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7 Qualities of a Good Online Community Manager

A lot of companies place emphasis on ensuring their organization or brand “looks good” online – and that’s important – but they often focus only on the graphic, visual elements of a website or social media platform. More importantly, who’s the voice of your brand online?  Who’s communicating with people via social media on your behalf? Is there a consistent tone?

I recently sat through a Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) webinar that explained what things companies should want in an online community manager and helped paint a picture of what he/she should look like.  Below are seven qualities you should look for (or develop) in your online community manager:

1. Articulate: An online community manager should be able to communicate effectively in a variety of media.  He/she should be capable of clearly expressing the organization’s messages in a language your community members like and understand.

2. Social:  He/she should be able to easily engage in authentic conversations online.  In other words, just because your I.T. guy knows about computers doesn’t mean he’s automatically the right fit – this person needs to be comfortable participating in online discussions and come across as natural.

3. Professional:  Having a personality is great, but coming across as professional is equally, if not more, important.  The person should act as a responsible ambassador for your organization and carry an appropriate, consistent tone across multiple mediums.

4. Adaptable:  An online community manager should be able to make decisions quickly during crisis situations.  This often involves knowing where to look for information, working across multiple departments, understanding the company’s values, and not getting frazzled easily.

5. Enthusiastic:  It’s easy to tell when the person “behind the post” actually cares about the brand and about helping or informing others.  Your online community manager should be energetic, passionate and engaged in relevant topics.

6. Connected:  Key members within your community can come to your defense and/or be your best ambassadors, so the person you choose as a community manager should have ties to the right people within the community, or at least be able to identify them.

7. Organized:  When managing a community, staying organized is key.  A community manager should be able to keep track of data, relationships, content calendars, and a variety of assets essential to maintaining your community.

WOMMA is a fantastic resource for social media newbies and experts, as it puts together case studies, ethics guidelines, and online and in-person educational seminars.  You can follow the organization on Twitter and keep checking back to the NST blog for more information on best practices, trends and updates related to social media.

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