The key skills of the community manager

If we had to define the profile of a community manager with a single word, it would be multidisciplinary. You want to know why? Keep reading.

Employment resources

Without a doubt, community manager is one of the digital professions that has become most popular in recent decades. Although it is true that in the beginning the role of community manager was somewhat diffuse, it is now well defined. What do you have to know how to do? We’ll tell you then. 

The figure of community manager

In strict terms, the community manager profile is responsible for creating stable and lasting links, as well as managing the conversation with the audience of a brand or organization through social media with the aim of promoting a positive online reputation. In addition, they facilitate the conversion of it into clientele.  

In this sense, it is a technical or operational profile that focuses on the execution of actions and is responsible for daily tasks surrounding the brand’s social media presence. 

However, it is common, especially in smaller organizations, for the community manager position to also assume the strategic functions of the Social Media Strategist or Social Media Manager.  

Also, the creation of content for other digital communication channels such as blogs, e-mailing actions, press offices, etc. Coming to fill a position closer to that of ‘digital communication technician’.  

What the community manager profile is not 

However, what should not be lost sight of is that the community manager profile is an expert in social media but not a specialist in all the profiles of marketing and digital communication.   

That is, you will have general and comprehensive notions of digital communication but you are not an advanced profile in other areas such as web, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SEA (Search Engine Advertising), e-mail marketing, growth hacking and business development, trafficker, e-commerce or press officer, to give some examples.  

Technical skills of the community manager profile 

In this sense, it is understood that among the main competencies necessary to carry out the tasks of the position of a community manager are: 

  • Adapt messages to social media channels respecting the identity and personality of the brand. Understand and know how to follow the guidelines of communication strategies and tactics defined in documents such as brand manuals, style guides, communication and marketing plans. Etc. In short, they guarantee that social media communication is coherent and cohesive with respect to the rest of the digital and traditional communication actions.  
  • Know in depth the configuration, spaces, formats, functionalities and resources of the different social platforms. Without a doubt this is one of the biggest challenges faced by those dedicated to social media management, taking into account the constant changes that occur on Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch; and of course on vertical or niche (sectoral) platforms and other social media such as Google My Business.  
  • Clearly understand and differentiate marketing, communication and social media objectives, as well as the different communication strategies, tactics and tools. This profile must know how to identify the different types of communication and develop sales promotion, direct marketing, advertising and public relations actions on social media channels. 
  • Persuasive, informative and SEO writing. One of the main tasks of this profile is to write with different objectives, in different tones and styles and taking into account organic positioning in search engines and explorers, both internal – within the platforms – and external. To achieve this, it is key to apply copywriting techniques, journalistic writing and, of course, the language of social media channels (emoticons, hashtags, highlights, links, etc.) and the rules of internet behaviour (netiquette).  
  • Creation of multimedia content. Although we should not confuse the role of community manager with that of content manager, it is a priority to know how to develop materials for social networks. In other words, the community manager is not a graphic designer, photographer or videographer, but must be proficient in design, photography and basic editing of animations, video and audio, and have knowledge of audiovisual communication and still images (shots, angles, movements, and what they communicate).  
  • Know and use the audience research tool and definition of the buyer persona. The functions of this position also include extracting information and generating knowledge about the audience that allows guiding actions and optimizing conversion processes. 
  • Content curation and selection of information sources. Both when creating content and sharing third-party content, it is important that this profile has the appropriate criteria to define reliable and truthful sources, and select content that aligns with the editorial (values ​​and attributes) of the brand.  
  • Public service and customer service. Social networks have become a space for customer service, the first place the audience goes to resolve questions and queries. In this sense, the social skills that we will talk about later are key. They also define processes and protocols
  • Configuration of advertising campaigns on social networks (Social Media Ads, SMA). As we already mentioned, this profile is not an expert in digital advertising, but must have the ability to configure small campaigns and promote content on social networks. 
  • Analyst skills and abilities. This profile must know and understand the metrics and statistics (KPIs), as well as their standard parameters to be able to analyze results. Also handle analytics tools, those of the platforms and third parties. And, in this same sense, create dashboards, develop and present reports, as well as proposals and improvements.  
  • Notions of cybersecurity and digital protection. This is a digital competence that is becoming more important every day for all citizens. Identifying fake news, fraudulent links or contacts, and internet hoaxes are key to avoiding the hacking of social accounts and profiles, as well as activities such as phishing or cyberbullying.  

Personal and social skills of the community manager profile 

Social skills are a more or less defined set of competencies inherent to how human beings function in society. These skills usually have empathy and assertiveness as their central axis, but they are organized around several subgroups: basic and advanced skills, affective skills, dynamization or moderation skills (alternatives to aggression), skills to cope with stress and skills of planning. 

Thus, among the social skills that people who want to dedicate themselves to the work of community managers must have are: 

  • Creativity, innovation and curiosity. This profile must be an innate explorer, always on the hunt for fashions, trends and opportunities for conversation. Look for alternatives, formats, tools, opinion leaders, etc. 
  • Ability to transmit ideas and guidelines. Although it may seem obvious, to promote collaboration, knowing how to clearly and concisely define what is required or asked of other people, both outside and inside, the organization itself is very important in an environment characterized by immediacy. 
  • Ability to energize the conversation. Far from what you might think, in social media conversations, the protagonist should not be the brand but the audience, so the community manager profile must guide, channel and moderate the conversation, but not be the one who concentrates it. 
  • Teamwork: the profile usually works with other people both inside and outside their organization, of different profiles and ranks, so they must know how to adapt the registry and coordinate with other profiles. 
  • Crisis and complaint management, ability to self-control and to express or argue opinions, emotions or feelings with respect and negotiation skills. Especially important when managing negative comments and complaints, these capabilities will often prevent a comment from becoming a reputational crisis with the so-called snowball effect. 
  • Active listening: we can define active listening as the difference between hearing and hearing. In other words, always maintain a proactive attitude and willingness to accept differences in opinion or point of view. 
  • Sense of humour or ability to understand jokes. In the case of the community manager profile, it is important not to forget that we represent a brand or organization, the conversations do not refer to the person who works behind the screen. One of the handicaps of written language in this space is the difficulty in discerning the tone of the messages. We cannot forget that humour, irony, double meanings and clichés are not universal
  • Problem resolution and decision making: as a result of the immediacy, expiration and constant demand of these media, this profile must have a high capacity to respond to unforeseen events, be flexible, decisive, dynamic and proactive. 
  • Time management, prioritising and determining the importance and urgency of tasks. In line with the previous one, you must be a person with the ability to plan, not only the contents and publications, but also the tasks necessary to carry them out. Provide a vision and project management, control times and deadlines, and define needs and resources.  

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