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7 Things That Make a Good Online Community Manager

Good Online Community Manager

As you put on the shoes of a dynamic community manager, your priority shifts to establishing an affinity between your customers and your brand. Successful community managers should always strive to boost customer retention and engagement in the digitized business space.

Amidst a good deal of competition in the virtual world, online communities have doubled up as a forum for interaction between customers, and as a strategy to foster your brand image. It makes sense to build a fruitful and engaging community in the long run.

But establishing a self-sufficient community takes time and, most importantly, expertise. Online engagement experts like Viafoura closely work with digital media brands to grow their respective communities. With professional support, monitoring conversations, setting metrics, and organizing the data turns out to be a breezier affair!

Let’s explore the core elements that define the profile of a successful online community manager.

What skills make an online community manager?

The scope of online community management largely differs based on your brand, activities, and current customer base. However, successful community managers should have some basic hard and soft skills. Have a look at some of these core elements that can make or break your community.

Hard skills

Understanding of social psychology

Regardless of your industry, managing an online community involves a basic knowledge of social psychology. Successful community managers should understand group dynamics and make intelligent decisions accordingly.

Project and team management

You might be running several contests, projects, or group activities in the community simultaneously to maintain engagement. From time to time, the community manager needs to put on the hat of a project manager as well.

Editing and copywriting

The community manager needs to make announcements, post blogs, mail newsletters, dispatch messages and other types of content to the members. With adequate editing and copywriting skills, they can come up with engaging creative materials and adjust messaging to suit the brand’s needs.

Soft skills

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence among community managers is one of the most important soft skills. Being empathetic and understanding, they can get a feel for how the community will emotionally respond to a specific topic. Accordingly, they can come up with strategic decisions to keep them engaged and respond positively.

Intercultural communication

Your community might consist of individuals from different communities with distinct outlooks. A successful online forum manifests its uniqueness when it can cater to people of all ages and backgrounds. A community manager needs to foster intermixed communication between these various groups to establish proper interaction with these members successfully.

Leadership

Community managers are responsible for cultivating your brand’s culture among its members. Inspiring or motivating members and working with individuals and groups demonstrates strong leadership traits.

Stress tolerance

You must be aware of and know how to handle negativity in your online community. Serving as the mediator between the brand and its community, the manager needs to draw a line of defense against negative behaviour. A sense of humour, along with diplomacy and people management skills, can get the manager through challenging situations.

 Developing a buzzing online community for your brand

Experienced community managers channel their charisma, personality, and core skills to nurture a healthy team of followers. Around 64% of community members have been using forums and community boards more frequently than they used to do in the past. This points to the increasing participation of internet users in these communities.

Forward-thinking community managers have shown the best way to cultivate their brand culture and foster a healthy environment in the forums. Here’s how you should expect community managers to tackle their challenges.

1. Handling negative feedback

While you might appreciate a positive vibe among your community members, you also need to brace yourself for the opposite. Not all the members will get along with each other, and you might even run into trouble-makers in every community. Prudent community managers respond to negative feedback on time and resolve emerging issues.

Moreover, community managers need to be patient enough to educate their offending members displaying poor behaviour. Balancing professionalism and diplomacy, they should tackle negative feedback with tact. Failure to do so might lead to a negative response and an unfavourable response from the community.

2. Setting adequate metrics

It makes sense to deploy digital tools that can serve as a metric for your success in engaging community members. Whether you drive leads, build a brand, or simply market your products or services, your success should be ‘measurable’.

Online community managers use metrics to work on monthly themes, find topics on discussions, and make intelligent decisions to boost engagement. Here are some of the key elements they consider.

Traffic inflow

Businesses that have their communities on their official website should be vigilant about new traffic inflow. In case this traffic flow increases over time, community managers should determine their source and cater content towards these demographics.

Engagement

Not all the people visiting your community will find it engaging at the same level. However, by deploying advanced analytic tools, community managers can monitor audience discussions and responses to adjust content to keep them hooked. Accordingly, they can plan their future posts, contests, discussions, and blogs to ensure maximum engagement.

Member count

While you might be looking forward to expanding your online community, the reverse might also happen. In case you find that you’ve lost members over a period, the community manager should deploy adequate measures to address the cause of the drop and prevent further falloff.

3. Establishing guidelines

Your online community serves as an instrument to manifest your brand’s culture. Therefore, the community manager is responsible for establishing standard guidelines for the members to follow.

Again, you should expect troublemakers in every community who won’t respect these norms. The community manager should have a mechanism to remove rule-breaking or inappropriate comments. Therefore, if they remove a comment or ban a member, it would be wise to provide the rationale and reasoning for the decision. This ensures that others wouldn’t repeat the same mistake, maintaining the integrity of the community.

 Endnote

Online community managers often wear multiple professional hats - working on networking, initiating discussions, and infusing every conversation with a personality. As a result, digital media brands can successfully entrust community managers to engage their members and excel when compared to competitors.

Thus, it’s wise to consider using tools and software solutions when you’re managing dynamic communities. Growing your online community can be amazingly easy with products specifically designed to take care of valuable discussions, moderations, and engagement.

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