Jacob Curtis
December 15, 2013

Before You Hire A Community Manager – Here’s a 7-Step Check LIst

Social media management has become impossible for today’s business owner to ignore. With case study after case study depicting the benefits of being “social” and building a “community” many companies now find themselves in a mad scramble to add a new employee to their payroll — the Community Manager.

However, before you hire a Community Manager it’s important to prepare them and your business for successes by providing these 7 valuable resources.

1) Hi-Res Logo


This one is a must! The majority of social platforms dedicate cover images and profile pictures that encourage branding to identify the business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Sorry, that’s the only version of our logo we have” and I’m left working with a 200×200 pixel image.

Not only will a hi-res logo look more professional as your companies profile image, it can also be used for any future graphic design work. If you don’t have these files, contact the designer you contracted to create them and ask for them.

2) Brand Book

This is one of those foundation documents that every company should have. A brand book essentially details the do’s and don’ts as it pertains to the companies image including colors, logo usage, fonts, etc.

As for social media, a brand book can also help describe the voice you’re Community Manager will be expected to use when representing your business, engaging with fans, or developing post copy.

3) Budget

Unfortunately the majority of social media platforms are pay to play. Make sure you’re managing your own expectations before bringing on a Community Manager — simply hiring one will not guarantee you hundreds of new fans within the first month.

Regardless of which platform(s) you’re focusing your marketing on, having a budget in place to help promote it’s growth through advertising or other collateral is recommended.

4) Software

The software your CM will need will  depend on their skill set, internal resources, as well as your expectations for content. For example, if you don’t have an in-house graphic designer and your CM will be doing graphic work, provide them with a program other than MS Paint, like Photoshop.

If you’re expecting video content, provide them with a program like Final Cut. These popular programs can be quite spendy and may be an overkill for what you actually need and there’s always less expensive alternatives.

5)  Notable Customers

Every company has their loyal customers and their loyal complainers. It’s likely these people have already taken to your social platforms to voice their opinion about your product or service. The last thing I’d want as a Community Manager is to be surprised by some negative feedback from left field that another department may have known was coming.

Establish these communication channels with your CM and let’s not forget that a CM is not an isolated position but rather an extension of numerous different departments, from sales to customer service.

If you know a customer has been burned or feels cheated, you should expect them to express their frustration on your pages. The sooner you let your Community Manager know about these situations, the sooner he/she can act accordingly with an appropriate response.

If your CM reports a problem from negative feedback received via social, let them know how it was resolved so they can address the complaint with a relevant answer instead of a generic “canned” one.

6) URLs

Let’s be honest, there was a time when you thought there was nothing to this social media stuff and just by setting your business up on every social media platform under the sun you were doing it right.

If you’re about to hire a Community Manager you’ve realized this is far from the truth.

Make sure to let your Community Manager know what you’ve done or attempted to do when bringing them onboard. The last thing you want is to double up on your networks and cause confusion between which is your companies official presence.

7) Crisis Plan

We live in an unpredictable world where websites crash, products fail, and customers complain. The double edge sword of social media is that it takes place in real time and that means it’s important to have a plan of action ready in the unlikely event that any of these occur.

A crises plan should consist of dedicated communication channels that can provide your Community Manager an official statement from the owner, department head, or PR director in a timely manner that they can then share across networks.

When a crisis hits it’s better for your company to provide it’s own statement before your customers start making up and sharing their own ideas of what went wrong and why.

These 7-steps we’re developed from my own personal experience working as a CM, what’s your experience with hiring a new Community Manager? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jacob Curtis

Digital Marketing Strategist at Bonfire Marketing
An early adopter of digital media, Jacob has observed the evolution and adoption of social media in connecting people online. Working at Bonfire Marketing he continues to hone his craft and creates social media tutorials in his free time.