Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
I would have to honestly say my boss, Mana Ionescu. I started working with her when I was a sophomore in college. From the very beginning she was supportive about my career ambitions and never once treated me like I was a college student. I have learned from her every step of the way what it means to be a community manager.
What is the most important part of being a community manager?
For me it’s all about the people. The most important part of what I do is communicating with my audiences. Social media is truly a two-way road and with that comes communication from both ends. I’ve learned throughout this journey that people love talking. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. If you take the time to just listen, connect and respond- it’s just a happy place. I work with many different business realms and it’s always interesting learning from the different audiences from each. The people know what they want. And I love being there to hear what they have to say and do everything I can do make their day a little brighter.
If you could attend one conference to learn about community management, what would it be and why?
I have always dreamed about attending SXSW ever since I entered into the PR world in college. Some of the greatest and most brilliant minds are collectively at the same place at the same time. I would just soak in every minute of it.
What is your favorite book that has helped you become a better community manager?
I love this question! I just got done reading “Content Rules” by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman and it is one of the few business related books that I got really into and just couldn’t put down. The phrasing is just so brilliant that here at the office we sometimes find ourselves directly quoting the book to our clients. Here are some of the rules…
- Embrace being a publisher
- Insight inspires originality
- Build momentum
- Speak human
- Reimagine; don’t recycle
- Share or solve; don’t shill
- Show; don’t just tell
- Do something unexpected
- Stoke the campfire
- Create wings and roots
- Play to your strengths
What do you like best about being a community manager?
What I like best is also the most important part about being a community manager- the people. Like I said earlier, I just really enjoy sharing my knowledge and communicating and learning from others. It’s very rewarding.
What skill should every community manager have?
I believe that everyone that is in this field must not only be a great communicator, but an excellent writer. A lot of what I do is with social media so in order to say what I mean, it’s important to be able to communicate that with text.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
I had as really fun client a while ago that was open to new ideas and was just so fun to work with. We built their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest page from the ground up and they were a short-term client so we worked with them for only about a month and a half or so. Throughout that very short period of time, we had a fan base well over 1,000 full of the most incredible and interactive people. We had launched a very successful Facebook campaign and landed many product review blog posts. The fans were such a joy to talk to. It was definitely a fun project!
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
When I was in college I held four internship positions and I was very involved with various community activities and events. I was a PRSSA member for three years and I was also on the Board of Directors of @midwest, a social media conference while I was still an undergraduate. I entered into as many contests and projects and campaigns as I could because it is just SO extremely important to go as knees deep as you can as soon as you can. I was so fortunate to be so involved because I learned so much more than I possibly could in just a classroom setting alone. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get as involved as possible. Meet people. Network. Make friends. Learn as much you can from the people around you and never, ever stop learning.
Tell us about a job that helped prepare you to become a community manager and why.
I would have to say- all of them. I try to learn in everything that I do. But one that stand out is my first job in high school. I worked at a large retail store for over four years and honestly that job really did prepare me the most. You can only imagine the mass of complaints and issues that are handled in a retail setting- especially close to Christmas! (Don’t even get me started about Black Friday!!) Retail teaches you compassion and customer service. The customer may not be always right, but you certainly treat them with the upmost respect and do as much as you can to help them in the timeliest manner. Certainly I run into the same scenarios today with my job as a Social Media Community Manager!
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