine RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. .

Building is hard work. Building a house is hard work, building a “do-it-yourself” table from IKEA is hard work, even though they tell you it won’t be, and building a community from the ground up is hard work for a community manager. So once you have invested time and energy, and the structure of your community is built, you must use your newfound leadership position wisely.

In chapter five of Buzzing CommunitiesRichard Millington explains how to harness the influence of your community. As well, he exposes the powers of persuasion and divides them into three categories.

  • Content Creation

A big part of contributing to your community is putting out relevant, timely content. You can send news articles out through email, or create a Google+ page like we do for #CMGRClass. I think it is important to note that every community is different and you must find what makes your community unique, and figure out what makes your audience tick.

Overall, one strategy to encourage engagement and bridge the gap between the community manager and the community is highlighting. “You can highlight trends or opportunities within the community and shine the spotlight on members whose actions merit reward” (77). When you highlight your community it allows the individual members to feel special and gives them an opportunity to be heard. It also encourages them to visit the community every day because members love when content is about themselves.

On campus, one of the organization I am involved in has the motto Live With Purpose. This phrase can be adjusted ever so slightly to fit community management and evolve into Write With Purpose. What this phrase means is to use the insights learned about your community to share information and create content users want to read. Don’t just put content out for the sake of sharing. If you share meaningful content, your users will appreciate it and reciprocate with quality content of their own.

  • Administrative Rights

You are probably the admin on all your community’s social network sites, and most if not all community wide emails come from you. Therefore, it is your job to remove people and posts that are not appropriate, or you feel do not positively contribute to the community as a whole. Now, this is a large burden to bear, but it is a necessary one. Communities can easily get off track, or be filled with negativity if somebody is not there to monitor it all. Who would want to consistently visit a community only adds negativity to their life? You must set a standard for how community members will behave, and lead by example. Millington specifically says that, “The biggest influence upon a member’s behavior is the behavior of other members” (80). The community manager can also grant rights to other members that they deem appropriate.

  • Access to the Company

As both a part of the community, as well as a part of the company from which the community stems, you’ve essentially “Got the Power.” You’ve always got the inside scoop on breaking news, as well as everything going on inside of the organization. You are the liaison between the company and the community, and the expert on whatever topic your community was built upon.

You also must be passionate about your community. You should be passionate about the topic of your community, but also passionate about talking to people. You should want to help your community members connect, as well as make sure they have a positive experience with your brand. Being passionate about something ensures that you will preform to the best of your abilities.

What do you think about Millington’s categories of persuasion? Do you have anything to add to them? Leave your comments down below!

Moderation Week: My Chance in the Big Leagues

This past week, I was tasked with the assignment of being the #CMGRclass moderator. My job was to introduce new content to the class that would help us further discuss the topics we’ve been reading throughout. This week’s topic was listening and planning. Each member of our class has had a different experience with social media and community management both on a personal and professional level. My main goal was to not only create a discussion about the topic at hand but to also allow people to reflect on their experiences and teach everyone else about some new practices that we may not have heard of before. Once I had my goal set, I could finally start my moderating journey. While there are many things that a moderator is in charge of, three of the most important are the introduction of content, engaging with the community, and monitoring, not dominating, the conversation.

listening

Image via Flickr.

Finding Content

On my quest to find the perfect content, I tried to find articles that were informative, yet open ended. I wanted people to have the opportunity discuss some of the topics further without feeling like the article was right above all else. Each article explained a different practice used by community managers in either the listening or planning phase. In my opinion, each article brought up points that not only tied to this week’s topic but also tied into our previous lessons on community management vs. social media management and content curation.

What I learned: Just sharing any piece of content with your community is not worth much if it doesn’t relate to the topic of conversation at hand. Learn to find information that really matters, share it, and wait for the feedback.

Asking Questions

One of the golden rules when moderating and interacting with a company is to ask questions that will build on the current discussion and allow it to really prosper. While I did think that having the information from each article under my belt gave me a good starting point of discussion, I would have liked to have had more information in order to ask better questions. I was lucky enough to have community members who introduced everyone, including myself, who introduced new ideas and were able to keep the conversation going.

What I learned: You will never have enough questions going until the end of time and this is where your community’s engagement can work in your favor. In the end, it’s not about the quantity of questions, but the quality of each question.

