15 Signs of a Great Community Manager

From Fortune 500 corporations to mom & pop shops, community management is arguably the most pivotal function of any social media team. A brand is the sum of its parts and oftentimes the person behind the social channel becomes the eyes, ears, voice and face of your brand’s online footprint. Choose carefully.

I’ve been lucky to meet, work with, teach and even learn from some of the best Community Managers in the industry. Whether you’re looking for new talent or assessing the performance of your current roster, these are 15 signs of a great Community Manager:

      1. They have immediate access to the pulse of what’s going on in your industry and among your customers. A great Community Manager doesn’t wait for the weekly company buzz report, they write it.
      2. They have empathetic eyes, possessing an ability to view online content and campaigns from the consumer’s perspective. They know their audience and continually seek ways to improve the customer experience from the inside out.
      3. They don’t just seek ways to improve (see #2), they actually act on solutions. Great Community Managers have a bias for action.
      4. They are multilingual when it comes to media. They produce videos, pictures and promotions with the same ease as writing posts and articles.
      5. They have a passion for engagement and conversing with customers that is infectious. They overwhelm you with creative ideas and are a constant source of good thinking.
      6. They are “professionally offended” if their content fails to get engagement and immediately seek constructive ways to do better next time. Great Community Managers never stop optimizing.
      7. They spend more time conversing with customers than sitting in a room talking about them. They monitor your social channel metrics daily and don’t depend solely on Radian6 to be your online ears.
      8. They regularly scrutinize your brand, your peers, competition and influencers to garner ideas of what can be done better or differently.
      9. They love to test, learn and derive insights from new technology. Change doesn’t paralyze, it invigorates.
      10. They are mobile-savvy and equally comfortable engaging on a phone or tablet as a desktop. They have created the proper barriers between the work account and their personal accounts to prevent social snafus.
      11. They engage on evenings, weekends and holidays to ensure your brand has a human voice that participates in relevant cultural and industry happenings. They do this without being asked.
      12. They know your company’s vision and can clearly articulate your strategy and how social impacts all of the above.
      13. They have an urgent desire to amplify your online presence tempered with an understanding that it takes time to grow. Great Community Managers are patiently impatient.
      14. They spend time each day reading about trends, happenings and people in order to develop a perspective for your brand.
      15. They have an expert understanding of each social channel’s publishing, reporting and administrative tools. Don’t assume this is common knowledge.

Perhaps the best sign of a great Community Manager is fairly simple: they read lists like this and immediately identify key areas where they can do better to help your brand. I’m grateful for the great folks I know.

Are you a Community Manager? Let me know what you think of the list and what indicators you think are valuable when looking for competent talent in this emerging space.



Filed under Interactive Marketing, Learnings & Insight, Social Media

17 responses to “15 Signs of a Great Community Manager

  1. Nice list Adrian. I’m about to reread your list and make notes on what I should work on knowing I don’t have it all covered.

    • First of all, thank you Mr, Ghassan for the wonderful assay and great, new, and crtivaee oriented idea, and as i understood from your meaningful words that Social Entrepreneurship is more of an Idea than actual application with rules and headlines.what I ment is that this concept can be applicable in all, and i mean ALL ways of social, commercial, public, & private.Thank you again Sir for your inspiring words and continuing effort to set an example for all of us.

    • Miks te niii kahepalgelist poaiitiklt teete? Venelastele fcks jutt ja eestlastele hoopis teine. Kuigi mf5lemad on Eesti kodanikud (jah kodanikud, sest kes tahab Eestiga oma saatuse siduda, siis saab ka fche Euroopa lihtsama Eesti kodakondsuseksami tehtud!). See on sulaselge diskrimineerimine rahvuse pf5hjal ja vaenu f5huamine!

  2. rcadden

    Great post. #6 is a real key for me – I often get upset with the activities on ‘my’ Facebook wall (really RadioShack’s).

    #10 is something alot of people miss though. It’s one thing to keep up with your job via email on your phone, but in this day and age, there’s really no excuse to not have a solution of some sort that allows you to spring into action regardless of the device you have access to.

    Ha, #15 shouldn’t be hard to find. You should add a ‘#15b’ – they’re able to discern between the people who actually know what they’re talking about in social cause they’re DOING it for real and the ‘Social Media Ninjas/Gurus/Superstars/etc’ that are out there talking about doing it all freakin day long.

  3. RC – Thx for the feedback. You definitely come to mind as a CM worth imitating. This post has allowed me to connect with people DOing social media that I never would have met otherwise. The people behind the scenes have a wealth of knowledge to share (just not enough time to share it).

