This entry is part of the Vitrue Community Manager Master Class, featuring new content focused on marketers and community managers every Monday at 11 am e.s.t.. This free content can be found on our blog, Facebook wall and Twitter (#CMMC) stream.
“Mommy, where do Community Managers come from?” How to find star community managers, a question that can stump even the most knowledgeable of authority figures, including brand bosses. Of course, we all know the real answer is “ABAI” (anybody but an intern). But now that we’ve hopefully gotten past the debate of whether or not brands need a Community Manager at all, the next issue is where do we find these people?
We’ve gone over the traits a good Community Manager candidate should have in our previous blog post ”How To Know You’re Not Community Manager Material“. What we haven’t done is point you toward the fields where such creatures tend to graze so you can go out and bag one. For big brands, there’s the obvious route. You can draft Community Managers already working at smaller brands. Offer them more money, dazzle them with what’s available in your snack room, and they can be recruited.
But if you’re a small or medium brand, or if you’re a big brand who wants to really get creative and innovative about who you have representing you across the social networks, there are a few rocks that haven’t been looked under yet. Here are some out-of-the-box suggestions for people who could be your next star Community Manager.
They’re used to working with brands, used to representing brands in public, used to coming up with ideas to get people to care about brands, and sensitive to corporate needs. The challenge: PR people have been trained to by gun-shy and hyper-careful. You’ll need to work with them to loosen up and be the customer’s advocate as well as the brand’s.
I’m not just saying this because I used to be one. I have a job I really like. But think about it. These guys and gals go on the air for hours at a time every single day; they create original, compelling content that attracts, builds and holds audiences; they’re engaging personalities the public likes and gets attached to; they’re experience in interacting with the public, whether the listeners are happy or furious; used to product endorsements and representing advertisers; and they’re not afraid of technology.
The challenge: Take the challenge with PR people and reverse it. These guys are so effective because they’re entertainers. Don’t expect an uber-corporate approach.
Your Brand’s Biggest Fan
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that you’ve got one participant on your social streams that is far more active than the rest. They didn’t just “Like” your Page and split. They engage all the time. They’re deeply connected to what you offer, and you can tell your brand is a significant part of their life. Who better to officially represent your brand while keeping one foot firmly planted as a fan-advocate? If some kid who sounds like Steve Perry could get hired as the new lead singer of Journey, you can hire your biggest fan as your brand’s Community Manager.
The challenge: They’ll probably need more training and hand-holding up front. But you have Vitrue blogs for that.
And I’m not just saying this because I’m a writer. Still lovin’ the job at Vitrue. But…there is a veritable sea of unemployed or underemployed writers and journalists out there. Good ones. People who are talented at what they do, but fell between the cracks due to the changes affecting traditional print. They tend to have a flair for knowing who their audience is and knowing what will catch their attention. Very little content was ever created without a writer first sitting down at a blank page and making it un-blank.
The challenge: Brevity. They like words, so they’ll have to be encouraged to keep everything catchy, but short.
Political Campaign Managers
Because when you think about it, all a Community Manager is really doing all day is trying to get their brand elected. They’re trying to get votes from the public. If they’re good, they should already be adept at putting the best face on the brand possible, adept at getting attention, and adept at crisis management.
The challenge: They’ll want to put signs with your brand on it in people’s yards. But that’s actually a good idea.
Let us know if you found your Community Manager in an unlikely or overlooked place?