Domination vs. Conversation

I am naturally a very talkative person. While I do consider myself to be an extroverted introvert, I can talk for hours about anything; especially if it’s something that I’m truly interested. One of the areas that I had a struggle with in the beginning was the difference between domination and conversation. Because I am so used to overtaking a conversation, I had to learn quickly that this type of verbal takeover is not conducive to fostering a good community. The members of the class didn’t sign up to hear me voice all of my opinions. They joined to really discuss different ideas and learn from one another. Rather than posting a piece of content and adding my comments, I would try to pose a question and like people’s comments as a way of continuing my engagement and not overtaking the entire experience.

What I’ve learned: When you dominate a conversation, it’s like you’re having it with yourself. Give your community the opportunity to really speak up engage with them without overwhelming them.

Takeaways

This experience taught me so many interesting things about the life of a community manager. In order to truly be successful, you must remember that it’s not always give and take. This type of black and white interaction can turn your community into one of the most boring situations in the world. However, if you pose a few questions and give the community time to actually engage using social media, you will see the transformation immediately. All in all, the overall experience was great and while I was nervous the entire time, I enjoyed taking that role within a community. Hopefully that won’t be the last time I’m in that role.

Librarians and the Community Management Profession

The life of a library is their community.

In David Lankes book The Atlas of New Librarianship he believes “the mission of librarians is to improve society though facilitating knowledge creation in their communities,” (p.83). His book argues that knowledge is created through conversation that is fostered by librarians and it’s the librarian’s job to facilitate for their community, inspire participation within the community, and calls librarians into action to advocate for their libraries to their community.

Oliver Blanchard writes in his book, Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization that a community managers, “…four principal function [are]: representing an organization in online forums, being the voice of ‘the community’ inside the organizations, mediating disputes in online forums, and helping manage the development, publishing, and curating of the organization’s digital content,” (p.137).

On the surface, librarianship and community management do not seem to have much in common.  Yes, both involve a community but librarianship is said to be a dying profession while community management is a new one. However, after interviewing Meg Knodl I found the role of a community manager can align itself with librarian and help the profession move forward.  Meg is currently the community manager for Hennepin County in Minnesota.  She posts for the Hennepin County twitter and Facebook accounts as well as coordinates with other department’s social media.  However, Meg started off as a community manager for a library.

In the interview Meg discussed ways of how community management and librarianship work well together.  One point she makes is a community manager has to be able to advocate and cheer for whatever brand or organization they work for.  A librarian needs to fight for their library not only for their own benefit but for their community and for society.  The tools and theories used by community managers are a perfect fit for librarians.  The use of social media to get messages to the community and to build relationships is important.  Community managers are there to connect people with others who have common interests and librarians can facilitate in the same way.

What works best within a community should be determined by the community. This idea fits both with a librarian’s job and a community manager’s job.  Meg said a community manager has to be aware of what types of platforms their community is willing to participate in.  The same is true with librarians.  They have to create programs their community wants.  For both profession it does not need to be online. For example Meg mentioned literacy programs for a library and capturing marriage photos for the Hennepin County community.  Both examples show how each profession brings together the community.

The community is what makes a library special.  Librarians have always been community managers and worked for and with their community.  Librarianship does not have to be a dying profession. One of the ways to insure this does not happen is to incorporate the modern techniques of the community manger profession to what librarians have already been doing.

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/60/39/000913/community_manager_large.png

My Interview with Community Manager, Katrina Steffensen

At this point in the semester, we have learned quite a few aspects about community managers and what they do. Just as a refresher, some of the things #CMGRclass has touched upon are Blogging, Content Creation, the differences between social media managers and community managers, Twitterverse fails, Search Engine Optimization, and Listening and Planning.

Yet, this week was a bit different from the normal flow of the class. My classmates and I all went on a quest to find a real-life community manager! Who did I interview? I had the pleasure of talking to Ms. Katrina Steffensen, a Channel Manager at VML, one of the world’s top digital marketing agencies. What brand does she manage? It’s one that everyone knows, and that is Gatorade.

Marsh, Jennifer. 24 February 2014. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Marsh, Jennifer. 24 February 2014. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

During our interview, there were some main topics I wanted to find out: her responsibilities as a community manager, what the Gatorade online community is like, and why she likes being the Gatorade community manager so much.

1.) Her Community Manager Responsibilities

Ms. Steffensen made it very clear to me what the main responsibility of her job is: to talk to the Gatorade community members each and every day, to make those members feel welcome. How does she do that? She initiates conversations, creates content, and replies to comments on all of the Gatorade channels, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google+, andTumblr.

