Experience aside, most community manager jobs look for the wrong skills. If community building is about bringing a group of people together and developing a community spirit amongst them – then you need to find people with skills that fit that.
There is a real skill involved in this line of work Most Facebook groups, Ning sites, forums and branded communities fail because the individuals in charge of them don’t have the skill for this line of work.
- Ability to develop community spirit. Fostering community spirit between an unconnected group of people is a real talent. Traditional marketers and web designers don’t have this, but great community builders know how to go deep within the community to build the connections that lead to a powerful community spirit. Obvious question: “How would you develop a community spirit?”
- A clear criteria for creating a community. A skilled community builder has a set list of requirements a boss/client must pass before creating a community. S/he makes sure these foundations are in place before developing a community
- Interpersonal connections. A skilled community builder knows how to have thousands of online one to one interactions and end each on a constructive note that deepens a relationship. How does your prospect engage you in his/her e-mails?
- Empathy. It’s vague, but it’s there. A skilled community builder can empathize with what members really want. This is a learned skill rather than an inherent one. They know if a member is seeking power, fame, money or just wants more friends. Even better, they know how to ensure every member can get what they want from the community.
- Resolving debates the proper way. A skilled community builder doesn’t remove the post to end a fight, they reach out to both individuals and resolve the problem that caused the post in the first place. When has your prospect resolved a debate without removing a post?
There are certainly plenty more, but if I were hiring – these are the key skills I’d want to see in my recruit. Almost everything else can be learnt (or taught) in a few days.