What makes a great community manager?

What makes a great community manager?

I’ve worked in the social media industry for nearly four years, I’ve learnt a lot about what makes a good community manager. Here are the top traits I think necessary to be successful.


Plan to be reactive

Although a large part of the role is reactive, the most important skill is the ability to plan ahead.

A good community manager knows they need to react to trends and the news agenda, so as well as  scheduling social posts in advance, ensure you are ready for any eventuality with these elements:

  • Crisis management documents
  • Tone of voice guidelines
  • FAQs
  • Brand assets such as logos, images, videos and Gifs
  • Campaign ideas and strategies
  • Social brandbook

The client needs to know that everything is under control, no matter what the situation, or when it may arise, so be prepared.

How ? Have a thorough onboarding process for each client that lists all the documents you need from them, and those you need to create.


Think outside the box

You could say this about any job, but the ability to be agile and come up with an alternative approach, strategically or tactically is essential.

Community managers must constantly think about how to make their profiles stand out. This is increasingly difficult as the industry constantly evolves.

How ? Set aside some time every month to brainstorm, include the client as well as the team to come up with fresh and diverse thinking for the weeks ahead.


Have a thirst for knowledge

When work is busy it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest developments, but I can’t overstate the importance of trying to do so.

Even in a big agency with lots of community managers, teams do fall behind on trends and techniques, which can potentially hinder the performance of accounts. Always set aside time to read up on social media and online marketing news.

How ? I personally check Feedly every day, and the Rabbitgram daily email is a great daily newsletter. If your team uses Slack, then add a ‘news’ channel to share developments.


Always be engaging

I strongly advise you invest time to engage with other social media users as creating social imagery and copy. Too often community managers get trapped in a routine of sharing posts and forget to talk to other people.

Strike up a conversation with an industry influencer, outreach to customers, or write content about someone or something that is relevant to the brand.  You will be surprised by the response rate.

How? Create a list of influencers and see how they use their social media channels. Based on this, you can develop a strategy to engage with them.

There are lots of traits that make a great community manager – what are they? Share your thoughts with us at @Honey_Social

Tom Channell

Tom is a Client Director at The Honey Partnership. You can follow him at @T_Channell.

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