As the main moderator of the community, Ms. Steffensen follows a kind of schedule as to when the content for following weeks is due. In fact, at VML, content is usually created 3-4 weeks in advance! One type of content that has been extremely successful, according to Ms. Steffensen, has been congratulatory messages to community members and their teams. Whenever these posts are distributed, a lot of activity is gauged from the different channels. Why is this so? Probably because huge fans of Gatorade are receiving personal feedback from the brand they love. Basically, Ms. Steffensen is constantly in content creating mode, thinking of matters, subjects, and dialogue that will really connect well with the Gatorade community, which I am going to talk about next.

2.) What the Gatorade Community is Like

Let’s learn some facts and stats about the Gatorade community:

Brasil, Ambrev. 12 July 2011. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Brasil, Ambrev. 12 July 2011. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

  • Mostly made up of 13-17 year old athletes
  • Approximately 60% Males, 40% Females
  • Males more vocal on all channels

From the facts above, it makes sense that most of the Gatorade community is made up of young athletes, right? I mean, it is a sports drink. So, therefore, much of the conversations within the community surround Gatorade and SPORTS. For example, the members of the community tend to discuss what their current favorite flavors are, or why they need Gatorade to provide motivation for the athletic performance.

3.) Why Being the Gatorade Community Manager is so Fun

So, working for such a big, successful, and influential brand, like Gatorade, should be really fun, right? I would think so, and Ms. Steffensen definitely agrees.

The best parts about being the community manager for Gatorade? Ms. Steffensen is able to give extra motivation to young athletes everywhere, directly through the channels she manages. Athletes of all sorts tell their cool and amazing stories, whether directly related to the sports drink or not, through the Gatorade channels, and she is able to listen respond to them. By being the Gatorade channel manager, Ms. Steffensen is able to receive instant gratification from the conversations she has with the members of her community. This instant feeling of awesomeness is something that isn’t really achieved in other forms of communicating, especially with an online community.

Cruz, Haleey. 24 December 2010. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

Cruz, Haleey. 24 December 2010. Online Image. Flickr. 07 March 2014.

In sum, while I was nervous about this assignment at first, I really enjoyed it and even gained a lot from it. Meeting new people is always nice, especially professionals. And, I must say, getting to talk and get to know Ms. Steffensen was an extreme pleasure. Not only did I have fun interviewing her, but I learned a lot about her job, as a community manager, and I was able to connect many of the lessons from this class to real life (*cue the clicking of the light bulb*).

After this interview, the job of a community manager seemed a lot more appealing than before. Who knows, maybe I could be the person behind a brand, in the future, making more better consumer experiences every day.

 

 

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Tweet No Evil

Image via Flickr

Image via Flickr

The ancient Japanese proverb ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ has had many meanings over the years. The most widely accepted opinion would be to always keep pure and honest intentions when interacting with those within your community. This can be done in many ways like only surrounding yourself with positive people, thinking encouraging thoughts, and making sure that everything you say only has good intentions around it. Think about that for a second. And now think about Twitter. At the time of its creation, this social media platform was used as a digital diary for those who wanted to divulge their inner fears or insignificant thoughts. Fast forward to today where it has evolved into one of the most accessible communication tools that we know today.

Twitters users are able to connect with their friends, family, and most importantly, favorite brands on a very personal level. Whether they’re using their 140 characters to try and win a contest or to show their latest latte purchase, these engagements have proven the foundation of a healthy online community. This doesn’t mean that a community manager can only expect to hear about the good things. This type of unique transparency also opens the doors for critics to come in and truly speak their mind.

An example of this would be a fictionalized case study done by The Harvard Business Review. In this example, a CEO, a director of social media, an account manager, and the head of communications are brought together to solve a PR crisis that takes place over Twitter. The company planned to create a hashtag that would allow people to tweet in and win roundtrip plane tickets to the destination of their choosing. When they saw the negative feedback that they were getting, they sat and deliberated about whether or not to cancel the content and make everything go away.

