Yvette Pistorio

Six Essential Traits of Great Community Managers

By: Yvette Pistorio | November 7, 2012 | 

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio

I’ve been a social media community manager for just about two years and I love it.

It’s fun, I get to meet so many new people, and I get paid for it!

I landed in the world of social media via a little luck, a pinch of patience, a solid writing background, and by doing tasks outside of my official job description.

I’ve been asked what makes a good community manager and I don’t have a cookie cutter answer to that question, though the ability to come to work every day with a smile regardless of how many people you’d like to punch in the face are getting on your nerves is a key attribute.

Every organization will need or want something different for the role they are trying to fill.

So instead of answering “what should I look for,” I’m going to write about the traits an effective community manager should have based primarily on my experiences.


A good community manager is well-liked, sure of themselves, yet still comfortable enough to stroke other people’s egos. They should engage with their own authentic voice, not with a marketing message.


It’s essential to have a passion for social media and a good understanding of the business they represent. Understanding the business will help them better understand customer pain points.

Friendly, Responsive, and Patient

They have to like people and be social, enjoy engaging and responding to comments and/or questions, and be attentive to the community daily. They also need the ability to defuse troublesome, obnoxious, or rude people without reacting or being impulsive.


It isn’t always a 9 to 5 job. They need to be able to roll with the punches and adjust their schedule based on what is happening online.

Understand and Embrace Data

Metrics and reports appropriate to the organization are necessary to weight the value of social media efforts.

Great Writer and Communicator

I’m not going to explain this. If you don’t get it, this isn’t the job for you.

Social media is an effective tool to engage your target audience, drive traffic to your website, and boost sales.

Community managers are becoming more common at companies of all sizes. They are the ones who own the responsibility to grow, shape, and respond to online conversations happening around their brand. You know, they manage the community. They go beyond just tweeting and posting. They don’t drive conversation, but build an environment where conversations happen naturally.

What have I missed? Feel free to fill in the blanks in the comments below.

About Yvette Pistorio

Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

  • I don’t really have anything to add, but you might like this infographic from Vitamin Talent: http://vitamintalent.com/vitabites/got-what-it-takes-to-be-a-community-manager-infographic. I laughed about it so much that I had to contact the recruiter who sent it to me and say “thank you.”

    • @Erin F. OMG, that’s hilarious!!

      • @yvettepistorio I’m just glad I got to share it with someone who appreciates it. 🙂

        • @Erin F. I”m such asocial media nerd! I’m sure you’ve seen it but I’m sort of obsessed with this Tumblr page…http://whatshouldwecallsocialmedia.tumblr.com/

        • @Erin F. And I can’t spell…

        • @yvettepistorio  @Erin F. OMG that is so hilarious. I can’t stop looking at this Tumblr. I’m subscribing. Hahaha!

        • @yvettepistorio Oh my. I hadn’t seen that one. I follow one that’s for advertising and another one that’s for poets. I may have to follow this one, too.

        • @kateupdates  @yvettepistorio I like the password one, but I’m a bit of a LOTR nerd.

        • @Erin F.  @yvettepistorio Secret: I’ve totally read all the books. And The Hobbit …

        • @kateupdates  @Erin F. Um, me too…we’re kindred spirits!!!

        • @yvettepistorio @kateupdates In that case, you two will love the comic I posted on my site today. :)) I hope that isn’t too self-promotional.

  • And we’re glad you’re managing the community over here now. Though you might not be…

    • @KenMueller Thanks Ken! I try to help manage it here on the blog, but Gini Dietrich  and Lindsay Bell-Wheeler are way ahead of me!!

      • belllindsay

        @yvettepistorio  @KenMueller @ginidietrich Mad skillz!

  • eveypistorio

    @ginidietrich I still need to understand and embrace the data…

  • eveypistorio

    @cweingartner Hey Cait!! It’s been too long since I’ve chatted w/you on Twitter…hope all is well and thanks for sharing me post 😉

  • eveypistorio

    @cweingartner Absolutely! That sounds great!!

  • Love it!  I would add “calm.”  A truly great community manager is someone you want with you “in the trenches,” who doesn’t faint at the sight of blood, and who can MacGyver any situation.

  • tab_b

    Fantastic! I would add in “Innovative”. I’ve been in the field for close to 15 years, and the one thing I constantly have to fall back on is being able to get people talking. You’ve got to be creative, innovative, and heck, maybe even a bit stubborn! 🙂

  • evolutionfiles

    RT @tab_b: Six Essential Traits of Great Community Managers http://t.co/0SqUzIr8 via @spinsucks

  • eveypistorio

    @John_Trader1 Thanks for sharing John!!

  • michandwalker

    @SpinSucks Hey I need this for the #Frosty team cc @kristinesimpson

  • jennwhinnem

    Thanks for not saying extraversion! I think introverts can be great at this job too.

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  • Super list… definitely in need of patience and the ability to repeat your self again and again if necessary. Grace under fire.

  • eveypistorio

    @DudnykHealth I sure hop I rock it 😉 Thanks for sharing!!

  • eveypistorio

    @SarahArg Thanks so much Sarah!!

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