    • Not bad at all fellas and gallsa. Thanks.

    • Interrinde uus liider Edgar Savisaar-Burešin!Kahju, et eesti ravahs teil end 19 aastat tagasi lollitada lasi. Nii suurt rahva reeturit pole Eestis pe4rast Vares-Barbaruse enesetappu enam ne4htud. Ja et teil he4bi ka pole raasugi nii silmakirjalikku ja populistlikku poliitikut teha!Aga sellega, et te oma munad fchte korvi muulaste omasse panite, sellega tegite omale poliitilise enesetapu. See on fataalne!Minge parem palun Hundisilmale talupidajaks. Muide poliitikast te lubasite lahkuda juba peale lindiskandaali. Palju Teie lubadused fcldse ve4e4rt on???

    • This forum needed shaking up and you’ve just done that. Great post!

  4. William

    “they actually act on solutions”

    That’s the big one.

    Great list!

  5. Pingback: What makes a great community manager? | SimplySocial | Building stories, Building trust.

  6. Pingback: Recruiting a Community Manager - Marketing According to Tavo

  7. Love this list, especially #3! This list is hang-in-my-cube-worthy for sure!

    • Aπ τα μεγάφωνα ακούγεται η “Erika”! (ή Auf der Heide blfcht ein kleines Blfcmelein αν σας θυμίζει κάτι, γιατί συχαίνομαι να βάλω το λινκ)

  8. Loved this article Adrian…as a community manager for Intuit Careers I felt like I was reading the makings of a great job description for a Community Manager. Thank you for sharing

    • Thank you very much for submitting!! You are rlaely fast Please give us some time to review and approve them. Then you will be able to see and comment on them at Thanks!

    • Poštovanje Miki, čestitke na obavljenom, nisam baš dejatlno upućen u rekorde, ali mislim da imate dvije greške, za koje ja znam. Vjerovatno će Vam se još neko javiti sa svojim podacima, pa ovo posmatrajte kao dobronamjernu primjedbu, sa željom da se zaista napravi lista vremena koja će biti reprezentativna i maksimalno korektna.Na listi za 2011 godinu stoji slijedeće4 x 100 Slobodno/Free 4:44.30 25m Bosna i Hercegovina Muški Banja Luka (BIH) 12.03.2011VRKEŠ Kosta, VRANJEŠ Marko, MIZDRAK Matija, ČEPRKALO MihajloOvaj rekord je popravljen na novogodišnjem mitingu H2O, pred kraj 2011, što koliko ja vidim, nije navedeno u listi za 2011. Rang G.R Ime kluba (kraće) Vreme Bodova Status VR1. Bosna SA MK najava obaranja rekorda MK Bosna, SA 4:41.91 308Anđelo ŠIMIĆ 99 33.33 1:11.98 Nihad HRBAT 99 34.95 1:13.44Amer VOLJEVICA 00 34.45 1:13.92 Amir HALILOVIĆ 99 29.97 1:02.57Također i na listi za 2011 stoji4 x 50 Mešovito/I.Medley 2:25.96 25m Bosna i Hercegovina Muški Banja Luka (BIH) 13.03.2011VRKEŠ Kosta, VRANJEŠ Marko, ČEPRKALO Mihajlo, MIZDRAK Matijaa ovaj rekord je postavila Bosnina štafeta na ORKI 2010, što i stoji u listi rekorda za 2010, pa bi onda vjerovatno trebalo izbrisati ovaj rezultat 22.Aprila iz liste za 20114 x 50 Mešovito/I.Medley 2:23.85 25m Bosna i Hercegovina Muški Zenica (BIH) 19.12.2010ŠIMIĆ Anđelo, TESKEREDŽIĆ Edvin, VOLJEVICA Amer, BERBEROVIĆ EmirOvo su dvije greške koje sam uočio, ne znam za ostale rezultate, ali mislim da je ova moja verzija korektnija od Vaše, pa možete provjeriti i ispraviti ukoliko i Vi to potvrdite.Inače, ova istorija je veoma dobra osnova, većina rezultata je tačna, vjerovatno će Vam se još mnogi javiti sa mogućim greškama i preporukama za ispravke pa bi i lista trebala biti još korektnija u vrlo kratkom roku. Mislim i da je uputno da, ko god uoči grešku, odmah ponudi i moguće ispravke, sa konkretnim detaljima, mitingom, vremenom, datumom i sl.Želim Vam mnogo uspjeha u daljem radu i nadam se da ćete ovo uspješno privesti kraju.sportski pozdrav

    • Good to find an expert who knows what he’s talking about!

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