Does the Community Manager Need To Be An Expert?

June 18, 2013Comments Off on Does the Community Manager Need To Be An Expert?

Patrick writes you
don’t need to be a subject expert to run a community
for that topic.
Patrick is right. Sometimes you don’t need to be an expert. However, it helps
if you are.

It helps if you have a large number of existing
relationships, a huge passion, and a wealth of expertise on that topic. If you
don’t have these, it’s far more difficult to manage a community.

This has two implications.

First, if you’re hiring a community manager look for
evidence of expertise, relationships, and passion. Look for the community
managers which have:

  • Existing relationships in that topic
  • General thoughts and ideas about the future of
    that sector
  • Read books about the topic (and can speak confidently
    about them)
  • Have participated heavily within the topic
    elsewhere.

Second, if you don’t have these things – then work to get
them. Build those relationships, read and practice widely in that topic, keep a
journal or online resources with your progress for newcomers. Begin publishing
your own material. Expertise doesn’t take as long as you might imagine.

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