There are many instances that can cause the Twitterverse to turn against you:

  • Publicity gone awry
  • Any change in a product or service (malfunction, new features, etc.)
  • Rogue employee (case in point: Justine Sacco)
  • Corporate change such as a massive layoff

While there are no special recipes that can help your company survive an attack from your Twitter community, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you can weather the storm and come out on top. Here are a few things to remember when Twitter turns on you:

  1. Acknowledge what happened. One of the first things that any community manager must do is acknowledge when your community has any grievances. Whether it’s a tweet stating that you’re listening or even a Q&A to ease people’s concerns, you cannot ignore your community.
  2. Honesty is the ONLY policy. One of the most important qualities of a community manager is their ability to be an honest and open communicator. If you have a strong community behind your brand, and you want to keep them, you must never tell a lie. Not only will your followers lose faith in you, it ruins your credibility with them and any potential followers they may be connected to.
  3. Don’t silence your audience. Sometimes, your community just needs to get their aggression out. They want to know that you value their feedback and not just their attention for your benefit.
  4. Document what you’ve learned. Each mistake is a learning opportunity. Whether you get the outcome you desired or not, you will be able to walk away with knowledge about how to address a situation like this again in the future. It’s better to be prepared than surprised.
  5. Don’t let the Twitterverse scare you. There are always going to be situations where someone is unhappy due to one reason or another. A successful community manager doesn’t let a hurdle stop them, but rather uses it as a learning tool and a stepping stone to their next goal.

Can you think of any points that I’m missing? Do you have any experience with a Twitter Crisis? Feel free to comment or tweet me at @AlexisMadison20.

Good Community Management Helps Shine Rainbows Over the Stormy Twitterverse

The Case Study: When the Twitterverse Turns on You outlines a social media campaign on Twitter for Canadian Jet, a fictional airline with a lackluster reputation. The plan was to use the hashtag #CanJetLuxury for a Twitter contest that would reward the user who posted the most creative tweet with a set of round-trip tickets. It sounds innocent enough but those who work in the Twitterverse know that brand-sponsored campaigns are easy prey for trolls and disgruntled customers.

After a few short hours, the hashtag was hijacked with accusatory tweets such as “Arriving a day late to your daughter’s wedding #CanJetLuxury.” The team went into a panic. The article closes by asking if they should throw in the towel.

So, Should Canadian Jet Cancel the Contest?

Absolutely not. By definition, a campaign is a systematic course of aggressive activities (dictionary.com). It is not a Twitter announcement followed by second thoughts.

online_community

When you bring your branded message into Twitter’s public stream of consciousness, you should not expect sunshine and rainbows. You expect to create the sunshine and rainbows.

After all, isn’t that what community management is about –bringing dazzling experiences to people? Helping them discover why they love you, over and over again?

The problem posed in this case study is only a problem because the company’s conversation about what to do when faced with negative tweets was supposed to happen long before the campaign launched. This failure to plan raises questions about their Twitterverse aptitude.

Want to check your readiness for the Twitterverse?

Here are Five Diagnostic Questions About Your Twitterverse Aptitude

  1. Are you energized by the opposition? Andrea Kemp, the company’s account manager from Wrigley & Walters who advised Canadian Jet, thrived in this high-pressured environment.
  2. Do you know what you are getting into? Critics can reduce your beloved hashtag into a mere “bashtag” if you mismanage the campaign.
  3. Do you see the glass as half full or as half empty? Do you disregard positive tweets when faced with a negative one? (Warning: In cases like  #AskJPM the glass was quickly emptying. Recognizing that shows your realism, not pessimism.)
  4. Do you give the silent treatment? Social media is inherently social so if you are not prepared to respond to what is in front of you this might not be the best venue.
  5. How is your agility? Be responsive to changing conditions when sailing through the Twitterverse. This does not mean that you cannot plan. It simply means that your plan needs to account for the possibility of inclement weather.

What Can We Learn?

There are three lessons to be learned from this case study.

  1. #CanJetLuxury was out of touch. While the campaign was a great way to breathe life into their brand, it seems like organizers expected the announcement  of the Twitter contest to absolve them of any hostility that had developed in the previous years.
  2. They gambled. They did not have a plan in place for negative tweets, even though they were aware of the risk.
  3. They held a meeting when they should have been tweeting responses. They should have countered the negative tweets immediately, rather than reassessing the campaign as a whole.

Have you ever suspended a campaign? We would love to learn about your experiences in the comments below.

5 Tips to Grow Your Community – From the Experts

People always say “Build It and They’ll Come,” but that’s not necessarily the case when building an online community. An interactive and successful community does not grow overnight, but rather it takes time to form a community in which users post independently post content and interact without moderation.

