September 28, 2010

Love People? Work as a Community Manager!

With the rise in social media popularity, companies across the country are beginning to realize the benefits of having an employee to serve as a community manager. Some companies hire community managers on a telecommute part-time basis, so this could be way for you to work at home. Other companies have their community managers report to there public relations department, so you’d be working in a full-time job.

Still other companies hire multiple community managers to represent their different products. For example, a you can find a video game job working as a community manager for a specific game, while other community managers work with other games the company has developed.

What does a community manager do? Every company is different, but in most positions, you’ll job will be be almost exclusively online work. Your responsibilities could include connecting with fans online through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social networking services, developing an email list to you can market your company directly to people who’ve signed up, running a company blog and replying to comments, addressing fan complaints via email, moderating a community forum, and more.

Basically, your job is to help people who use your company’s products or services feel like they’re part of an entire community of like-minded people. This fosters brand loyalty, as well as helps companies promote their products to new consumers.

So how can you get a community manager position?

  • Get a degree in communications, public relations, business, writing, marketing, or a related topic area.
  • Volunteer as a community manager for a non-profit in your area. This gives you valuable experience to help you get hired in a real job in this field.
  • Create personal social networking accounts and keep them updated regularly.
  • Start your own blog.
  • Gain experience in related positions. If you can’t find a community manager job, work in another position that requires people skills, such as customer service.
  • Attend industry events like the upcoming BlogWorld Expo and Social Media Summit in Las Vegas.

You can also directly contact companies that don’t have a social media presence to offer your services. Some companies don’t realize the benefit to community management through online real estate until someone shows them the benefits.

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