Today we hosted our weekly Google + Community Manager Hangout! Each week, the hangout gets larger, and more great thought leaders join in. Today’s topic was ‘Community Managers and Jobs.’ There was an incredible balance between listening and participating amongst the ‘hangouters.’
Hangout Participants and Google+ Profiles:
Eiko Isler: Lives in Germany; MMO Community Manager at Gameforge
Karen Johnson: Community Manager at Wilton Brands, Inc.
Steffen Slackie: Lives in Germany; Community Moderator; “Social Anthropologist”
Matt Janey: Program Evaluation Coordinator
Maddie Ruud: Community Manager at HubPages for 4 years now!
Matt Buck: Manages Online Communities; Owns Business Website
David DeWald: Online Community Manager
Rosemary O’Neill: President of Social Strata, Inc.; Community Manager since 1998!
Michael Hahn: Former Community Owner; Managing online communities since 1998 as well!
Jenny Weigle: Social Media Manager at Career Builder
Sue John: Online Community Manager and Moderator; Refer to Sue’s Jobs Board
Megan Larsen: Community Manager at My Community Manager
Tim McDonald: Community Manager at Astek; Mentor at My Community Manager
How did you get a Community Manager job?
- Mike Hahn has been running communities since 1998. Mike’s community manager job got him a 911 dispatcher job where he delivered babies over the phone. (@mbhahn – ask him yourself!)
- Maddie Ruud suggests that if you’re looking for a job, participate in the community before getting the job. This allows one to build ‘reputation,’ both in the gaming industry and communities in general.
- You can also volunteer for an organization that aligns with your goals and passions. Tim McDonald unknowingly became a community manager after he first started volunteering for Social Media Club.
- Karen Johnson has been in the industry for 15 years! Karen suggests one possesses skills such as: the willingness to learn, having the passion to work with instructors and mentors – and most importantly, ‘communication and connection.’ Karen couldn’t have said it better herself!
- Eiko Isler’s career initially started with his interest in games. He said most community managers are former gamers – 90% played the games before becoming community managers. Gaming ‘ language’ is true and honest to the community – TRUE gamers – are those who are community managers (in the gaming industry).
Tips for Job Seekers:
- You can’t be a community manager anywhere. You need to have the ability to interact. You need to have an understanding and a passion of the community you’re involved in.
- Most people becoming community managers are seeing a shift from traditional to social community managers. Important questions to consider before interviewing for your community manager position: What is important? Are you willing to be passionate about the subject area? You may not be a super expert immediately, but can you develop passion?
- Matt Janey suggests you ask yourself these questions: What is the culture of this community? It’s important to have an understanding of culture – it’s our responsibility as “social anthropologists.”
- Matt Buck talked about using a new platform and standing out on it. For example, check out what Daria Musk has done with her music.
- Tim McDonald suggests working in a fast-paced environment – such as retail – as a starting point for students looking to become community managers. Engaging customers with a smile on your face, but also knowing when to step in – is a good skill to have as a community manger.
- Build your community first – This is nothing new, but taking it seriously requires dedication and passion: Getting yourself out there, making yourself visible to the public – both online and offline – and building your credibility and influence.
Where are Community Manager Job Opportunities?
- Matt Buck loves using G+. He has built his own community there. Also, build your personal website to improve your online influence.
- Michael Hahn suggests looking for and incorporating ‘keywords’ into your resume and job searches. Examples include:
- ’Community Moderator Knowledge Moderator’
- ’Social Media Community Manager’ (makes job easier to find)
- ‘Online Community Manager’
- If you want to become a community manager in the ‘digital space,’ and you don’t have community manager experience, you may find it hard to convince your employer why you fit in there. Tim McDonald suggests staying on top of the newest tools to excel.
- Matt Janey encourages community managers in the digital age to understand messaging and targeting in order to build and maintain brand voice across the web- much like traditional marketing communications.
Sue’s Job Tips:
- Understand the rise in community manager jobs since December, 2011.
- A recent trend from the rise of community manager jobs is the blend of community managers taking on social media roles.
- LinkedIn job titles can often be misleading, so look further into the job description.
- Additional tips:
- Add job title and skill sets on LinkedIn
- Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn
Thank you to everyone who joined the hangout, and to those who’ve joined us in the past! We look forward to our next Hangout on Friday, March 16 at 1pm CST. Do you have any questions or comments? We’d be happy to hear from you!