Author Richard Millington of Buzzing Communities offers the following tips to Community Managers:

  • image by artofdieting.com

    image by artofdieting.com

    Research Research Research

Do you want to know who is using your products in your industry, or rather what motivates them to buy it? Do you want to know where they shop, or what media they like? The answers to these questions and many more requires collecting data about the audience and the status of any current communities out there. A brilliant strategy can only be conceived through extensive qualitative and quantitive research.

  • Make Your New Members Feel Special

It is important to develop a relationship with your community members right out of the gate. If you invite people individually, it seems less like a mass invite, and more like an exclusive invitation to join a new community. You can send these invites through email or social networks, but it may also be more meaningful to present these invitation in person at events or other community meet-ups. This is a reliable way to jump start your community in its early stages. By forming these relationships early on, you have members that are dedicated and will more likely help you improve community later on through constructive feedback. Individualization is an ongoing process that should continue even as your community grows. Reach out to individual members to learn what they are interested in, ensures a higher rate of community member activity.

  • Diffusion of Ownership

As time goes on, you should be straying away from direct invitations and encourage the existing members of your community to invite their friends. You can create a collective goal to gain new members that can only be met when everyone gets involved. This puts the responsibility and ability to grow the community in the hands of everyone, not just the community manager. As well, you should create relationships with the media in order to make your community known to those in your target market.

  • image by lyved.com

    image by lyved.com

    Don’t Get Stuck in a Bubble

Remember that life is going on outside the realm of the internet. You are still talking to real people, and you have to remember to treat your community members as such. Once your community is more established, have a “tweetup” or an event relating to the interests of the community members.

  • Plan Your Future

Once you have everything in place, you need to put your plan into action. Millington splits this way of planning into a three-month calendar, as well as a 12-month plan. In order to break this down into more manageable chunks of work, it is helpful to make to-do lists at the beginning of each week.

Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments below!

Register for #CMGRClass Spring 2014!

The spring semester at Syracuse University starts on January 13th and there are still a few spots left in #CMGRClass. This online course is open to all graduate students and select undergraduates who have a significant interest in community building, online communications, online content, and social media. For undergrads, if you’ve taken #RotoloClass (IST 486) or the Newhouse Social Media Course you’re eligible to take #CMGRClass.  If you haven’t taken either of those courses, but have experience in an internship or student activity you may still join as an undergraduate.

#CMGRClassWhy Take #CMGRclass?

In this online class, you’ll use social media tools first hand and meet a number of professionals who are working on community management and/or social media for some of the best companies out there. This course is broken up into three parts that are designed to help you understand various aspects of community management.
1)  Content Management – Blogging is an art and different than your typical academic writing.   You’ll write blog posts about the topics in this course and learn some of the best content strategies.
2)  Social media – The tools are always changing, but there’s things you’ll walk out understanding such as important metrics and best practices.
3)  Community Building – how do you start a community from scratch?  How can your users help you to generate content? Where do you find your key influencers?

What’s new and exciting about this course?

This isn’t your typical online course. The class meets every other Tuesday at 7pm in a Google+ Hangout and once per month we’ll have guest speakers join us and tell us how they got into their roles and what their jobs are like.  Though if you can’t make the time due to work or other classes, the class is recorded for you to watch at your convenience. Students have the ability to network throughout the semester and they find out about excellent opportunities like internships and careers.

Last semester we had guests from Google Local, Cycle to Survive, MRY, JetBlue, Scoop.it, LiveFyre, Klout, and Moz, and students met community managers from a variety of different industries.

We also don’t use blackboard all too much! #CMGRClass primarily takes place in a Google+ Community group where it’s easier to interact and post fun content.

If you’re curious about this semester’s syllabus you can take a look on this site.  If you want to register, sign up for IST 600 by January 13th (or the add/drop deadline by January 21)!  And of course you can always contact the professors, Jenn Pedde (@JPedde / jmpedde@syr.edu) & Kelly Lux (@Kellylux / kalux@syr.edu) with any questions.

Best Scheduling Practices For Community Managers

Running a community is no easy task, especially when several social media networks are involved. Community management is demanding, and it’s important to meet the needs of community members while also posting relevant content for members to discuss. Because of the various activities that a community manager must keep track of, it’s important to know how to effectively use a calendar.

