Each year millions of students graduate in various fields and have no clue what they will do for work. That actually happened to me. I graduated in 2010 with a MA in Leadership and Management from York, England. My thesis was on Social Media & Leadership, which meant many surveys were conducted through Twitter. During this time I was fortunate to virtually meet my next employer @SocialNicole. Once I returned home stateside I started off as an intern and later promoted to Community Manager. I really didn’t have any understanding what the role was but I was absolutely excited.
What Skills Have I Learned From Being a CM:
- Patience is a virtue. This has never been a strong skill for me – I always want immediate feedback and want to see results. Unfortunately with online communities you have to take it like a science experiment – you have created a community and now it’s time to watch it grow.
- Communicate in a different tone. This was really interesting part for me – as an avid ‘social butterfly ‘– I had to change my tone when speaking in various different communities. At first it is really fun because you feel like a ‘ghost writer’ but once you communicate and get to know fans/tweeps it can get hard because you just want to be ‘real and unveil your mask’.
- Juggling can seem hard at first – At first I must admit – I don’t like juggling projects/clients (yet I like the same routine daily) but multitasking in this role gave me a sense of challenge and accomplishment regarding working on various projects etc.
- Networking. I have never been great at meeting people and telling them what I actually do for a job. With being a Community Manager it opens you up to various social media events and to have the ability to connect with other individuals. Though in my case I could only be vague in what I did (because you’re not supposed to reveal who the clients are).
What I Wish I Had Learned:
- Technology is HUGE. When I started my job I only had my 3 year old HP with a few keys missing and a battery that was nearly dead (unless plugged in). Unfortunately I decided to hold off on purchasing other ‘devices’ but that was poor judgment on my part. As a CM – you constantly need to be connected.
- SEO/Analytics etc. I love learning! Unfortunately when working for a smaller company you don’t always get the chance to learn about the ins/outs about other parts of social media.
Have you recently become a community manager? What unexpected things are you finding?
In her spare time Katie caters to the whims of many canine companions through her business Your Puppy Nanny where she provides “loving care for when you’re not there…”