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?