Author Richard Millington of Buzzing Communities offers the following tips:

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Calendars can get messy! Make sure to use a system that works best for your community

1. Don’t forget about offline content! Although lots of information is online, don’t forget to stay in touch with what’s happening around you physically.  Millington points out that “you can look at both online and offline content produced within the sector to identify…popular categories.”

2. Plan out your weeks – Millington discusses how different categories of news should be posted daily while certain categories of posts can be reused every week. This variation is okay, as long as it is planned out accordingly. Using a calendar to figure out which content should be posted on certain days of the week is helpful when determining to push content.

3. Don’t forget about subcategories – It’s not enough to put that you’re going to talk about something as generic as “news” on a particular day. Millington emphasizes the importance of subcategories, and to be specific when defining posted content. Eliminating ambiguity helps define clearer goals for you and your team.

Although Millington’s tips are helpful, he fails to mention different methods of keeping track of all these tasks. Some helpful tools to keep you in check with all of these tools include:

1. Google Calendar – If you’re an avid fan of Google, have a Gmail account, or like color coded calendars, Google Calendar is a great way to keep track of different schedules. Your calendar can also sync up with your phone which allows you to view and modify your schedule while on the go.

2. Physical Wall Calendar – Lots of companies like to see things written on walls rather than on small computer screens. If you have a lot of space in your office, utilizing the space on a whiteboard can allow you to write all over your schedule, which is something you can’t necessarily do in a digital environment. If you have a wall that you want converted into a large whiteboard space, that can be easier to create than you think!

3. Wiggio – Wiggio is an online calendar that allows you to create events that can also sync with your other calendars. With SMS alerts that keep you on track, you won’t have to worry about what you need to do at each point throughout the day. The calendars can also be viewed by certain groups, which can be incredibly helpful for when you are working with a large team.

Regardless of how you schedule your calendars or the medium in which you choose to update it, it is important to stay organized and stay up to date with the content that needs to be managed within a community. Using the tools and techniques above, you can be well on your way to effectively managing a community!

How do you keep track of scheduling within your community? Do you have other tips or advice? Let us know in the comments below! 

4 Job Description Red Flags for Aspiring Community Managers

There are lots of positions for community managers, and for those that are interested, the hardest part can be knowing what’s the best fit for you. A position for one place might seem like a great opportunity – but how do you know that?

When you’re looking for a job, there are all kinds of things you want to see. You’re looking for something that fits your qualifications, is located in a desirable area, and is with a good company. The only bad part is that you don’t know what you’re going to get until you actually start the job, and even then it’s easy to feel stuck when the position turns out to be less than ideal.

In #CMGRclass, we’ve talked a lot about how some companies just don’t know what to do with community management, and thus don’t know what to do with a community manager. Here’s how to find out what if a company might not quite get it yet just from the job description.

1. A lack of personality

BORING

Does the job description give you a sense of the work environment at the company? If the job description seems formulaic, it might be a sign that the company doesn’t understand the kind of person they’re looking for – or worse, it doesn’t understand what kind of company they are. Look for cues on company culture within the job description so you can really know if it’s right for you.

2. Non-specific description

YOU-TELL-US

“Experience with social media,” “understanding of analytics,” “we’re expecting you to cover everything and anything.” Okay, you might not see that last one, but if the job description seems like a catch-all for web buzzwords, continue on your search. This is yet another sign that this company probably doesn’t know what community management is really about.

3. All you can see is “Social Media”

SOCIAL-MEDIA

If you’re serious about taking a community manager role, you should already know that community management is not social media. Yes, you should have a good grasp on how to fit them into an overall community management strategy, but it should not be your job to manage social media accounts. That’s a social media manager’s job.

4. Too good to be true

PERFECT

If the job makes promises, like 9-to-5 hours … do your research. It’s okay to be skeptical. A company culture that believes work only happens only in 8 hours of the day probably doesn’t understand how community management doesn’t sleep. Even worse, it might force you into becoming that community manager that wakes up the next morning with a total social media meltdown on your hands. You can always check LinkedIn to see if the company has a good team in place! If you can’t find other community managers on their bench, look for another listing. This one isn’t for you.

While some of this advice comes from my personal experience looking at job descriptions, huge thanks to Erin Bury and Jenn Pedde for providing the inspiration for this blog post! Go check out their posts for more on what to look for in a community management job.

Have you seen any truly horrible community manager job descriptions that just get it all wrong? Would you ever apply to a red-flag listing so you can tell them what community management is?