FACE: 4 Traits To Look For When Hiring Your Social Media Community Manager

A social media community manager is very different from a social media strategist, although the same person can often wear both hats. A strategist will help you analyze the existing channels, your current marketing plan, and your budget and help you identify the best way to leverage social networks to share your message and engage your community.

Your community manager, on the other hand, will be the person who is tweeting, posting, friending, commenting, responding, and engaging with your customers, employees, and the members of your online community. Finding the right community manager can be critical to your social media success, so here are a few traits that I recommend you consider when searching for the social media “FACE” of your organization:

is for Flexibility – Community management is not easy. Sometimes the members of the community are happy, sometimes they’rre angry and being able to work with the members of your community to solve problems requires creativity and flexibility. Add to that, the job of developing new content ideas and finding new ways to share valuable information and that’s a lot to ask from one person. Ask any community manager and they will likely tell you that their day working with their community rarely goes as they had planned.

is for Attention to Detail – Mistakes can (and will happen), but having a community manager that has a close eye for detail will help you avoid a lot of mistakes. Whether they’re simple mistakes like grammar or spelling, or big mistakes like sending a message from the wrong account, you’ll want to avoid them by choosing someone with a close attention to detail.

is for Cool – A good community manager needs to have both a cool head and a cool hand, because ‘C’ also stands for Crisis. Every brand that leverages social media is going to have to deal with a crisis at some time, so having someone who doesn’t lash back at the community or engage in flame wars is critical. Additionally, they often have to understand how to convince social media ostriches of the value of social, an activity that can sometimes be extremely frustrating.

E is for empathyis for Empathy – A good community is able to listen to your community, understand their wants, needs, and concerns and be able to truly understand how to help. A community manager that doesn’t care about your community is of no use. Choose someone who is willing to listen, learn, and understand how your customers or community members feel. A little empathy goes a loooooooong way!

One suggestion for locating a community manager is to look within. Often, organizations have employees who already know their products and services and have a high level of interest in social media. Sometimes, this makes for a nice fit. Alternatively, search online job postings for community manager positions and see what qualities and experience other companies in your industry are seeking

Have other traits that you have found valuable, I’d love to hear them in a comment!


Comments And Reactions

  1. This was a great blog post! I am the community manager at Uptown Treehouse and it most definitely takes the listed traits to be good at this job. Reading this has already got my mind reeling for a new blog post. I’d love your feedback once it goes live. Happy blogging!

    Laura K.

    • Laura,

      Would love to see the blog post! If you’re interested, I am also putting together a private community specifically for online community managers where we can share tips, best practices, articles, and case studies. It’s in early beta right now, but if you’d like to check it out, feel free to visit http://www.withinfluence.com and check it out.



  2. I love the way you put it in such a memorable way. FACE. I could even memorize it immediately. Excellent work.

    Also, as an employer I would like to add the mistakes in hiring that I’ve learned from the past years of experience in hiring.

    First, hiring only local people like only on Workopolis or any other local site (since I’m in Canada) means missing out on other talented people on other parts of the world.

    Second is failing to test them before hiring them. Most of these people just look good on paper and are never able to perform their tasks well.

    Third is neglecting the possibility of working from home. This could equate to more productivity for your business.

    There are a lot more to take note of but these are the most common.

  3. What’s difference between a SoMe Community Manager and a SoMe Customer Services Manager ?

    If there’s not so much of a difference I’d like to buy an ‘S’ for Service too which would make me a winner with ‘FACES’ then.

  4. Yeah – I agree FACE is very memorable – not just specifically for a social media community manager – but for any manager ! 🙂

  5. Lovely work keep it up !!

  6. Etienne Crete says:

    Very useful and I think it is really what people should look for.

  7. Quite helpful. Thanks for your insight.

  8. I enjoyed this article and thought that your point about looking within the organization was well taken. Too many times entities get suckered into trying to find a social media manager guru from the outside who knows nothing about the business.

  9. Michelle Gilstrap says:

    Not all organizations can afford to have both. Many non-profits are lucky to have 1 person doing all things with social media. I think this needs to be considered.

  10. Gary Brewer says:

    FACE: 4 Traits To Look For When Hiring Your Social Media Community Manager http://t.co/u1LZTKDY с помощью @socmedsean

  11. FACE – Nice anagram to remember the four traits my.

  12. I really like the FACE structure and the points are all key.

  13. Online community managers may serve a variety of roles depending on the nature and purpose of their online community, which may or may not be part of a profit motivated enterprise.
    Here are few questions that you might want to ask your potential community manager. What is:
    brand, social media, PR, loyalty program, business mission, customer relations…

  14. David Sanger says:

    I’d add Clarity, being able to clearly communicate with the public, with users. It goes along with paying attention to detail so that they can really listen and communicate.


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