Tag Archives: careers

Five unmistakable qualities of a community manager

I’m so fortunate to know so many great community managers from all over the world! Just a handful of the top of my head: Heather Ritchie from Lymbix of Moncton, Erin Bury from Sprouter, TO, Ros Hodgekiss from Campaign Monitor in Sydney, AU, Vero Pepperell of Pepsmedia in Cambridge, UK… These are just a few I know personally.. there’s a lot out there.

And now, through the Ottawa Community Manager Meetup group started by Angelina Munaretto and me, I’m fortunate to be constantly meeting great homegrown community folk. Over 60 current and wannabe community managers in our little town, who knew?! It’s fabulous news because I happen to think community management is a really hot career to be in and I love meeting others in the same boat…

So thinking of all the awesome community people I know, there are many qualities we all share that I think make us all good at what we do. Here’s five I can pick out right away:

Social – Perhaps this one is a big “duh!” but I’m going to throw a little hook in it. By social I don’t mean popular or outgoing. I mean someone who can easily connect to others and is interested in meeting both like-minded people and those with different view points. Although communities are almost always formed around common interests, that doesn’t mean all the members are the same. In fact every community I’ve been involved in is quite diverse, and a community manager needs to be able and interested in relating to all of them.

Curious – In my mind, being curious means willing and able to learn quickly. A community manager need not start out tech savvy but if he/she is really curious about how something works, learning about it quickly is easy. Also back to the social point. If you’re curious about people it means you’re willing and able to listen and ask questions and that’s the best way to get to know your community members.

Boundless Energy – Have you ever looked at a community manager’s day book or agenda? A community manager thrives off being around people, both online and off. As much as I love the occasional lazy day in front of the TV, I’d never do it at the sacrifice of a good time. Even if a community manager has family commitments or otherwise can’t be available always, you will find him/her taking advantage every given opportunity.

Multi-disciplinary – While community managers come from all different backgrounds, many share similar skill sets that crossover into several disciplines. Perhaps a by-product of curiosity, but you’ll never hear a community manager say “that’s not in my job description!” (Though this could be because he/she wrote the job description).

Passion – OK while it may seem like a real cliche thing to say, it’s totally true. I’m not sure any of us could really dedicate so much to what we do if we weren’t completely passionate about it… Am I right?

I listed five for the sake of brevity, but I’m sure I could go on about this all day. However, I’d love to hear what you think… Either from other community managers, or those who observe them.. What would you add?

Finding a social media job… Canadian edition

I’m posing this question not only because it’ll be helpful for my fellow Canadian readers, but also for myself! I’m currently working on a contract that’s coming to an end soon so I’m thinking about landing a job doing what I *really* love, which (surprise, surprise) is all about online PR, digital marketing and social media.

What I’m really looking for is to identify companies that are looking for, and can truly benefit from, avid and enthusiastic social media users from PR and marketing walks-of-life. Whether it’s a social media strategist role, a community manager, or a more traditional PR/marketing role with a heavy focus on the social media stuff, these roles seem to be few and far between up here in the great white north…

What I’m really looking for as well is Canadian companies who absolutely revolve around the “Web 2.0” (for lack of a better word here, it’s been a long day!) way of business (think Google & its unique corporate culture). Specifically those that treat each employee as an valuable asset, one that takes an open minded approach to trying new things, and one that’s on the cutting edge of technology and marketing techniques –all the good stuff.

By now these types of companies are a dime a dozen in the US. However, though I’ll admit I haven’t looked *too* hard, I haven’t heard much about Canadian companies like this. Sure some are trying to pass off as this new breed of company, but few actually “walk the walk.”

So without future ado, throw out a suggestion or idea about either sites to find these types of jobs, or some hot companies to keep an eye on. I’ll get it started….

Job Posting Sites

  • Ok I could taket he time to post a bunch of good ones, but fortunately My Name is Kate has *already* done that for us! However, I will point out again One Degree (which Kate also owns) as definitely one of the best ones, though not a lot of job postings they are often high quality.
  • Yansarazin, a fellow Ottawan & Twitter buddy recommends sites like TechCrunch & Mashable, which seem to have some awesome job posts–but not many Canadian. (When I first asked on Twitter, I didn’t specify Canadian)
  • StandOutJobs.com is a Canadian site which caters to the market, probably a good one to keep an eye on.
  • Jeremiah Owyang has lots of great advice on his site, as well as tips where to find a job, but again it’s very much US-based as well as focused on large enterprises.

Companies to keep an eye on

This is the biggie – and where I’m looking for your help. Drop a comment and tell me about some innovative Canadian companies that fit the bill. (International companies with a strong presence in Canada will do too) I will update this section as I find/hear about them.

  • Radian6, who’s social media monitoring software I will be reviewing here very soon seems to be a company to keep an eye on & I was pleasantly surprised to learn they’re based in New Brunswick.
  • Canada.zappos.com Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is definitely a social media mover and shaker, and though the company is based in Las Vegas, I wonder if it’s Canadian branch has some social media leadership potential? Or maybe they need someone like me around? haha

I can probably think of a few more, but it’s bed time, so over to you! Tell me about some great Canadian companies or how you landed your awesome social media job or whatever’s on your mind…


Colin suggests starting your own business to do what you really love. I *love* the idea, but scared about losing the consistent monthly income (esp. after working in the public sector) That’s definitely where I’m headed but a while out. PS-If you need any sort of web marketing–Colin is your guy!

Yan chimed in again, this time with Canadian sites like StartUpOttawa.com, Startupnorth.ca, MontrealTechWatch.com, MarkEvansTech.com.