Online communities are the most widely used form of market research for mature brands and organizations. A little over 70% of all organizations now use online communities to gain insights into their target business markets, including from existing as well as prospective customers.
What makes these communities tick is a robust community management platform or tool but, more importantly, a community manager that drives engagement and navigates the platform like a pro. Managers of a community are required to know how to derive meaningful conversations and also collect actionable insights for the brand.
All these factors make the job a heady mix of various skills that are scientific, analytical, and interpersonal. But are there some skills that are an absolute must and some that are good to have. Enlisted below are talents that each community manager must have to do their job well but, more importantly, get the most value out of the community.
Examples of the top ten skills that every efficient community manager should have
To create a high-performing community that is highly engaged and healthy, we have enlisted ten skills with examples that every community manager should have.
Excellent communication skills
One non-negotiable skill for a community manager is excellent communication. To understand and drive conversations, having a hold on communication is imperative. A healthy community needs spurts of ideas and new engagement activities. The ability to take organizational level objectives and marrying them to the audience in the community requires excellent communication skills.
Organizational and project management skills
An online community consists of multiple moving parts. Since these studies traditionally span more prolonged periods than traditional surveys, many times, the community has various discussions and data collection activities at the same time. Staying on top of it to derive value is what defines the value of an efficient community manager. Organizational and project management skills to bring together all of the moving parts, thereby are essential traits for the role.
Deriving insights from community members isn’t a very straightforward activity. Understanding user personas, uncovering feelings and thoughts require a little more guile than everyday communication. Sometimes, community members also need to be coerced in the right direction. Strong interpersonal skills enhance the engagement levels in the community and show the audience that their opinions do matter.
Market research can be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. And insight communities tend to use both research methods to get excellent feedback, ideas, and thoughts from the community. Having analytical skills can help a community manager uncover underlying thoughts about and for a brand from the interactions within the community.
Market research skills
Since a community web platform consists of market research principles, a good hold on the understanding of basic principles of market research is necessary. Knowing what types of studies and questions elicit what kinds of responses are essential. In some studies, collecting text data along with rich media is critical to the brand, and a community manager must know which research method to deploy to get the most insights.
To get the most relevant information from a research topic means that the community manager must drive the conversations towards the most pertinent insights. Marrying organizational objectives and community member feedback warrants a strong domain knowledge. Knowing what’s required and what is missing to get the best ideas is an essential trait for an active community manager.
For efficient community management, the administrator or manager needs to be adaptable to deal with any situations that may arise. Since many studies are carried out in conjunction with many members, there are a lot of things that can change overnight or even go south. Being able to deal with such situations makes the community manager, a valuable resource.
An online community is very healthy when there are multiple moving parts such as surveys, polls, questionnaires, qualitative discussions, focus groups, etc. In such a scenario, the community manager needs to know what works for everyone, including what would keep the members highly engaged. This also includes an understanding of rewarding members, including cash, rewards, and gamified rewards, to get the most out of the community.
Love for the brand
When a community manager loves a brand, there is more of a zeal to collect valuable, actionable insights. But more importantly, this person acts as the face of the brand, and members love communicating with such a person. This gives community members the impression that their voice is heard and hence provide suggestions, recommendations, and feedback.
Ability to navigate community management tools
Lastly, an essential skill that a community manager should possess is the ability to navigate and leverage a community management software for better and smarter insights collection. QuestionPro Communities, along with its community management portal, also has efficient community managers that are well versed with the tool and can use it for better insights management. Having a hold on the software provides a compelling platform for relevant data collection, as well as the ability to listen to the voice of the customers.