Technical Abilities and Communication Skills for Online Community Managers - dummies

Technical Abilities and Communication Skills for Online Community Managers

By Deborah Ng

People who aren’t familiar with all the roles of an online community manager are surprised to find out that community managers do much more than hang out on Twitter all day.

Online community manager technical abilities

You don’t have to know heavy coding, but it helps to be a little tech-savvy, mostly to be independent and fix things without having to call in the cavalry. It helps to know a little HTML in case your blog is acting funny and to know some basic commands so you can to delete or edit a post.

You should also know how to set up a Facebook landing page, add your brand’s logo to your Twitter account, and give the company newsletter a professional look. You should be able to read your stats or statistics page and know what each metric or measurement is telling you. You should also know how to act on those results.

You don’t need to master Computer Science to be an online community manager, but you should have a basic working knowledge of the various tools and techniques needed to make your job a successful one.

Online community manager communication skills

Because you perform so many tasks and work in conjunction with different departments, there are many opportunities for communication breakdowns. Also, because you may work remotely from home, there’s an even bigger opportunity for members of the teams to be out of the loop.

Being a good communicator is essential to this job:

  • Create a weekly or monthly report for the departments you work with so that there are no surprises.

  • Request regular updates from other departments so that you don’t find yourself left out when projects or promotions are introduced.

  • Report any known issues with your community to the proper channels as soon as possible. Don’t ever let an incident escalate out of control because you didn’t want to make waves.

  • Follow up on every complaint or request from a team or community member. Even if you delegated a request to another department to handle, follow up to make sure that the issue is resolved.

Being a good communicator means you keep your team apprised of new developments and stay on top of the different departments to make sure you’re not missing any key details. Don’t put the onus on other people to give or receive information.