In a recent piece published on the Forbes platform, Forbes
The question of how to become a community manager for your corporate alumni network is being raised quite often these days, and with good reason. Big businesses like P&G, HSBC, Accenture, and McKinsey have all realized the importance of staying connected with departing employees. In fact, establishing and maintaining a strong alumni network is a vital pillar of the future of work.
The role of community managers as we know it today is quite a new career path. This is especially true when relating it to the corporate alumni space. So, what type of skills and experience do you need to become an effective business alumni community manager? Here are a few important guidelines.
Top Tips on How to Become a Community Manager
1. Gain Experience In A Support-Related Field
Community managers stand as the link between a business and its audience. In the case of an alumni network, this audience is made up of ex-employees, boomerang hires, contingent workers, etc. The community manager’s job is to embody the voice and tone of the brand, moderate and create content, provide community support and drive online engagement.
As such, experience in a support-related field is a great starting point. This could be in IT support, sales support, or any field along these lines. A background like this prepares an employee to discern the needs of a person ‘on the other end of the line’ and how to cater to their wants and concerns.
2. Nurture Soft Skills
Soft skills are a vital component of the community manager’s arsenal. This includes things like effective communication, teamwork, dependability, adaptability, and conflict resolution. Not to mention flexibility, leadership, and problem-solving, of course.
3. Develop A Solid Understanding Of The Corporation & Its Alumni
When a community manager engages with an alumni member, they are not engaging as themselves but communicate on behalf of the business itself. As such, the person in question must have a solid understanding of the corporation, its vision and mission, future goals, and best practice when it comes to treating alumni requests and communication.
4. Create Captivating Content
A healthy alumni network is based on frequent communication and vibrant online engagement. This largely stems from online content. As such, a community manager should be able to create captivating content themselves or get the support of a team who they can direct and delegate.
5. Foster PR Competencies
Public relations is another important aspect of community management. From planning engagement campaigns and coming up with marketing strategies to dealing with press inquiries and sometimes managing crises, a community manager should be able to wear a great many hats at once.
Becoming a community manager for a corporate alumni network requires a broad skill set and a wide array of competencies. Start by gaining experience in a support-related field and nurturing soft skills. Develop a solid understanding of the corporation and its alumni, create captivating content, and foster PR competencies.
Sign up for early access to the upcoming release of The Alumni Advantage. The book provides an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees, authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.