Community Managers: Striking a Balance Between Passion and Experience


The most successful community managers will be passionate about their work, which means the content they’re sharing will be higher quality and the conversations they are having more relevant. Personality, enthusiasm and expertise in the topics shows true commitment, which entices engagement and builds trust within the community – especially as it relates to health. 

Community Managers – the grunts on the front lines who find, share and help create your content. They interact with their audience and are responsible for providing a seamless, truly social experience – fueled by passion and an expertise that allows them to quickly navigate a complicated, fast-moving social landscape. It’s a daily grind and you have to keep up with the competition. Here’s a great article from Sprout Social with more detail on what it may take day-to-day to run social media platform and community management.

The first step: Recognize that community management can be a full-time position. Comments, retweets, twitter chats, photos, custom graphics, videos, conversations, likes and shares – keeping content engaging and your audience interested takes creativity, time and sincere effort.

It’s common for companies to appoint community managers that are young, inexperienced and straight out of school, as social media (especially in pharma) continues to be perceived as just another distribution channel, holding less of a priority than the DTC efforts driving direct sales.

But, while I take a little jab at the low priority that senior brand managers may put on their social media efforts, it comes with a twist – the very same young, inexperienced professionals are also the most familiar with those social platforms and the many underlying ways in which senior pharma marketers could be applying strategy, developing the right tone, creative and utilizing content to get results.

How Do We Find The Right Person?

There is something about the ages ~23-34. They’re lives having been intertwined so closely with technology and the evolution of social platforms that it shaped their behavior as kids – the point of life most fit for learning. The older side of that spectrum had exposure to a life outside of technology, which is actually a positive for community management – being connected, but not too connected to maintain the important balance needed in professional life.

I think the key is that the technology this generation grew up with has placed a ridiculous amount of information at their fingertips, allowing independent exploration, thereby fostering a passion which young adults carry into their careers. It’s interesting because it’s an instinctual skill set – an embedded, familiar part of their lives in technology, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – that brings intangible value to a social marketing team.

The ability to understand social, keep up with it, write posts that capture attention, help define content to offer an engaging experience is akin to learning a language at a young age. With the right choice of community manager, some of those skills, save the pure working experience, may already be part of behavior – knowing how to be truly social in social media becomes built-in.

It’s not that anyone is the right a fit as community management, there’s just a predisposition for understanding how to be truly social in a social media age amongst this generation.

Finding this combination – the right, detail oriented, community manager that strikes a balance between passion and an understanding of how to be social, creative and ultimately tie real-time content and interaction to business objectives.

Passion means the content they’re sharing will be higher quality and the conversations they are having more relevant. Personality, enthusiasm and expertise in the topic shows true commitment, which entices engagement and builds trust within the community  – especially as it relates to health. 

Don’t give the intern the keys to Facebook, but at the very least, give them the opportunity to suggest creative ways to engage, ways to be truly social. 

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