A community manager is the person you hire to talk to your leads or customers—and chances are they’ll spend MORE time talking to them than you do.
Which means… this is an important hire. You’ll need someone with a proven track record of being an awesome community manager, so you know that your leads and customers are in safe hands.
This can sound scary at first, but once you find the perfect community manager for your business—you’ll be so grateful that you outsourced community management to someone passionate about making your community the best place it can be.
But who is that person?
6 Things to Look for When Hiring a Community Manager:
#1: Someone Who Knows the Importance of Filtering from the Very Beginning
Your community manager is in charge of making your community a fun place to be. Online communities can either be awesome places to hang out… or a black hole of self-promotion and spam that turns your community into one of the least enjoyable places online.
Obviously, we’re aiming for the former. That means you need a community manager who knows the importance of filtering your community from the very start. They’ll understand that 100,000 members doesn’t mean anything if half of those people are just trying to promote their own offers without adding any value to the group.
Ask your community manager candidates: How do you vet new requests to make sure they are aligned with our group and will be a valuable part of our community?
#2: Someone Who Has Experience Creating Community Policies & Guidelines
On the topic of creating a high-quality group, your community manager is going to put together your community’s policies and guidelines. You’ll want someone who has experienced creating policies that ensure your group is a positive and safe place for your members and has clear rules as to what is and isn’t allowed by members.
Here’s an example of what our guidelines look like for the DigitalMarketer Engage Group:
Ask your community manager candidates: Do you have examples of policies and guidelines you’ve created for communities you previously managed?
#3: Someone Who Has Experience with YOUR Top Channels that You’re Using
Community channels are not created equal—a community manager who has nailed managing a community on Reddit might not be able to do the same on Facebook. While this isn’t always the case, you do want to be aware of the specific channel experience your community manager has.
Here are a few different channels you may see on a candidate’s resume:
- Community on a website
Ask your community manager candidates: What channels do you have the most experience with?
#4: Someone that Understands Your Brand Voice
This is a CRUCIAL part of your hiring decision for your new community manager—you need someone who is going to create a consistent brand experience with your members. If you have a very specific brand voice, your leads and customers are going to feel less trustworthy of your brand if they’re reading an entirely different brand voice in your community.
To make sure your community manager is nailing your brand voice, give them access to your branding guidelines so they know exactly what they’re aiming for.
Here’s an example of our Community Manager Michelle Dalton absolutely nailing the DigitalMarketer brand voice:
Ask your community manager candidates: Do you have examples of posts you’ve written from a similar brand voice to ours or are you willing to give us 1–2 examples of posts you’d write in our community based on our brand voice?
#5: Someone Who Can Show on Brand, Mature Responses to Difficult Posts from Unhappy Community Members
One of the hardest parts of being a community manager is dealing with unhappy community members. Unhappy people are hard to talk to and your community manager has to be willing to have difficult conversations to keep your community safe and a positive experience for your members.
You’ll want to make sure your community manager has experience with these difficult conversations and is able to maintain your brand voice while talking with them. This isn’t to stay that if your brand voice is fun and playful that they have to stick entirely to that script—but if they turn full corporate your other members are going to feel like they might not know you as well as they thought…
Ask your community manager candidates: Do you have examples of difficult conversations you’ve had with unhappy community members?
#6: Someone Who Has Ideas About Growth
Since your community manager is going to be talking with your leads and customers every day—you want to hire somebody who’s going to be opportunistic with these conversations. Ideally, your community manager is coming to you with new ideas for content or offers based on the conversations that happened in your community over the week.
Extra bonus points if they’ve run a community growth campaign before—but that’s just a cherry on top.
Ask your community manager candidates: Are you able to give us new content and offer ideas based on the conversations you’re having in the group?
Your community manager is such an important hire—they’re going to represent your business on a daily basis to a group of your leads or customers. Finding the right community manager can seem scary, but it’s not once you know what questions to ask them that showcase their expertise and ability to absolutely smash their role.
Ask your community manager candidate’s these 6 questions to make sure you’re hiring the perfect manager for your community.