Community management isn't what it used to be. The skills of posting content, responding to questions and inciting conversation are still critical and at the heart of any social media marketing program, but these skills somehow seem quaint by today's standards.
Marketers are now challenged with delivering compelling creative content that stops people in their tracks, while simultaneously monitoring how content is performing and then allocating dollars to boost performance. This is a far cry from what community management used to mean.
Expanding the Skill Set
One skill that can't always be taught is understanding how to talk to people, and that's really what being a community manager is all about, but that's the bar for entry today. Now, we have to understand how to make people care with content that speaks to them at an emotional level. Then, we have to leverage data, analytics and media to make sure our messages are seen and then shared.
Community management has grown up. It's gone from being touchy feely to being pretty geeky, requiring a deep understanding in the art (connecting with people and creating compelling content) and science (evaluating performance and tying KPIs back to business objectives).
The title of community manager doesn't even begin to describe what is needed anymore. It scratches the surface.
Someone will always need to be the voice of the brand within a community and equally the voice of the community within a brand, but a strong social team also requires creative expertise, analytics and media.
The Modern Day-to-Day Team
There was a time when a community manager could do it all. Now, even that role is often needing support from software and automated tools in order to be prompt and effective when addressing community needs.
Tools only go so far. In addition to a community manager, bringing in elements of creative and data/media allow for brands to nimbler and more effective. These skills are needed on a daily (or nearly daily basis) to capitalize on content opportunities. It's gone from a community manager to a community engagement team.
Community management just isn't what it used to be.