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Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to DevelopYour Business Online by Chris Brogan

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Chapter 76. Essential Skills of a Community Manager

Community manager is a role that more companies will adopt in the coming years. Jeremiah Owyang provides a huge list[244] of companies that have such a champion already, and, more recently, he gave businesses a scorecard[245] to determine whether start-ups should have a community manager.

I've talked about managing a community and what it takes. I've discussed what I want in a social media expert. I've even written about how we might do community management wrong. Here are some pieces of the puzzle that I think are vital to the role, and to its adoption for most businesses.

THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF A COMMUNITY MANAGER

The best community managers operate as a good party host mixed with a fine restaurant host. I make a distinction, because a party is more personal, and a restaurant requires its host to think with a business mind. Community managers need both skill sets in equal measure. A party host will connect people together, praise incoming guests appropriately, maintain conversations throughout the event, and see everyone safely off with a smile and a wave. A restaurant host must be certain the ambience is just right, know that the kitchen is functioning appropriately, and help the rest of the staff pull off a flawless dining experience. Blending these two mind-sets suits a company's community manager well.

Community managers must be experienced communicators. One thing a communicator needs to do well is listen. Part of that involves ...

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